189: Turning it Off

silence 3There is this very sweet spot in any yoga class after the closing where there is complete silence. For these few seconds I have this feeling of emptiness yet fullness at the same time. The pause of silence is filled with so much possibility, a vacant space of desire, hope, love and warmth.

About three years ago I decided I had had enough of the world’s suffering and quite simply got up and turned off the TV. I haven’t listened to the news since. I also spend a great deal of my day not talking to anyone, just moving through quietly. We live in a world of over stimulation. I am constantly saying to my teenage daughter to turn ‘that’ off. This generation seems to be consumed by taking on more and  more information. The biggest tragedy to date in her life was when she thought her cell phone was broken.

When we overstimulate the senses we move further away from balance. You may know this feeling if you have spent time in a large busy noisy city. It becomes almost overwhelming and  after a while and your body longs for the quiet again. We can also overstimulate ourselves by being surrounded by advertising, talking too much, overuse of computers or taking on too much work. When our constitution is already a bit fiery adding these stimuli to the mix will take us further away from centre. If we are already stressed, wound up, A type, too busy then more stimulation is exactly the wrong direction to fly towards. It will just make you more or what you already are. This pulling away from your centre will take you to burn out.

If you want to be a pillar of stability in this unstable world try some silent practices. Try turning off your phones and computers for a while. Maybe one day don’t listen to the news or read the paper. Walk outside, preferably in bare feet, on your own. Meditate. Sit and breathe for a while just listening to the ocean of breath. When there is a space in your day don’t try to fill it. Relax in a bath or yoga pose before bed.

Practice for today: When you mind is constantly bombarded from the outside and inside you lose the ability to make clear choices about your life. You become less and less a participant and more and more just going through the motions. Today take time out for yourself to sit in silence for a few minutes. Maybe even in a darkened space. Shanti, Shanti, Shanti….Peace, peace, peace.



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