The Sound of Silence

This morning I went to Whole Foods early, bought breakfast, and sat down to eat before doing a little shopping. It was quiet. No one else was there. As I ate I found myself staring out the window at the trees. I watched in silence as the leaves swayed in the breeze. I realized that I wasn’t thinking about anything. My mind was quiet. I was eating, but still.

That’s when I made the connection between meditation — being still and nature. I realized that nature just exists. There is an automatic intelligence behind it. In the spring and summer everything is blooming, green and lush. There is a constant flow of rebirth. Nature doesn’t need to do anything to make it happen. I realized that during meditation, we need to just be. Because when we meditate, the mind is still. Like nature, we just are. And during those moments of just being, we connect with that higher energy or intelligence.

The more we have those moments of stillness, the more things will begin to flow. We learn not to worry. I used to worry all the time. Now I concentrate more on what I need to do, I take time to be still, and do things I enjoy. I tell myself that by worrying, nothing will change. Worrying does nothing, but cause anxiety and illness.

I’ve been walking a bike trail lately and discovered that during my walk; I have had moments of internal silence. Even though I am walking, I become relaxed and still inside. At times, I’ve felt like I could take a nap, because I am so relaxed and peaceful. My mind is not a busy stream of thoughts, and after my walk, I feel reenergized, carefree and happy. I arrive at a place where I feel that all things are possible.

I believe there’s a lot of confusion about meditation. A majority of people don’t realize that they’ve been still at some point during their busy day. They don’t notice when they’re focusing on an action that their mind is still. I believe this happens — to many people — automatically.

When we are awake, the mind is a constant stream of chatter or visuals. Many of those thoughts may be worries or ego trying to wreck havoc. I remember reading an article about Eva Mendes in the August 2010 issue of Allure magazine. The article mentioned that she was practicing meditation to work on self-acceptance. And that through meditation she has been able to work through negative thoughts that crop up when she is in the middle of a photo shoot or filming. Her routine is to acknowledge the negative chatter, send it on its way, promising to have a dialog later.

Each of us is capable of silencing worries or negative chatter. I usually visualize the delete key on my computer keyboard and say “delete” or “stop.” Or I’ll say a positive affirmation. I shut it down quick. I focus on the green that surrounds me on my walk, or if I’m in the middle of a task, I’ll focus on what I’m doing.

Try it, next time you are walking, washing the dishes, or folding laundry. You’ll be amazed at how you will begin to find pockets of silence. The more you practice, the longer the pockets of silence will become. You’ll find that you will seek the quiet on a regular basis.

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