Explore The Sounds of Silence

Are there sounds in silence? I believe there are many.

We are surrounded by sound. Some of us are drowning in sound. There are the sounds like blaring music, rumbling traffic, a screaming train whistle, shouting kids, barking dogs, just to name a few. There is also the sound that resonates between our ears, those chaotic sounds of our inner voices demanding attention. Our inner voices include the grumbling pessimistic voice, the cheerful optimistic voice, the anxious, the kind, the fearful, the disappointed and the funny voice. There is often an on going battle between our “Outer Sounds” and our “Inner Sounds” There is sound everywhere.

But what about the silence? Where can we find silence? The dictionary describes silence as absence of any sound or noise. Is there any such place or circumstance where we can truly experience even a moment void of sound. Is there a time or place where the outside noise and the inside noise disappear. For me, I need to broaden my definition of silence to find such a place.

This is how I search for the “sound of silence”.

I start by removing myself from as much “extraneous sound” as possible and I sit quietly and relax. I begin my mindful search for silence by focusing on the gentle sensation of my slow deep breathing. Then I close my eyes and clear a space in mind so I can begin to explore silence. I try to make a transition to listen to the sounds that still surround me. I listen to subtly of distant voices, wind, rain, birds, a flowing stream or soft music. I actively listen. How do these sounds effect me? Do these sounds invite emotions like judgement, memories, anxieties, joy…? For one minute I calmly listen to one of those very soft sounds. I really listen. This is the closest way for me to experience silence at this moment. My inner voices drift away. Maybe they’ll return, maybe they won’t, but for NOW I have peace. If and when the outer and inner noises return, it’s likely there will be less clamor and chaos.

I am often surprised at how relaxed and “in the moment” I feel when I open my eyes and return to the flow of the day. For me, silence is best experienced when I pause, close my eyes and narrow my attention to a single sound or or a single thought. In every moment there is a beautiful silence, but we need to listen to hear it.

Experience your Personal Pause and explore the sounds of silence.