How do I prepare for being in silence?

Posted by Jennie Lee

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Jennie Lee is a Yoga Therapist with 20 years experience teaching Classical Yoga & Meditation. Author of True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness and Spiritual Fulfillment. she is known for her humor and straightforward teaching style. She relies upon the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras to overcome difficulties in her own life, and is a compassionate coach for students who want to apply the deeper teachings of yoga to their goals and challenges on and off the mat. Her writing has been featured in Huffington Post, Mind Body Green, Yoga Therapy Today and more. She coaches on the island of O'ahu, and by phone or Skype internationally. Full Bio
Q:

How to I prepare for being in silence?


A:

With all the distractions that we have today, some intentional preparation is needed to enter silence. Make a date with silence and mark it into your calendar. Begin your time in stillness by letting family or colleagues know that you will be temporarily unavailable. Then turn off all electronic devices such as phones, computers, televisions, and radios. Silence them completely. Even eliminate vibration so that your attention will not be compromised. Just put a silent timer on for the amount of time you want to sit so your mind is not questioning how long it has been since you unplugged.

When your environment has been silenced, then the challenging part really begins! Silencing the internal environment of the mind, which is known for its continuous chatter and ceaseless noise. Many meditation techniques are helpful but a good way to move from outer responsiveness to inner silence is through focus on your breath. Take a slow inhalation, then pause and hold your breath momentarily. Exhale even slower than you inhaled. Do this ten times and watch how the busy mind begins to recede. If thoughts reenter the mind, watch them like passing clouds, noticing them but not following them. Allow the spaciousness of silence to envelop you in a calm bubble. Return again to the focus on the breath any time thoughts become restless or distracting.

Silence is not easy to attain within. So why should we take time to try to get quiet if doing so presents such a challenge? It is essential if we wish to know ourselves and to live from our true essence. Silence enables us to hear the prompting of our inner guidance, our intuition. It connects us to our souls and to highest truth. Otherwise we live forever in reactivity to constantly changing stimuli from the world around us, thrown about mentally, and emotionally in response. This will not lead us to peace within, but silence surely will.

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