10 July 2014

The Power of Silence. The Removal of the Constant Seeking of Stimuli.

Using silence. Removing the constant seeking of stimulation
What's the point of silence? It has greater purpose than most people realize. Our minds are so intelligent, our brains so busy that they are constantly hungry for stimulation. Inputs from all forms of media, music, conversations, creative activities, socializing and more. But if we switch off the stimuli and turn off our thoughts, what happens? We'd be bored right? Wrong, not if we knew what it can do for us.

In this context we are not referring to silence through meditation. But instead the silencing of all stimulus at various opportunities in our daily lives. The filtering out of as much interference as possible, not just sound, but sensations, things to watch or read, people to talk to, things to busy ourselves with, things to study, things to buy. It's the focusing of the mind through stopping the constant seeking of stimulation.

You must always be supplying your mind with endless satisfactions. Our brains need constant inputs and stimulation because our minds are constantly active. If we do not feed this hyperactivity, a sort of depression arises, along with a search for tantalizing fulfillment. Always short lived, the next stimulus must be found.

A cat will sit and gaze out of a window for hours, content with the simplicity. However, a cat is arguably less intelligent (but has some abilities superior to ours, e.g. hearing!). A human needs to find the next mental inputs immediately after the last one had ended, or half way through if it has become unsatisfactory. For example, you finish a conversation and turn on the television, after this you might surf the internet. During chores you switch on the radio because the chores alone aren't enough mental stimulation for you, they're boring, and you need more. You do some paperwork, write in your diary, and read a magazine, never pausing for long to allow an empty mind to manifest. Not many people ever permit an empty mind, apart from when falling asleep.

But do our minds really need this constant stimulation? The majority of people believe so and therefore pander to it constantly. They don't realize they can empty their minds and that they wont go mad with boredom. Silence is the very core requirement of meditation. So let's use silence more often.

The Sensory Interference
Sensory interference are all of the noises, sights, sounds, tastes and physical sensations that bombard our senses and in turn our minds, on a daily basis. It's the television, people talking, the radio, traffic, pollution smell, dust – anything we sense. Because we constantly seek stimulus to occupy our minds we come into contact with a lot of interference.

Imagine you're looking at a beautiful painting. Now imagine there's a band playing behind you and you are eating a sandwich. Would you be able to focus on the painting as much as you'd like?

We take in too much information and stimulation, and don't give the mind proper time to process it. We take in too much to be able to really listen, plus the interference is distracting. We take in so much that we are blind and deaf to subtle energies and signals that are all around us.

By ridding ourselves of sensory interference and excess stimulus we can concentrate on clearing the mind of worries, agendas, tasks to do, anxieties, general thoughts and so on – interference generated within the mind.

Why Silence the Mind
Firstly, giving your mind a break allows it to process everything already seen, heard and done, ready for the next thing you have to do. Your emotions can reset, in fact your whole equilibrium can reset, in other words, you allow yourself a period of time whether long or short, to re-balance. You'll feel calmer and happier. Periods of silence, or reduced mental stimulation too can fight depression. This is stopping short of meditation and can be easily interwoven into your day.

Secondly, by silencing the mind, you can concentrate on energies around you. The energies of other people, of things or plants and animals. With enough practice you can tune into the life-force of the planet by understanding that everyone and everything is all one. You can literally feel these energies, for example, by practicing psychometry. You can meditate in a country setting, or even just sit in silence enjoying a view and be able to feel the life-force (or prana) of the entities around you (trees, grass, animals etc).

Thirdly, you can better access your subconscious mind and spirit energies. Your subconscious mind contains memories that are hard to access. Plus your unconscious mind is harder to accesses still – it communicates with the subconscious mind as do spirit guides and the higher self. By enjoying periods of silence you are more able to listen to your subconscious mind. As in these articles 'dreams' and 'intuition', your subconscious mind uses symbols to communicate with your conscious mind (that's your every day working mind). Silence helps you to better perceive this communication by filtering out other interfering factors.

How to Enjoy Silence
So, by practicing meditation and yoga you can enjoy the benefits of silence, and create a clear and focused mind. However, the point here is that silence can be enjoyed outside of meditation sessions and the benefits can be enjoyed more frequently and overall.

Reduce your constant searching for things to occupy your busy mind. Slow your mind and stop seeking. Give your mind a break from the constant barrages of life by slowing the pace a little at various opportunities throughout your day.

Take more time out. But, rather than turning on the television and absorbing the programming (which at times is great for relaxation and learning), instead take 10 to 20 minutes and sit out in the yard or garden. Or go for a little walk. Even sit and look out of the window! Simply take a break from as much stimulation to your senses as possible – don't do any tasks, read anything, listen to anything, just be.

While taking your short period of silence, be conscious of silencing the mind. The stimulus doesn't just come from outside your self, it also arises within. So similar to meditation, if you feel thoughts and worries creeping in, just gently push them out. The difference here to meditation is that you have your eyes open and you are simply snatching some silent time at a point in the day when meditation is not practicable, for example, while the kids are playing upstairs, in a busy office at lunch break, or while the evening meal is nearly done cooking.

Note that in a busy office for example, noise will persist – but the point is to discontinue as much stimulation as possible.

If you cannot enjoy silence with an empty mind, use your time for contemplation. Ensure this does not involve list-making, worrying or planning. Simply choose a subject, perhaps an interest, a hobby or a philosophical idea, and gently contemplate it. The same calming and mental healing effects of silence should arise without any trouble.  

When we sleep, our brains process and store the information gathered during the day. We could give our brains a boost by allowing for a little more processing and storage time through silent contemplation between sleep periods.

So in summary, instead of leaving the silence and clearing of the mind to meditation sessions, especially if you run out of time and miss your meditation, take some periods of silence – or at least reduce the stimuli. For example, instead of cooking with the radio on, focus on the cooking. Your brain will have a chance to calm and reset after a busy day and you will enjoy your cooking far more. You don't always need the extra interference from the radio putting more information and sounds into your already crowded mind.  

The Power of Silence, Healing the Mind | Nicky Sutton - Video

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