#12 Three Days Silence Practice
After deep work at a cubicle in the library, I had an urge to stop talking. Focused and reflective, I felt the benefit of staying silent. Without the need to speak, I felt that I had more energy to think deeply. Additionally, abstinence from a certain X gives me insight into the value and nature of X. By removing my verbal communication, I am creating a level of separation between myself and the world which will lead to interesting observations. So I walked out of the library texting my friends that I want to do a week of silence.
It’s a tremendous privilege to crowdsource ideas from my friends. The questions they raised were valuable pointers for consideration. For example: “Is social interaction critical for day-to-day happiness?”, or “Will this practice push you to exhaustion instead of appreciation?” To make this practice more manageable the first time, I will try the following:
For 3 days starting Sunday, I will not speak or communicate with others (unless a critical issue arises). I will be present in social settings and listening, but I won’t be entering communication: no gestures, or face expressions. I won’t text, but I will check my email. When I don’t have to think of what to say, or how to respond, what will my mind be doing?