Filling the Silence

Much of the time, I am trying to fill the silence.  There has been a lack of silence in my life.  My family growing up consisted of three male siblings. My father is a very loud man. We used to joke that to be heard in our house, we had to yell.  Noise was a constant.

I’ve often been lulled to sleep by the sounds of people talking and laughing.  I often read and write while listening to music. For me, silence has been an uncomfortable acquaintance. But now in the light of all that has transpired in my life recently, I feel the need for silence. I crave it. After teaching all day, I seek the quiet of my room and the solace of my meditation pillow.

The silence is tough, though. Though the desire for it is real, the practice of it shows the humming of my mind.  Thoughts and fears and anxieties swirl around and my brain gives no real signs of letting up.  Questions and plans trying to cram into each other and vie for my immediate attention.  Things I have never pondered before need to be addressed, and suddenly I want to leave my mat to find a solution.

But I don’t. I realize that the silence wants me even though my mind is trying to thwart it. I sit longer. I will my legs to remain crossed. I focus on my breathing. I feel the rush of energy from the world around me as my breathing stays steady.  My thoughts float through for a few seconds, and then whoosh, they are back again and the process to steady the ship starts again and again and again. Meditation is the process of your mind unwinding. One minute, five, minutes, ten minutes…sit as long as you can and feel the space (between the breathing and the thoughts) get larger.

This is meditation for the beginner, for the moderate, for the anyone less than someone who is an enlightened yogi (at least that is my assumption-enlightened yogis feel free to weigh in here).  Giving up and saying that meditation is not for me because this process happens doesn’t have to happen. The process is normal.  The process is healthy. The process is right.

Love and Light ****

photo of a man sitting under the tree
Photo by Samuel Silitonga on