Listening to silence

I’m listening to Eckhardt Tolle’s audio book Peace in the Present Moment. Being present and having a clear intent about how you spend your time is only a small part of what I talk about in my Organizational Zen presentations – so it’s awesome to hear six or seven hours on this one topic!

My big takeaway yesterday was on silence. We all know we could use more of it – but then what do we do with it? In our society, silence is an uncomfortable state. If you’re at a meeting or a party where everyone is quiet, there’s almost a race to fill the void with talking, a joke, data… Or when we get home to turn on the radio or TV. It almost feels sinful to be caught somewhere without something to do or something to think about or to listen to. When we have a quiet minute, we grab our phones or a magazine or a book. We dare not be caught in a moment of silence!

Eckhardt Tolle thinks just the opposite. When you’re conscious but silent, when even your mind is silent, then you are fully present.

Stop reading for a moment and listen to the silence in the room you’re in. If you’re in a room that’s noisy, listen to the silence around the noise.

That feeling of listening with intent is when you are fully present. You’re not thinking. You’re not reacting. You’re not analyzing or judging. In the silence, it’s just you and the atoms around you. And the silence. When you’re present with “what is,” there’s a wonderful peace you feel right at your core.

Being in that present moment, there’s no past and no future. Tolle suggests picturing the photos you keep in an album as they fade to white. And all the good things you’ve done, and anything bad you’ve done – it all just fades away and you have the present. Today and every day. You have the present which means you have a fresh start and no worries about the future.

[deep breath]

Namaste.

Here are two of my favorite pix from my recent southern travels. The first is along the belt line/walking path in Atlanta. The second is part of a display at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, DC about a village in Afghanistan, revitalized by local artists.

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I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for future posts!

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