Can words be intoxicating? On a noisy day all of us feel the need for silence, and so I decided to spend this New Year very differently – I stayed in and did not talk for three days.
Why did I want to be silent?
Very often speaking distracts us from acting, from thinking in the right direction and from relaxing. I practise meditation daily to get my moments of silence, and this time i just wanted more.
The only time I had been silent for so long before was 9 days of no speaking at Vipassana meditation retreat by Goenka, and it was 3 years ago, I missed the space silence created in my life and was looking to restore it.
What did I do during these 80 hours?
I meditated a lot, practised yoga without having to rush, played around with inversions, cleaned and organized my room, read about and reflected on the past year and made resolutions and plans for the upcoming year. It seems like three days is a lot of time, but I could easily have spent five doing the same thing.
For new year celebration I went to the local temple in Chiang Mai and meditated there listening to the chanting of the monks. Then I came home, ate a yoghurt and was sleeping before 1 o’clock. Even a year ago I could not imagine that way of celebrating would be so miraculously satisfying.
How did it feel?
Silence empowers. I felt very clear in my mind about what I wanted and about the obstacles that were on my way, aware of every little flaw of myself and the world and still loving life to the fullest. I could also jump from Bakasana into Chaturanga, which is something I could not do before. And I felt a lot of strength in my arms and core while doing yoga asanas.
Last day I spent some time with friends, and was showing them many gestures, so not sure this would count as a silent day, but it also made me appreciate our ability to communicate and realise once more how grateful I am for words and languages.
Of course my experience was nothing like John Francis who did not speak for 17 years!
Have you ever been silent for a long time? Let’s talk about it!