Silent meditation doesn’t have to be fancy, or hours-long, to be effective.

Master teachers like davidji* have shown us that we can start reaping the benefits of a mindful meditation practice by starting with only a few seconds of silence a day.

Think of a body of moving water: a stream, a river, a trickle from the garden hose. Now, if we threw a pebble into that body of water… not much would happen, right? It certainly doesn’t seem that way. But, something does happen. For a few brief seconds, the water flows around the pebble. There is no water where the pebble is. Only the pebble.

Now imagine that the moving water represents our thoughts: constantly moving, bubbling, rising. And the pebble is the briefest moment of silence. An inhalation. An exhalation. Just the tiniest bit of space.

And when we are learning to meditate, that’s where we start. With a single second of space… of silence. Then we add another, and another. The pebble grows larger and larger over time, until one day it’s a boulder. Maybe even an island!

In my meditation practice right now, I’m floating somewhere around hefty pebble of silence. For years, I’ve enjoyed guided meditations because I can focus on the music or words while I bliss-out. But I’ve been working on dedicating a few minutes each day to stillness and silence. My brain is pretty noisy place, so if I can do it, then you certainly can.

*I highly recommend davidji’s brilliant 16seconds videos.

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