Relaxation Technique: The Mindful Art of Silence

Posted On Nov 11 2013    Author :Faith Fogel
Relax, and let your mind sink into the silence.  (Photo by Keller, Stock Exchange)

“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” –Confucius

To improve focus, boost creativity, and enhance therapeutic results, take silence.  Sounds like a bad ad campaign for the latest cure-all drug.  But this ancient remedy, silence, is free and not created in any lab.  And though it’s no drug, we crave it, as in “I just want some peace and quiet,” but when we get it, we don’t quite know what to do, and find ourselves missing all our lovely distractions.  Mindfulness experts, artists, and therapists concur: Silence is an essential relaxation technique, enhancing our ability to focus, our creativity, and our sanity.

When problems seem so overwhelming—the economy, politics, natural disaster, disease, or just the basic truth that we have little control over most things in life—we don’t necessarily expect simple answers.  Where does something as basic as silence fit into the chaos?

The answer lies in the question.  Because we live elaborate, busy, and chaotic lives, creating small spaces for silence can have a profound effect.  Yet this vital relaxation technique is often overlooked. Picture a painter beginning a new work.  You likely picture a large blank canvas, open to all possibilities.  Perhaps you even see a brush touching it, making that first line.

Every time we retreat into silence, even for a few minutes, our minds have the potential of becoming these blank canvases.  We often need to let the inner voices quiet too, and that can take time and practice.  Try it for a few minutes every day, and your mind will begin to relax, allowing your inner canvas to keep growing.  You’ll come out of the few minutes aware of new solutions and possibilities.

Ancient philosophers used the term “tabula rasa” or blank slate to refer to this way that our minds can be canvases that we actively shift and tint.  In mindfulness terms, it’s the natural, unencumbered state of our minds, when we actively step away from all the stress and busyness of our lives.

And remember, oh busy one, this isn’t a waste of time, because you’ll emerge from your silent relaxation sessions with improved focus, more creative energy, and greater overall peace of mind.   Mindfulnets…we’re here to support your practice.