Personal Experiences When in Longer-Term Silence
The luxury (or horror depending on your perspective and psychological structure) of being in long-term silence is a rare thing in today’s noisy, super-active and reactive world. The experience is difficult to describe verbally. The best we can do is count on our own experiences and the writings of others with similar quietudes. I have noted that conveying such an experience may be indescribable, so we’ll look at what others have noted. I may add my own experiences.
- There is often an intensification of both physical and psychological sensations – mind-body effects.
- Sometimes one experiences disinhibition and a sense of total freedom.
- There may be a sense of being given a special connection to nature, the world, higher powers, and the gods.
- In rare cases, one may experience auditory hallucinations – often voices. Other psychosis-like experiences are relatively rare. Much of this depends on baseline mental health status.
- It is common to notice boundary confusion.
- In the best situations, one may experience exhilarating awareness and joyfulness.
- Sometimes the nature of the silent environment may produce feeling of being at risk, possible danger.
- An ultimate outcome would be the experience of deep bliss and safety.
- Being at one with it all – all the aspects of the experience – is a unique outcome.
I am certain there are more such experiences to convey. However, here we do have a good set of outcomes.
For more information refer to Maitland, S. (2008). A Book of Silence. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, pp. 43-79.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness