Thursday, 20 December 2012

Silent Night

Guest post by Waverly Fitzgerald

Silence is the strength of our interior life.
Thomas Merton

When I first read that the feast day of Diva Angerona, the Roman goddess of silence, was celebrated on the winter solstice, I decided to spend the daylight hours of the solstice in silence, a custom I have maintained for many years. It requires a bit of advance preparation (warning my friends and family of my intentions, going shopping for any necessities ahead of time) but it has been well worth it. I love the way the silence changes everything. I become more aware of both the endless chatter that goes on in my mind and my inner voice. When I emerge from my day of silence, I feel like I'm emerging from a deep pool.

This week, at the darkest time of the year, look for opportunities to bring silence into your life. Go for a solitary walk, perhaps on the Day of the Winter Solstice. Turn off the other voices that normally fill your space: give up listening to the news, reading on the bus, or tuning in to NPR. Set aside an evening when you will be alone in your home, with no TV on, with no phone, with no book to read. What thoughts and experiences will you gather in silence?

Waverly Fitzgerald writes about seasonal time and holidays at Living in Season.

1 comment:

  1. I try to do a media fast one day a week, usually on the moon phase day, if I can. It entails no TV, reading/writing, computer, movies, and no money spending. I use the time to be out in Nature, engage in quiet crafting like spinning/knitting and introspection/prayer. It is a nice break to unplug from the world. My mind and attention has a chance to be focused rather than fragmented. It is like a long exhale. When I re-emerge, I find I haven't missed much.
    I hope in the new year I will be able to practice silence or "fasting" more frequently and perhaps the feeling of peace and serenity will permeate other areas of my life and begin to positively impact others. In past times, when there were fewer demands on humans and only a few could actually read or have access to books, they were focused on their spiritual lives, in deeper communication with their spiritual selves. I wonder at what changes we could see in ourselves, in our world, if we allowed space for that spiritual core to evolve and become prominent again.
    There is much to be said about this topic, but brevity is of the essence here, I suspect. : ) Should you endeavor to take on a media break, immerse yourself in silence, try it on in short intervals and let your inner voice be your guide. Peace, E