Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Silence is something that we experience less and less in today’s society. Even when we achieve a break from all the physical noise, it is difficult to silence the mind. With technological advances has come the ease of obtaining information and entertainment via cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. This has caused an increase in overstimulated minds. To the point that the first thing many people do when they have a “still moment” is reach for their phone or tablet and just…well they just toy with it. We live in a world where our value comes from how busy we are.
At Pura Veda we understand the importance of holding silence. Not just physically refraining from talking, but also from quieting the mind. For this reason, we have silent hours from 8 pm until 8 am. Our silent hours are designed so people can take an inward journey without having to worry about others around them. It is time for you to meditate (formally or informally), reflect, observe nature, or simply breathe. This time where no one has to feel obligated to entertain anyone else present It is the moment where only the true you exists.
There are many benefits to practicing silence. Silence can help bring our minds back to the present moment. A great deal of time our mind is wandering in the past or making predictions about the future. Some studies show that this causes anxiety and unhappiness over events that we have no control over or may not happen. If we pay particular attention to the present moment this is where we can experience true happiness. According to Kelly McGonigal (health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University), silence helps us achieve mindful intention that later motivates us to take action. It allows us to go beyond the critical mind, which helps build positive emotions. This in turn will help create the energy to carry out our goals and intentions. Research studies at UCLA point to the fact that sitting in silence and being mentally at rest improves the folding of the cortex and increases our ability to process information. So, sitting quietly in a peaceful setting (or envisioning a peaceful setting) can help increase grey matter in the brain. Finally, silence disconnects us from all the noise around us that says we have to be busy. It allows us time to rest and rejuvenate. Some companies have even set up meditation or silence pods in the work area. They have found that employees are more productive after a break.
The main reason we practice periods of silence is because it brings awareness to everything around us and to ourselves, connects you with your breath allowing you to feel connected to yourself, and brings a sense of peace that helps your body feel relaxed and calm.
One thing is to read about a subject and another is to experience it. We believe in experiential learning. So, don’t just take it from us, start your own practice and feel the results. To start a practice, simply find a place where you will have minimal distractions. If you find a place amongst nature even better! However, if there are other people around try to sit, lie down, or stand so that you do not make eye contact with anyone. This will help prevent you from talking or feeling the need to talk. Sit in silence, contemplate nature, focus on the breath, or mindfully walk. What ever you choose to do or not do…remember to stay in the present moment. When your mind wanders bring it back to the here and now.
Until the next now,
If you liked this article you may be interested in Awareness of Breath