Awake in the World

Once a year Bali spends three days in silence. It’s the country’s way to celebrate the New Year and bring a sense of balance and move into harmony with nature. Streets fall silent; families move indoors and remain in quiet communion. The period of quiet is a way to move more deeply into union with spirit. Offering in Bali  Photo by Debra Moffitt

“I know the secret of silence,” Indian saint, Mahatma Gandhi wrote. In the silence the mind comes to rest and all of the pieces come home like bees to the hive. The senses gather themselves together and the fragments of our self return home to become whole. Silent practices or vows have long been staples in religious communities. Monasteries and convents may practice partial or total silence. But it’s also possible to make it a practice in daily life.

Choose an hour, half a day, an entire day or even a week and stay silent. It may require some up-front explanation to family, friends and colleagues, and you may need to make a badge to let cashiers and airport attendants know what you’re up to. But like fasting from food, fasting from speech is a profound way of self-observation. In the silence we become receptive and listen more. It’s easy to recognize the difference between being in constant output and production mode and moving into a space of silent receptivity. In this quiet space miracles can and do happen. It creates wonderful opportunities for self-discovery.

Choosing to not speak is a first step to silencing the mind. It also conserves energy and brings about a totally new perspective on the world and the people we encounter. Will you give yourself the gift of a period of silence? It will be an opportunity to discover who your truly are beneath the chatter.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss”. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at and on Facebook at: