Monday, June 6, 2016

Seeing Through Silence

Everyone, it seems, is perpetually listening to something. Everyone, it seems, is permanently connected to a device transmitting music or information or some form of entertainment.

Everyone may be missing a lot.

Recently I participated in a mindfulness retreat in the tradition of the Buddhist priest Thich Nhat Hanh.

I’ve been to other such retreats. I know the drill. No talking.
No talking to your roommate/s.
No talking at meals.
No talking while walking.
And of course no talking during sitting meditation or Dharma talks. [The latter are the Buddhist equivalent of sermons.]

Try it for a day. It’s an interesting practice. At first, you may suspect you are going a bit crazy. All kinds of thoughts race around, tumbling over one another in your head – a veritable cacophony.

Stay with it. Focus on breathing – in/out, deep/slow.

The jumble of thoughts may sneak back. Keep breathing. Eventually, there will be a profound silence. And in that silence, a sense of the holy may envelope you.
Breathe it in.

Actually, you don’t have to do this for an entire day. You could find (as I did) large boulder in a mountain meadow where you can sit long enough to actually see your surroundings – see the beauty, the wonder.

Not a bad idea.


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