Silence is Golden

Perhaps not original, but today I confirmed that it’s actually true. I’m almost done taking my first MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Relief) class, and today was the all-day silent retreat. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but while excited to have a day for introspection, I wasn’t really expecting much. I was wrong.

cloister

Ok, so it didn’t look like this, but there is a gentle quality to the time spent in silent meditation which I found refreshing and healing… and more. When the day began, we were cautioned to try to avoid speaking unless something beyond the scope of the class came up. We were also advised to avoid eye-to-eye contact with the others in the class. That struck me as odd. The 27 of us have been together every Wednesday night for 6 weeks now. We’ve gotten to be friends, we know each other, yet today, we didn’t interact in anyway at all. No words, no glances and no facial expressions. That turned out to be a very nice supportive part of the day too. With no one to interact with, and no way to really get out of our own heads (no music, no cell phones, no books) I found myself sailing deep into seldom visited coves and bay of my mind. I quickly saw, that to try to come up and out of that place to exchange some social nicety would have ended the meditative part of my day without actually providing any real communication. Everyone else was under the same “no talking” rule, so we quietly walked past each other and sat beside each other from 9am until 4pm. Silence.

I had one epiphany. I’m currently in a rather temporary and transitory stage of life, so the concept of “Home” has been a hard one lately. I’m not sure if I have one; I’m not sure I ever will again. Today, sitting on my yoga mat or walking quietly in the grass with no one else distracting me from me – well I found a bit of home right there. Just being me, and being with me. I was home. Not in the sense of being located in a place which was home. I, the person writing these words became home. I was with me, and me myself and I became home. Convoluted verbiage, but hopefully you get it.

Home really is where the heart is. Not some long lost place where you left your heart. Your heart beats now in your chest. Be there. Open your heart to yourself, and welcome yourself home.

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