Why Are So Many People Seeking The Silence In A Silent Retreat?
Cover Photo By JD Mason
By Bruce Davis, Ph.D.
As more and more people are discovering the joy of meditation, they are discovering the joy of silence including making a silent retreat. The environment of delicious quiet gives their meditation the extra boost or more accurately the inner silence they are looking for. Instead of worrying about not talking, they are finding an inner world from listening, listening deeply.
Top executives in the tech world are realizing what many people already know; down time, digital detox, some time disconnecting can mean a big difference in connecting to simple peace and that is just the beginning. Silent retreats literally change the climate of our minds from stormy to quietude, confused to clarity, from routine to beauty. Yes, there is magic in silence.
Silence is greater then all the clutter, busy-ness, and noise in our heads which literally blocks, filters, and dulls our awareness. Silence is a great cleaner, calmer, restorative power. Our awareness discovers an openness, spaciousness, inner knowing. Outer quiet points to the quiet of the heart. The mental chatter takes a back seat as we receive the inner presence of stillness. Mental alertness has a new engine in the silence of heart intelligence. In a silent retreat, our mental life in general slows down as we focus on the present, being very much in the moment, this moment.
Good to give our minds a rest. There is a place of refuge in silence. Intuition and trust live here. A silent retreat is many small steps of letting go, giving big results of letting be, and being more and yes being still more. As the noisy demands of daily life make us shrink inside, in silence we expand. There is a sky of planets and stars to notice above as we find another sky of presence within us.
As we live more wholly in the moment, something beyond words unfolds. Life is more then what we do, it is what we are capable of experiencing. As we put our outer life aside for a few days, the territory of our inner life comes forward.. We are much more then our thoughts, worries, and desires. This much more is what the silence in silent retreat is all about.
So why do people avoid making a silent retreat? They say, "I have so much to do. Thinking about not talking makes me nervous. The idea of silence makes me feel vulnerable." What they don't realize is that a silent retreat is much more about receiving peace and quiet then all what they imagine. Silence is actually nutrition for our nerves. Who does not feel better after sometime in a still and calm environment? In a guided silent retreat, silence unlocks doors that have been blocked from our view, hidden in our busy lives. Silence is another culture which many are making a pilgrimage into.
It all is not so mysterious.Not talking while walking on a mountain top can be an awakening. Taking time for all the color of the sunrise instead of rushing can lead to a new list of life's simple joys. Meditation, listening to the stillness of the heart, brings forward a satisfaction that is much more then many of our worldly goals.
Silence, meditation, heartfulness is calling people into retreat. In simple peace and quiet, they find an inner vastness, a presence without border or end. When we remember this place, suddenly the load we were carrying is lighter. The list of concerns has faded. There is space, inner freedom, more choices and creativity.
A silent retreat brings us back to our true ground, our ground of being. Here we are less reactive and more productive, less driven and more our own driver. Where are we going? It is good to spend some days in silence and then look again at our map, direction, and destination.
A silent retreat brings us to ourselves, our heart essence. This warm presence is moving through our whole body and all of life. People are making a spiritual vacation, finding time when there is precious little time for the timeless gift, the inner journey of a silent retreat.