"When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner stillness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning."
Inspired by this post, yesterday I decided to be still from 6 to 6. I turned off all the media (no email,which is hard), I put away books, no podcasts (running with no podcasts, which is hard), and spent a day being slow and doing only "real" things. Most importantly I tried to be quiet and listen, instead of always thinking and talking. I tried to be aware of all my senses when I was working.
I cooked, cleaned the house, walked the dogs, surfed, sat around and let myself be amused by boredom. I tried to be conscious of what I paid attention to. (Remembered David Foster Wallace : “Bliss—a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious—lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.”)
I'd like to be a better listener. Both in the classroom and out of it, I often get too excited in conversation and end up jumping into other people's words, finishing their sentences, interrupting, throwing my ideas and anecdotes out a loud jumble. It was comforting to consider that instead of my frantic participation in conversation, I could instead give all the space up and listen and reassure. Consider my intention before speaking.
Yesterday the day was much longer because of this period of quiet time. With none of my regular media charges, and with the intention of being still (mostly in my mind) the time went slower and I was rested when it was over. It was like taking a vacation from words.