Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Wisdom Wednesday :: Energetic Silence


Silence is a rare commodity in our lives. Our culture does not value silence, does not provide us with rituals to cultivate it, and we often finds ourselves in an “uncomfortable” silence. Why would that be? Silence in those moments is seen as a problem, a deficit to be avoided. It seems alien — what am I supposed to do with this? And the assumed pressure that something must be done with it because sitting in silence is not OK.
Mindfulness meditation practice helps us to bring silence into our lives, to value it and to nourish it. When we sit in silence, our surroundings may be from the “noise” of conversations, reading, television, status updates, and so forth. However, our internal landscape may be anything but silent. That’s fine, of course, and what we work with in practice. Each time we retrieve attention back from the noise of the future/past we experience a moment of silence — however fleeting. 
Silence is a powerful mode of our being and one that waits for us to arrive, and, like the breath, is always available when we give ourselves permission to notice it. We can seek to become intimate with silence and to notice that it is not blank, but energetic. Energetic silence is what the Buddha would have considered the most accurate representation of our true nature. That is, who we are when all the stories stop. It’s nibbana (Pali) or nirvana (Sanskrit) — what we experience when the  clinging and grasping stops. 
To help with the cultivation of silence, familiarize yourself with these meditation practices. I have posted CD 4 of the Exquisite Mind guided meditation series in the “Learn” section of my website These practices are called “advanced” not because they are better than the basic practices, just more challenging and probably not the first practice you’ll want to try. The “Mind Scan” looks at all objects of attention including sound, thoughts, and feelings, noticing them as they arise and change. The second practice is simply called “Emptiness” and provides approximately forty minutes of mostly silence to structure your experience of silence. Listen and download these mp3s by clicking here
  • Colleen

    “Energetic Silence” reminds me of a lesson learned years ago while performing on stage. A director advised me that it takes the same energy to create a quiet scene as it takes to do a more emotionally charged scene. We have the same energy moving through us at all times and we have a choice as to how we will use it. Silence really is a “powerful mode of our being”, and just as energetic as any other expression of our “self”.

  • Ed Kosak

    From Kosak to Kozak: nice column. Love the Silence. There’s a cool group called “Friends of Silence”.

Previous Posts

Thanksgiving 2015
If you've read my posts about Thanksgiving before, you know my basic premise is that we should be thankful everyday, not just this day. In fact, we could be thankful in every moment we are alive. Each moment that we are not, we are missing an ...

posted 9:01:46am Nov. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Meditating on Resistance
Earlier this season, just about the time when kids went back to school, I started noticing something. Roxy, a dog in my neighborhood would ...

posted 12:24:08pm Nov. 02, 2015 | read full post »

How to Live Well with Chronic Illness and Pain
I wrote a prepublication endorsement for Toni Bernhard’s latest book: How to Live Well With Chronic Illness and Pain:  As a psychotherapist treating chronic pain, I wish this book had been written years ago. This is an invaluable guide for ...

posted 11:38:57am Oct. 14, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Sangha
Mindfulness A to Z official release is here! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Sangha" The sangha is the community of people who follow the teachings of the Buddha, or more generically, anyone who engages in mindfulness meditation. When ...

posted 10:31:30am Sep. 22, 2015 | read full post »

E is for Effort
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "E is for Effort" We may need to encourage ourselves gently in the direction of practice. Challenges arise. Daily life is complicated and busy; it may seem like we ...

posted 3:25:12pm Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.