Here’s an exercise that will change your life: Spend one day, each month, In Silence.
What happens when you intentionally stop talking? Just for one day? Even half a day?
Many of us have deepened our yoga practices on silent, weeklong meditation retreats. The experiences of intense solitude and quiet self-reflection have left a positive mark on our lives. At NomadYOGI, we know this type of profound experience is not available to everyone. Maybe you have not had the opportunity to spend 10 days in, say, Vipassana, or maybe you think a regular meditation practice takes discipline beyond what you can do.
We understand. But here’s a practice that we all can do once a month: a Day In Silence.
Inspired and influenced by weeks spent in ashrams and monasteries, we created this button which you can pin to your shirt. You can get your Day In Silence button for free in October by filling out this form.
Once a month, spend a Day In Silence. Just be, without talking. Minimize all external and internal noise and just be, quietly, for just one day each month. You can walk in the park/beach/street or pick a random Sunday after yoga practice. You can do your laundry. You can even go grocery shopping. This is not about cutting yourself off from the world. It’s about being in it, as a silent observer, and just noticing what happens.
What thoughts come up when you see this thing or that thing? What thoughts do you have about your thoughts? After you notice these thoughts, can you let them go? Can you come back to this moment? This inhale? This exhale? This rhythm. This silence. This is all it’s about.
Breath – Sounds – Sensations – Silence
This Day In Silence is about turning down the volume on your external and internal stimuli, so try and see if you can pause all communication. Just for one day.
Perhaps you can combine this with a digital detox? One day of no devices? OMG. No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. No email. No text messages. No Whats app. Just for one day.
Can’t do a full day? Fine. Put your Silence Button on at noon and don’t speak for the rest of the day. Yes. From noon, until you put your head on the pillow, don’t speak.
Can’t do a half day? Fine. Wear your button from 5pm until you go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you may begin talking again.
Perhaps this will open the door to a meditation practice, or an “official” meditation, wherein you sit on a cushion for 15, or 30, or 60 minutes on a given day. But it doesn’t have to lead to that. At the very least, you will recognize that, as you spend one day without speaking, you will notice your thoughts (and the quality of your thoughts) with a new clarity. You may notice your breath. You may notice what you look at. You may notice what thoughts pop into your head and when. You may become aware of what you are aware of.
Certainly, on your full Day In Silence, you don’t have to separate yourself in solitude (though that may be easier). If you need to be around others, you can simply point to your button and smile. This is usually enough to prevent verbal interaction. They may be confused at first but, you’ll be surprised how respectful people are once they realize what you’re doing.
Here’s a typical interaction you can expect to have.
“So you’re not talking today?”
“I wish I could do that.”
You’ll smile, nod, point to your button, and continue in silence.
It’s not something you’d wear at a cocktail party of course. That is, unless you were trying to be obnoxious by proving to your peers how “Ultra Spiritual” you are. But, then, that’s the point. Even if wearing the button publicly identifies you as participating in a certain spiritual activity, the experience of persistent silence dissolves any ego-driven response or motivation for spiritual competition. You’ll see. As long as you stay silent while wearing the button, you can’t mess it up.
Will You Join Us?
Fill out this form to get your #DayInSilence button. We’ll send you a button and we will enjoy silence, together, on first Sunday of every month, beginning November 1st, 2015.
After, you can share your experiences with us using the hashtag #DayInSilence on social media. Together, we can inspire more people towards quiet self-reflection.
Together, we can slow down and bring our minds to rest.
Isn’t that the true definition of yoga, after all? Ask Patanjali.
Here’s some inspiration to get you going.
I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in the silence, and the truth comes to me. ~ Albert Einstein
It’s no problem to have thoughts, but do not overlook how, many times a day, the mind is in rest. What is left if the mind is at rest? Life, itself. And this is all that counts. ~ Dolano
In the gap between one thought and another, a well of silence abides. In this place, the thoughts and the thinker of the thoughts are seen for what they are: a fiction. What remains? Presence. A poised, powerful presence whose very nature is love. You are this. Just abide here, in the silence in the gap between thoughts. ~ From Conversations with Plato
Rediscover how to be silent and still. Only then will you actually be able to listen and hear. ~ LazyYogi