Part 1 – This article
So yesterday I finished a three weeks practice of silence in North Germany and I was in essence all alone. When I did the same thing last year, the most common question asked was “Didn’t you miss your girlfriend, family members, friends, etc.?” The simple answer is “No”, but it is interesting to know why.
This year in my practice, I twice found myself crying out of gratitude for the presence of all the beautiful people in my life. I do not know if you have ever experienced this, but I can tell you it is wonderful.
The question is whether or not this sort of experience can happen only when you are in silence. I am sure that the answer is no, but silence in the way that I practiced definitely stimulates such an experience.
In my native language (Dutch) there is a saying which translated into English goes “Whatever the heart is full of, the mouth spills”. This is not true. In actuality, whatever the head is full of, the mouth spills; and whatever the heart is full of, the eyes spill.
In our daily life, our minds are filled with many many impressions. They come from our experiences at work, world news, entertainment, etc. There is nothing wrong with these impressions, but they do fill your head and make your mouth spill them. Then meaningful conversations with your loved ones remain few and the true blessing of your relationship is hard to feel.
I remember that a few weeks before I entered into silence I was at a restaurant with two friends. I was in more of listening mood on that day and I was surprised by and interested in what I heard. In one hour of talking, nothing was said! When I asked them then and there if they remembered what they had talked about, they said no! I wonder if they even remember that we went to dinner…
In a prolonged period of silence, the mind can process the daily impressions because you don’t give it any new ones. Then it becomes easy to come in touch with your feelings and you may find yourself crying out of gratitude. And then you do not miss those you love.
If I could make a suggestion to you, it would be to contemplate on the beautiful people in your life and to allow yourself to feel what you feel for them. You will be pleasantly surprised, I promise.
There is much more to say about my silence practice, but since I don’t want to bore you, I will write about it in the next post.
Part 1 – 本文