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Silence resides in the gap between your thoughts, in the moments before and after sounds and also beneath sounds if you can hear constant noise.
If you focus on your breath passing in and out of your lungs your thoughts begin to slow down and occasionally you will find you stop thinking.
The quiet place within is always there although it can take practice to become aware of it.
Silently observe animals or pets, the way they move, often slowly, often silently – extremely alert, present in the moment.
Watch water flow, notice the movement, swirling, rushing, fast, still, listen to the sounds, notice light and dark, glistening, bubbling, colours and clarity. Watch the rain fall – the noise, colours, smells, temperature, gaps, shadows, puddles, reflections and the silence after falling.
In all these examples notice how the “now” remains; the present moment is like a canvas on which all the above happens. Sense the silence on waking first thing in the morning and last thing at night before sleeping. Silent Watching Meditation can be practiced anytime during the day to allow you brief moments of quiet.
There are hundreds more Mind Maps, illustrations and drawing tips planned here at the Mind Map Inspiration Blog plus ongoing creativity and drawing tips. Also available: E-Books designed to help you create stylish and artistic mind maps of your own. If you know someone who could benefit from this post and others here at the Mind Map Inspiration Blog please share with them. Participating in a silent meditation retreat is the surest way to learn mindfulness meditation, to deepen your meditation practice, and to integrate the Buddha’s teachings fully into your life. At the peak of his career, former CEO and Editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, Phillip Moffitt, traded in his worldly aspirations to explore the inner life.

How to Live More Skillfully, Make Better Decisions, and Find Purpose in LifeEmotional Chaos to Clarity can be purchased in bookstores and on the Internet. Please consider making a donation to Dharma Wisdom to assist us in carrying out our mission of helping individuals live a values-based spiritual life in alignment with Buddhist principles. Is it possible to survive 10 days without talking, a week without TV, or even three days without making eye contact with another human being?
A vipassana, silent meditation, mindful meditation, or insight meditation retreat is up to 10 days of intense meditation practice where talking and all forms of communication with other students is banned. Silent meditation retreats are based on the practice of vipassana, “to see things as they really are,” and a focus on the intense interconnection between body and mind.
If, for you, meditation is the time between appointments that you spend with your eyes closed and a bar of chocolate, then you’re in for a shock when you step through the doors of the meditation retreat, which could take place in a center anywhere from Thailand to New Mexico. You must also abstain from eating after midday, not decorate your body with jewelry, fancy clothes or makeup, and abstain from sleeping in a luxurious bed. Outsiders may view a silent meditation retreat as strikingly close to being a prison camp, but attendees that have survived – and thrived – through the 10 days claim to be changed souls. Join the community and discover yoga together with hundreds of thousands from all over the world.
If you try too hard to stop thinking it can become harder still – the key is practice; patiently and effortlessly waiting for thoughts to subside. Feel the breeze and experience the air with all the senses; notice the feeling on your skin and hair. Here are upcoming silent retreats that Phillip Moffitt will be teaching at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and other spiritual centers around the U.S. He subsequently founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches vipassana meditation with an emphasis on living the dharma in daily life.
Step away from the cell phone and listen carefully, because a silent meditation retreat could change your life.

At the end of the experience, aficionados claim to be energized, creatively inspired and able to access a deep well of joy. Retreats are run on a non-charge, non-profit basis for anyone to attend – so long as they abide by the rules and regulations and stay for the entire meditation period.
Secondly, you’ll be waking up close to 4am each day and spending until 9pm in lectures and silent contemplation – a silent meditation retreat is not a spa vacation; you need to work hard, mentally and physically, to gain from this practice. The code of conduct is designed to calm the mind and reduce the distractions that could harm your meditation practice. You feel all you need to feel without moving away from the pain or the discomfort – being silent gives you the certainty that emotions do not last  forever and pain passes through. Many people return to experience silent meditation every year as a way of coping with the hardships of everyday life, easing depression, becoming more aware, and being able to fully exist in the moment – without relying on the clamor of modern life to drown out their inner voice. Like waiting for gaps between noises, allow thoughts to come without trying to control them and then let go. Without the get-out-clause of a chat with your best friend at the end of it, or a quick check of your emails halfway through? Here’s how vipassana is taking the world by silent storm. The idea is that participants gain awareness, self-control, and peace through turning inward with meditation. Different retreats vary in terms of the exact regulations but with any option, if you’re not willing to make a determined effort, then this experience might not be for you. Persevere daily and you will develop a quiet place within where you can relax whenever you want to. You find your way through the inevitable boredom and come out of the other side with greater clarity.

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