Reprinted from original submission during 2013/2014 class
During our Master Key Experience week 22 session the class members were asked to fit in a significant period of silence at some point over the following two weeks. The recommendation was for up to three days. They mentioned a few hours may be ok but at least 24 hours would be preferred – basically the longer the better.
Until now we have been doing three 15-20 minute “sits” each day. Being still. Being silent. Now we were asked to maintain silence for a day or more. Whoa! Wow!
I know some people reacted with “How is this possible? I have a job? What about the kids? The dog? They don’t listen unless I talk to them.” I am not being critical of that thought process but have included it as it is an indication of what may be considered a ‘typical’ reaction in our fast paced world.
It is what it is.
At this stage of The Master Key Mastermind Alliance class – week 22a (or 24th week out of 28 total) I realize this is not about remaining in my comfort zone – it’s not about continuing to do what I have done in the past. It’s about looking at things differently in order to allow what I am looking at (including my entire world) to become different.
My reaction was “OK. How are we going to do this logistically?” Walter and I ended up having a conversation about what this would look like within our family dynamics – where would we be physically – how we would handle “work” – what about meal times – how to explain it to our son, etc. An experience of silence turned out to be something we needed to plan, to discuss and work towards.
I wonder….Why does it require so much effort to have nothing?
The absence of speech, communication, the bombardment of society
continuously whispering, talking, screaming into our daily lives.
Trish explained “no computer, no phones, no texting”. Mark told us we were not “Kissinger” and work could survive without us. Trish explained “no texting”. Mark suggested we take a vacation day from work. He commented the dogs should be able to figure it out with hand signals. Whew! Thank goodness I trained our puppy using both verbal and non-verbal communication.
I chose a 30 hour window and jumped in with both feet!
I imagined what it may have been like for my ancestors to choose silence. There were no computers. No phones. No mobile devices. Most people worked for themselves and therefore did not have to book a vacation day. They would have gone out to the barn and sat – been apart from the family – walked for miles with strictly nature and it’s creatures to keep them company in their personal realm of silence.
To commence my period of silence I chose to sit downstairs in our family room with the fire crackling in front of me. Silence? Not quite. I can hear the furnace to my right behind the utility room door. I hear the air flow being pushed through the heating vent. I hear my pen scratching against the paper…my hand brushing along it. I close my eyes and every sound intensifies allowing me to notice the hiss behind the crackle of the fire.
I am reminded of two types of silence: Prayer and Meditation. I have pondered this quite a bit over the years. As I was raised by a father who positioned himself as a devote Catholic I saw first hand what he termed “prayer”. Then during the last few years I have been able to embrace the concept of “meditation” which I liken to ‘allowing’ myself and the world around me to ‘be’. The difference in my experience:
For prayer one is usually asking for something – be it spiritual understanding, the strength to accomplish a particular feat, or the request to obtain something (sometimes materialistic but it could be food, clothing, water – necessities which may be in short supply). We ask for and discuss needs (be it for ourselves or for others). Prayer could also be the conversation one has with his / her source. It could certainly be a conversation which includes thanks for what has already been received or just sharing pieces on how the day went.
Meditation always seemed to be a lack of conversation. No matter what it is, mediation to me is a time where one embraces the silence and allows the world to be revealed. Allow me to pause from these thoughts (written during my silence) and I will come back to the word ‘revealed’.
In searching for others’ perspectives on this matter I came across a snippet from an interview with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. The-Difference-Between-Meditation-and-Prayer
Rather than include just the video, I wanted to allow you to see this from a Graphic Novel perspective. A small portion is not within the Bit Strip but hopefully I’ve captured enough for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to clink on the video thumbnail to hear the conversation as you read along.
This leads me back to the word I pondered during my silence:
Revealed – what a fascinating word. To reveal means something already exists and one is now choosing to allow others to see it, feel it, experience it. Is this where the ‘inspiration’ from mediation shows itself? Was it not already there?
You can reveal what is being served for dinner – with a flourish of a metal dome. You can reveal your true nature by your actions. You can reveal your authentic self by allowing the….you guessed it….silence.
I found myself gravitating back to Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World. I reread the book from the start till where we currently are reading Scroll VI. In summary thus far:
Today I begin a new life!
I greet this day with love in my heart!
I persist until I succeed.!
I am nature’s greatest miracle!
I live this day as if it is my last!
Today I am master of my emotions!
In my silence I pondered each of these affirmations again. I allowed the silence. Allowed the spirit to speak to me – to provide guidance in the form of intuition. I pictured myself as I intend to become. I really like this person I am becoming. I love what she has managed to accomplish in her desire to help and serve others. I am enthralled by the amount of dedication I have to reach the summit I am climbing. I am enthused by what my future is. I am the silence manifested into my reality.