Silence Can Be Healing
When you turn your thoughts inward, quiet the mind and let go of the ego, you release healing energy. This can happen during meditation, listening to beautiful music, taking a walk in nature or observing art. Art also has blank spaces, negative spaces and positive spaces. The positive spaces would be meaningless without the negative or blank spaces, just as music needs rests along with notes.
Music Without Silence is Just Noise
We often overlook silence (rests) in music. The rests are just as important as the notes, and the silence makes the notes afterward more powerful. The silence allows for rhythm, dynamics and melodies to have meaning. Rests add to the intrigue, beauty and drama of music. As a musician, I understand how challenging it can be to slow down and take time between phrases. One characteristic of a great musician’s performance is the ability to have periods of silence, pauses or space between phrases.
Communication Requires Some Silence
When someone else is talking, one of the best things you can do is to listen. This can be difficult because we’re often thinking about what we’re going to say next rather than listening. Paying attention to what someone else is saying can be very powerful, both for you and for the talker. You show respect, empathy and interest when you are silent and listen. A general rule is to speak in proportion to the number of people in the conversation. For instance, if there are two people, you talk approximately half of the time and listen half the time. When there are four people, each person talks approximately one-fourth of the time.
Silence and Spirituality
Inner silence is a great way to get in touch with our Creator, God, Divine Power, or whatever label you prefer. Many religions use this inner stillness. In Christianity there is silent prayer or Christian meditation, which is listening rather than thinking. In Hinduism and many paths of yoga, silence is used for inner growth. In Buddhism, allowing the mind to become silent leads to spiritual enlightenment. Quaker worship services often have a silent time, which allows the divine to speak in the heart and mind.
Take Time for Some Silence in Your Life
Find at least a few minutes each day to turn off the chatter in your mind. Allow yourself to think of nothing, even it’s for a very short time. Listen to others, listen to the music in the background, observe the beauty in nature, observe a piece of art. If you are a musician, appreciate and use pauses and silence in your music. Try allowing an extra half second between phrases or sections of your music. Silence is golden.