Getting My Learning On Pt 4: Silence

The Mindfulness Practices for the Educator course is starting this weekend.  (It’s part of our Mindfulness for Educators concentration, one of my favorite things at AUNE.) I’m not very good at Mindfulness but I know enough about it to know what it is and how I’d do it if I were going to do it very well.  One of the things I’ve learned (mostly from years of sharing an office with Susan Dreyer Leon) is this idea that right now is what matters- not what happened 10 years or 10 minutes ago or what might (or might not) happen 10 years or 10 minute from now.  It’s a lovely, freeing way of being the world, to tell you the truth.  I’ve also learned that there’s value in silence- even though my silence is usually filled by my brain chattering at me like a monkey, reminding me of everything I need to do, should do, forgot to do, or should worry that I need to do but will forget.  Eventually, I can calm it (actually, the process feels a lot like the ways I used to get my hyper toddlers to settle down at bedtime many years ago), usually just by paying more attention to the silence than the chattering.  

Then I ran across this is one of Torin’s books (Finding Your Self)…

During his life, Gandhi often affirmed the tremendous power and creativity of silence… he urged his followers to adopt periods of voluntary silence to find the inner courage needed to overcome oppression…


Yet silence is not just the pushing inside of external stimuli; it can also be cultivated in the small in between times of life. Even a very small space, such as the interval between two notes, it is a moment that can be magical. Life is very full of in-between moments: riding an elevator, waiting for a phone call to go through, listening for the thunder after lightning flash–they are all pregnant opportunities. The spiritual question is “What do we do with these in-between moments?” Do we simply rush through them, growing patient, try to fill them with multitasking? Or can we be more like the human heart, which actually arrest the movement of blood for the slightest moment, a time in which much can happen to further human consciousness. If we can expand those small moments of silence in daily life, we can open up opportunities for something else to enter…


Silence.  Mindfulness.  It doesn’t have to be hours or days or even minutes.  Seconds, in-betweens, can be enough to bring us back to ourselves and make space for something new to emerge.

Maybe I’m better at this mindfulness thing than I thought I was.


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