I just spent the past three days at a silence retreat course with the Art of Living Foundation - a nonprofit organization with a mission to end violence and social injustice with meditation practices. I’ve been a part of the organization for about seven years now and this is my third time on a silence retreat but my first time sharing this experience openly.
Going into silence can be a difficult task when our very function in the world is to express ourselves constantly. Even when we were small babies, we had to quickly learn how to communicate. So imagine all of the talking, texting, sharing we have done for so many years without a break.
This silence course was a break. There was no pressure to say hi, bye, excuse me, and all the small talk that comes with day-to-day activity.
Instead I meditated. I listened to myself. I felt my emotions rise and fall. I observed my thoughts. Questioned everything. And made peace.
That’s all I needed. To reconnect to my peace, which comes by spending quality time with myself and with God. Precious time I don’t normally get to take for myself. Not this much time at least...We started at 6:30am and finished at 9:30pm for 3 days total. No talking, just being.
There were some new learnings I gained from my time without words:
1) I want to preserve my energy for myself by inviting more silence into my life. - limit phone use and the need to entertain the external - pay more attention to my internal.
2) The quality of my thoughts are in correlation to the quality of my energy. My teacher, Michael Fischman, explained how our energy points (chakras) are connected to a variety of emotions and what happens when energy flows up and down those points.
3) I am truly connected to everyone and everything so accepting and loving myself is accepting and loving God. Accepting and loving you is accepting and loving God.
And at the end of it, I feel light and free. I feel happy and grounded. I feel LOVED and I was excited to share this love with everyone around me..and with YOU, which is why I couldn’t wait to write this.
I want you to find your peace, in the silence of yourself. Take a weekend if you can, to just be. No phone, no work, no talking, just be with yourself...breathe, listen, love.