Here’s a simple story that demonstrates the power of silence.
There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in the barn. It was no ordinary watch because it had sentimental value for him. After searching high and low among the hay for a long while; he gave up and enlisted the help of a group of children playing outside the barn. He promised them that whoever found the watch would be rewarded.
Hearing this, the children hurried inside the barn, went through and around the entire stack of hay but still could not find the watch. Just when the farmer was about to give up looking for his watch, a little boy went up to him and asked to be given another chance.
The farmer looked at him and thought, “Why not? After all, this kid looks sincere enough.”
So the farmer sent the little boy back in the barn. After a while the little boy came out with the watch in his hand! The farmer was both happy and surprised and so he asked the boy how he succeeded where the rest had failed.
The boy replied, “I did nothing but sit on the ground and listen. In the silence, I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in that direction.”
In today’s world it is ironical that you can get everything at the push of a button but you can’t get tranquillity.
Stress comes from the constant onslaught of daily stimulation: emails, phones and all manner of entertainment and distraction. The best antidote is the cheapest—and the hardest to come by. Yet the benefits of just sitting and breathing and ignoring your thoughts and worries for even a few minutes a day can boost your immune system and cause enough attitude adjustment to jumpstart a whole lifestyle change.
Quiet isn’t just the absence of sound. The stillness one finds in green parks or watching a sunset is enough to calm the mind and lift the spirit. Says Michael Hunter, M.D., of the University of Sheffield, “Tranquility is a state of calmness and reflection, which is restorative compared with the stressful effects of sustained attention in day-to-day life.”
Quiet is a gateway to tranquility, healing and restoration, offers real physical benefits. It induces a mind-body connection that’s been demonstrated to relax muscles, lower anxiety and pain, and enhance one’s overall sense of control and well being. And all spiritual disciplines embrace it as the pathway to the divine, whether through silent meditation, prayer, chants or visual imagery.
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