I have a lot of quiet in my life. I live alone now, in a quiet place. I spend time in nature. Nature’s sounds feel like quiet. I meditate, in silence. My mind is mostly free of intrusive and compulsive thought.
My meditation teacher used the analogy of an ocean to describe the mind. The surface of the ocean (thoughts) can be calm or turbulent. There can be wild, crashing waves or tranquility. The nature of the surface of the ocean is change. Things come and go. The nature of the depths of the ocean is stillness. As we go into the depths, the commotion of thought settles and we experience stillness. Silence.
“In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops.” Michael Singer wrote a beautiful book, The Untethered Soul. A friend gave me the audio of the book when I was on a long road trip moving from western Canada to Nova Scotia and I listened to them as I drove. For me, these are the familiar teachings of the traditions of yoga meditation. About the mind and how it works. Attachment. Obstacles to accessing our inner knowing and peace. We long for silence. And don’t we also avoid it?
Are you uncomfortable being alone with yourself?
We have built a culture saturated with noise and stimulation. Our nervous system reflects this stress. Everything from going to the mall to look at bright, shiny things to taking our mobile device to the bathroom to play games or check social media. The trouble is that our brains are habitual and get hooked. When I practice longer periods of silence, I learned to show up a few days ahead to catch up on sleep and to let my brain “come down” off the drug of constant stimulation.
Underlying trauma can be what we are unconsciously avoiding through distraction and addictions. Trauma is stored in our body as energy or sensations linked to thoughts, memories, images and sounds. Our primitive brain and survival system are always trying to stay on top of our safety. This includes emotional comfort and avoiding feeling what was overwhelming when we first experienced it.
Safety IS the treatment. We need to experience safely being present within so we can dissolve the Velcro and heal the disconnection caused by traumatic experiences. To reconnect within. We will only do this to the extent it feels safe. This practice of Scott Kiloby’s is an adaptation of the ho’oponopono prayer. It is a gentle way to get to know ourselves and to welcome and be with energy in our own body.
Try this practice with the welcome phrases.
Join me any or every day for a half hour of guided meditation and relaxation. Live on Zoom 8AM Eastern (New York) http://zoom.us/j/645904638
Once a week, try a few hours of walking in nature in silence without anything playing in your ear.
This December 1st, join me for a guided online silent retreat.