“Within yourself is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time.”
― Herman Hesse, author of Demian and Siddhartha.
As the world navigates its way around a new, unprecedented landscape, and with the new year giving us a space to begin anew, we’re all coming together in our shared intention for self-betterment: How can we move forward stronger and blossom with self-care and wellness?
In this cacophonous busyness we constantly find ourselves mired in, we discover – with renewed haste – how much we yearn for tranquil me-time. While the idea of shuttling ourselves to a holistic getaway is surely an enticing one, with travel – and by extension, the chance to embark on transformative journeys offshore – grounding to a halt, we can turn to making such transformative journeys inward.
“Maybe it does mean truly unplugging from the world, and just being able to be with yourself.”
There’s every reason why the phrase speech is silver, silence is golden has been passed down through the ages. Many well-researched studies have come to agree on the benefits that mindful silence confers – some of which include a cultivation of awareness, a stimulus detox, and higher tolerance and productivity levels. Perhaps this is a number you’ll find noteworthy – two hours of silence each day has been found to enhance clarity of mind and improve memory.
In many ways, we can perceive silence as a much-needed nourishment or remedy for the soul. We’ve all been there – it takes a lot of willpower to check your devices at the door and truly focus on being still, on ourselves and our surroundings.
With this quietness, however, comes a path for peace and self-discovery. Silence fine-tunes your focus and encourages a deep-dive into your consciousness, enabling a dissolving off of everything else that are external and material. What’s left to focus on are our awareness, intentions and body connection. The brain shifts from narratives to present-state moments, allowing you to access your beliefs and who you are inside – so that you can experience an emergence of self.
An approach we think can help begin your journey into stillness is by taking a vow of silence. The revered Mahatma Gandhi dedicated one day each week to practise mindful silence, because he believed that abstinence from speech engenders peace of mind and made him a better listener. Observing a Day of Silence is an exercise in honing mindfulness — it nurtures temperance and encourages you to embrace bodily awareness and embody intention.
“By taking a Day of Silence, it gives you the possibility to be more with your own self, your own thoughts, your own feelings, without the need of having to worry about communication with others, and you can take that to whatever level that you’d like to.”
In embarking on our journey to stillness, what does a Day of Silence look like? What does it mean? Can we order food? Can we text on our phones? Do we have to be silent all day?
Holistic and wellness experts Amber and Daniel shared with us a little more about the benefits of taking a vow of silence for a day and how we can incorporate this mindful practice at our own pace and time.
Amber: “The simplest answer to these questions is, ‘Everything is optional, nothing is forced.’ This is just to give you an opportunity to take a break from expanding all this energy through words and, have the permission and space to go inwards to yourself. By taking a Day of Silence, it gives you the possibility to be more with your own self, your own thoughts, your own feelings, without the need of having to about communication with others, and you can take that to whatever level that you’d like to.
Maybe it does mean putting your phone away and truly unplugging from the world, and just being able to be with yourself. Or maybe you feel more comfortable still being able to text or message, or maybe you just really want to talk. Ideally, we hope you would take this opportunity to go at a pace that is comfortable for yourself, to be able to go inward, to minimise external interactions and communication.”
Daniel: “If you’ve got this opportunity to go into silence, really do so. Take it, embrace it, and try your best to go into that inner world and work from the inside out. We can guarantee you that the benefits of this is fantastic, it’s magical, and it’s really healthy and beneficial. If you want to do it and fully experience stillness, just go in there and embody it.”
Our founder, Krystal, reflects on her own experience of mouna.
“As part of our retreat, An Emergence of Self, we practiced ‘mouna’ – the art of maintaining silence – over about one and a half days.
The Day of Silence was accompanied by embodiment movement sessions, meditation, journaling and forest bathing. Personally, I found that the world began to slow down as the day unravelled. I began to feel my mind becoming more and more dispossessed by thoughts; and there was a certain beauty in relating to others through non-verbal communication. It was more feeling-driven, and less mind-driven. There was a freedom in this.
I felt more connected with others’ “energy fields” rather than through the medium of words. I wondered to myself: How nice it is to connect with others without labels and thought constructs, observing my surroundings as if for the very first time, without attaching any judgment.
There’s also this sensation of nature and your surroundings observing “you” – and hence this feeling of interconnectedness which transcends beyond our human constructs of language and sense-making. I’m definitely incorporating this into my self-care routine – I might start with a few hours a week.”
If you’re looking to take the extra step forward in your journey inwards (whether solo or with loved ones), consider crafting your wellness journey with us, and get access to our curated black book of holistic sessions such as active meditation, embodiment practices and sound healing.
You can also sign up to our retreat waitlist and be one of the first to be informed of our upcoming retreats, events and new wellness experiences.
We look forward to journeying with you.