Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Value of Silence


“When the lips are closed, then the heart begins to speak.” Sufi saying.

Silence


Ah, if only you could get away from everything. Take a holiday, go walking in the mountains, cycle across a continent, if only...

That's the big problem with our modern world, especially the world of business; you’ve always got to be doing something. Whether it’s checking emails, Twitter, or Facebook, looking at web stats, tweaking your website – always doing something, always busy. Busyness.

Even when not at work you are bombarded with distractions, and still can’t get any peace. Locked out from your inner self you become deflated, haggard, dejected. Yet there's no value in any of that noise unless it's counterbalanced, by silence.

It's been taught in mystical philosophies for years, the art of silence, of withdrawing into oneself through yoga or meditation. Increasing stillness, and forging that bond between silence and contemplation: thinking, contemplating, and focussing.

Look at a cat, or a dog. They know when to rest, and sit in repose. You might rightly say a person is different from a dog, but for most purposes, are we? And why do we have them as pets if we don't want to learn from them?

There's a mystery in silence, in contemplation, of which most people are ignorant. Yet after a great deal of stress or activity we feel we need it more – so we strive to have a holiday, to “get away from it all”. But you don't always need to get away to relax. The peace on a beach or in a hotel room is the same peace that’s always waiting inside.


Try it For Yourself


When you get home from your office or place of work today, turn off all distractions like TV, mobile and computer and find time for yourself. Or even take part in some monotonous exercise, like running, cycling or walking – come on, we all know that exercise does us good.

Why should you do it? Because your body is whirring away doing a million different things automatically, every second of the day, and needs some respite. Listen to yourself - the body intrinsically knows what's good for it. It already knows when to breath, how to organise the biological clock, when the heart needs to beat faster, how to eliminate toxins, deal with infection, monitor millions of chemical processes in trillions of cells all at once without your knowledge. So give it a rest, literally, and help yourself while you do it.


Turn off those distractions, and allow yourself as little as 20 minutes a day, which only adds up to a couple of hours a week, to relax, meditate or exercise. With a little regular self-control, self-discipline, and self-mastery, you will begin to understand what you can really get from life.

Photo by Marina Del Castell

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