Once a month I take a day of silence. It is the last Sunday of each month. Today is my day of Silence. One of the beauties of this practice is that it gives me one day a month where I am in a state of mindfulness for the day.
What I notice with this practice is that I tend to “wake up/get up” slightly differently on this day and I am wondering about this. I take more time. I deliberately begin my waking moments with a pause and an invitation to be in the space of gratitude for all that comes today. No rush. No hurry. Nothing is a problem waiting to be solved. These days when I am currently working with a certain amount of stiffness and pain in my body, this kind of waking time is of particular note because I am less “afraid” somehow of how my body might feel when I actually step out of bed. This may sound strange to some but to me because of the experience often of pain when I walk, the first act of getting out of bed means engaging immediately with the subtle (and at times not subtle at all) experience of physical pain.
What I note on my days of silence, however, is that when I take this extra time to be glad for this day, for the time to be contained/constrained by a practice of Silence, this act of limitation creates a deep relaxation in me physically. It seems like I shift the emphasis on my own internal energy from that of so much “fire” to that of more “water” ~
Grace is. I am. When I connect my sense of “I” to my sense of “Grace”, they become one and my whole body relaxes. This relaxation for me often brings “water” ~ the water of tears, gentle tears of deep relaxation and surrender into a feeling of being held by the Universe, wholly and completely.
Grace has such gentleness in it and yet such power. I often have not put these two words together but through my days of silence I am realizing that they are deeply and profoundly connected. I am beginning to wonder if it is possible to have one without the other. I believe that it is this very combination of what seem like opposite qualities that I begin to experience the difference between “power” and “force”. Power that is creative, generative and life giving versus force which is imposing, bullying and constricting.
I suspect there is a new practice for me brewing that would be about a more consistent way of engaging with my day in the very first waking moments of my morning. I am sure there are thousands of people around the world that have already figured this one out and I am merely stepping into the “slipstream” of their practice. I am glad others have laid the way for me to find this in myself and join them in the ongoing creation of a deeper experience of Grace for the whole.