Silence is a self-rewarding activity. Not only does it calm the mind, but it also creates a framework for concentration and contemplation. It is a recreative activity that heals the very inmost of a person.
Quite naturally silence comes hand in hand with solitude – time alone is necessary to achieve quietness.
Personally, I like to include walking, silence, solitude, meditation, and other related practices into the category of recreation. If you compare recreation with entertainment, you will promptly notice that the latter exhausts. All the industry of fun has no other intent (though mostly unconscious) than to distract you from profound things and contemplation. Only simple recreative things can lift you up to self-presence.
The means to silence: walking. The primary way for silence is walking. Below you can find why, and later at the end of the article, you’ll read about other ways.
To be alone inside of a house is all right, but usually is not enough due to the familiarity of the environment and its distractive aspect. The best place to catch silence is a natural landscape (a grove, forest, glade, lake, etc.) if not completely empty then without too many people.
Discipline is the staple of the practice. You need to sleep and get up roughly at the same time. The morning silence should never be skipped, while the evening one can vary. The time you’ve chosen to walk is not for negotiation because it is, probably, the only time free from obligations and without communication with others. Being disciplined is almost like being a professional – one who gets there no matter what rips all the benefits regularly. Only practice makes one perfect. Silence seems like a small thing, but it brings a massive change in one’s life.
Duration. Typically 30 – 90 minutes is enough. On a bad day, even 10 minutes make sense; on a good, you can spend as much time as feels right. Additional activity after months of walking can be reading, writing, creating, etc. You’ll be surprised how much yearn for creativity you have after a period of silence.
Weather. Any is good. Rainy and cold days will be the quietest. Warm or hot days are delightful and, at the same time, analogous to life with its continuous agitation.
Sounds. The sound of a voice is but another sound. Take it as ambience. Sounds under feet are amazing and conducive to concentration.
People and their judgement. Do not pay attention to what others think – they have their agendas and mindsets. Their opinion has nothing to do with your situation. To conform to someone’s expectations is to lose sight of yourself. You may wonder if people think you are weird being alone in a desolate place or slowly walking there, but let those thoughts go because you’re doing a favour to everyone – a calm mind is a mind that cools down the tension in society.
Now we proceed to the ten days. There you will find all the theoretical background and practical advice.
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