Yesterday I spent 10 hours in silence

Yesterday I spent 10 hours in silence ❤️🙏❤️

My 2 year old son has gone on holiday with his Daddy, so yesterday I took the opportunity to create a silent retreat for myself in my flat, no phone, no computer, no contact with the outside world, just me on my own in the flat. For 10 hours I did 45 minute sitting meditations, I punctuated these with 20 minute walking meditations which involved walking 10/12 steps pausing, turning around and walking the 10/12 steps back again. I read a few inspiring teachings on mindfulness, I cooked myself nourishing food, made a real point of noticing every delicious mouthful, I did half an hour of mindful movement and 20 minutes of mindful looking. I’m lucky to have a beautiful view across my little town to a woodland, I watched the birds soaring across the beautiful blue sky, little wispy clouds come and go, the wind gently move the trees….The first thing that struck me during the day was sounds, I felt like when I was moving and making breakfast I was moving to a soft orchestra! The sound of the tea spoon in the cup, the sound of opening the cupboard, putting the tea bag in the bin, my slippers on the floor, the hum of the road outside, the odd seagull making itself known. As I sat I noticed I felt wired, I was still on alert and in ready to help at any moment mode with my my son, my thoughts were whirling, of things to do, wondering if my boy was ok… as I walked, my feet connected to the ground, every little part of my foot, I noticed how it felt as I lifted them and then returned them to the ground, no rush, no where to go… my mind continued to do it’s thing… the hours passed, the sun moved from one side of the flat to the other…I noticed I was struck by how everything is constantly shifting and changing but on also on some level staying the same..I only had each moment which rolled into the next which actually felt like one continuous moment and yet the universe was moving around me..I reflected on consciousness…is the universe held by an infinite consciousness and everything shifts and moves within it yet I am also part of the consciousness which is eternal but also part of the universe which constantly shifts and changes? ….boredom started to arrive at about 3pm…I welcomed it..explored it’s edges, it’s depth, how does boredom really feel…. 2 hours left, my mind wanted to stop, I can end this now, I don’t need to do anymore…but I chose to carry on…My last 45 minute sit as the day was drawing to a close…felt really rich…my mind had begun to felt like 20 minutes…At the end I opened my eyes..the sun was shining in though the window, I felt awake, present and so deeply touched by the beauty and fragility of life. I slowly connected with the world again…my practice seeped into my evening and I chose to sit and watch the sun set from my living room window…what an awesome mystery this all is!! Life can feel so utterly overwhelming sometimes and other times its so beautiful your heart bursts…taking time in silence can allow you to begin to integrate everything, it can allow you to process and also to notice the small beautiful things even if life is difficult. You don’t need to 10 hours…10 minutes can also be so beneficial if you lead a very busy life. I’ll finish with these lovely words from acoustic ecologist Gorden Hampton “Silence is not the absence of something, but the presence of everything”


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