Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I used to sleep with a machine!
As a student that’s the line I used
As I trained as a professional
I learned a new language
and applied it to the 22 unmarked
keys and practiced until
I could type over 250 wpm.
Practice takes patience and
Trust, a clear direction and
Repetition over and over again
Until acceptance erases the fight.
That’s what I have been doing
For 154 days now –
Practicing my skill of
Silence getting to know me.
I happened upon the practice
Of silence at a retreat because
I had enough of the noise
In my head.
I reached a tipping point.
And said enough!
I surrendered and enrolled
In a week of silence.
I was fed up; I had had it.
I have patience but I was done
Being a victim to my thoughts
it was time to face the fire.
I was excited with the thought
Of a reprieve from the normal routine
And welcomed my aloneness
With books and journals and myself.
At first it was easy as I was
Comfortable in my own company
And then the familiar wilting of my
Insides started and I wanted to go home
Sadness emerged pulling me down
Entrancing me with my stories of loss.
I journaled and cried, walked and prayed.
Eyes lowered and voice still.
I was so tired I slept when I wanted.
I gave myself what I wanted – a new concept.
Only rule was I couldn’t run.
I decided to be there for me no matter what.
I endured sadness and anger and fear
I witnessed my mind clamoring for distraction
I started bargaining and pleading for relief
And I stayed steady because I knew there was more.
An incredible sweet relief
Just being in silence with myself
With no demands, no expectations,
I made friends with me.
Silence has become a buoy
That is anchored in a changing sea.
Sometimes I get tossed around
Scared, angry and sad
And still I am anchored
And willing to be there for me
With breath, with kindness
trusting my anchor holds.
Practicing silence is not boring.
I’m surprised at times with what I feel
Surprised even more by the images
And spaciousness I relax in.
At times the silence drags
As my busy mind fights against it.
Still I will not abandon me
I am worth fighting for.
I’m learning who I am.
Listening to what I need
And giving myself gentle attention
As I practice silence.
My life unfolds day by day.
I trust my problem-solving skills
I learn from every experience
I believe in my worth and dignity.
I acknowledge my pain and look beyond.
I forgive others for abandoning their hearts
I trust the wisdom of my soul
I let go into my silence.
Today is the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America and it’s important to mark it. It’s important to mark change and progress, as what happens as a result of this group as we focus on the future.
I was thinking about a silent retreat and asking God for that. And I came across this meditation practice. During the meditation, I couldn’t settle down. My monkey mind kept moving. At the end of it, I realized it’s about a message I didn't want to hear about something bothering me. I have the opportunity to do something about it and have not. I can’t imagine fighting with my monkey mind for a whole week at a silent retreat. I’m surprised what comes up.
My insides pay attention to the gift I give myself during the silence no matter what my mind is doing.
During the meditation, I got the idea of making the type of sign we wear at the silent retreat “Practicing Silence.” It would help me honor my practice of silence at home.
Silence is a good addiction.
What I heard in the reading was that practice takes patience and trust. I think it also takes the will to do it, the belief that the work is going to be worth it. So many times I have fallen off a meditation practice in the past. I didn’t have enough trust to last through it and see the benefits. Now, here during the pandemic, I have the opportunity to have the will by showing up every morning, and as a result, I am finding trust and patience. This meditation time and group is truly a gift. Thank you.
I have years and years of education, which took lots of study and practice. And I learned through it. We’ve been doing this 15-minutes of silence daily for 150 days, or 38 hours of silence. That’s been practice too, learning something. Learning the curriculum, the steps, insights. Like college.
I remember someone here talking about experiencing this time of silence like walking in a “wind tunnel” (see August 16th blog). I learned from that. I’ve learned from all the shares and readings. It's a treasure I didn’t know was there.
I worry about my son. Yesterday, I still felt anxious but I was more at peace. It's from the collective here, the camaraderie of this group. It helped me yesterday.
What I heard in the reading was that “silence has become a buoy.” I think of it as safe. For years, I was afraid of silence and I avoided it from fear. I am grateful, and I am drawn to silence now.
My experience during the meditation was deeper than I expected, and I appreciate the thoughts shared.
The readings are very helpful as a way to jump into silence. The reading is an initial starting place, and it’s helpful.
Photo credit: Aaron Burden