An invitation to experience sweet silence

Maureen Chen

Meditation is to cultivate the mind. Just like a garden, the mind needs weeding, fertilising and nurturing in order to flourish. Here is an invitation to experiment with a ‘diet’ and ‘exercise’ to lighten the mind and to taste the sweetness of silence. for one week.

Start the day at dawn with a ‘spiritual breakfast’ of healthy thoughts. Step into the experience of oneness with nature… a slow morning walk, or sit on the rooftop or balcony. You can also simply use your imagination. Hold the word silence in the mind, savour the feeling and let that quietude spread throughout your body.

With the rays of the rising sun, detox the heart from any bitterness of resentment and blame. Close your eyes and feel the powerful Light of the Sun. Let those rays pass through you to the people you need to forgive, including yourself. Do not filter this light, let it flow. Forgiveness is not rational, it is an act of grace, of letting go, emptying the heart of pain and releasing it from tension.

‘Fast’ by abstaining from feelings and attitudes that injure health and well-being. Refrain from waste thoughts and protect the heart from negative feelings. Check the impact of any emotions arising in the mind. Sit on the seat of the Master and practise replacing any negative feelings with courage, forgiveness and confidence.

Just as the body needs to be replenished with whatever it is made of, such as minerals, vitamins and liquids, we need to replenish the soul with whatever it is made of – peace, love, happiness and inner power.

Stop and ‘smell the roses’, create thoughts of gratitude and compassion. Connect with plants, birds, animals, and small children, especially babies, if possible. Marvel at the intricacy of all creation. Slow down and match the pace of nature.

Focus on your inner world. Who am I? What is important for me to be doing right now in my life? Simple practises such as keeping a vase of flowers on your desk, or a beautiful stone or picture can act as a reminder of your special attention this week.

Sleep early. If possible, use your bedroom only for sleeping. Avoid working, talking and ‘busy-ness’ in the late evening. The ‘city sickness’ of insomnia, stress and anxiety is due to not spending time winding down and clearing the mind before sleeping and from the habit of sleeping late.

Close the day with silent reflection so that I can learn from any mistakes I may have made throughout the day. Let them go. Forgive. Return to silence. The thoughts you sleep with will affect your dream state and morning mindset.