Sunday, August 14, 2011

Does Silence Matter?

I was on my morning walk with Frisco and Ziggy, listening to my Ipod when it occured to me that the music was a distraction to the world around me.  I am not saying that music is a bad thing.  I love music, I love to sing, and I think music has a sacred place in our culture.  But what about silence?  Does silence have a sacred place too?
Have you ever felt relieved when your children go to sleep because you can finally hear your own thoughts?  I have read that many people fear silence because they equate silence with death.  When children are born they learn early on that sound is the easiest way to get attention.  Giggles, squeals, cries, shouts all get your attention and the comfort of your presence.  So the child equates the sounds they make with getting your love.
Is the TV, computer, radio, CD player on at your house all the time?  There is constant input to our ears.  Input that we can control.  It can be challenging to hear your own thoughts when there is a lot of noise already coming into your head.
Silence is important.  In silence we can quiet our minds and listen to our hearts.  You don't have to "meditate" and sit idly in one spot.  You can have silent time at your house when everyone is doing something but all media is off, talking is discouraged, and children and families learn to enjoy the peace and tune into their own hearts.
We play the silence game at school.  Maria Montessori created this game and it is played with reverance.  The value of silence is hard to measure, but it brings with it a variety of benefits.  Among these are peace, creativity, critical thinking, connections to the universe, and an open heart.

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