31 Days of Quality Time :: Day 8, Habit No. 2

Monday, October 8, 2012

{This post is part of a series. To start from the beginning, click here.}
In 1952, Norman Vincent Peale wrote, "In the circumstances of modern life, with its acceleration of pace, the practice of silence is admittedly not so simple as it was in the days of our forefathers. A vast number of noise-producing gadgets exist that they did not know, and our daily program is more hectic. Space has been annihilated in the modern world, and apparently we are also attempting to annihilate the factor of time." The Power of Positive Thinking

My goodness, what would he think of us now?

I read The Power of Positive Thinking at the beginning of this year and it helped me tremendously. It is no wonder it is a classic. It is full of practices that are "based on the teachings of Jesus Christ" who was (after all) a pretty positive person. Sure, Dr. Peale's anecdotes and writing style include a 1950s time warp, but I find that endearing. 

One technique he suggests for developing a peaceful mind is the daily practice of silence. "Everyone should insist upon not less than a quarter of an hour of absolute quiet every twenty-four hours. Go alone into the quietest place available to you and sit or lie down for fifteen minutes and practice the art of silence. Do not talk to anyone. Do not write. Do not read. Think as little as possible . . . Conceive of your mind as the surface of a body of water and see how nearly quiet you can make it . . . When you have attained a quiescent state, then begin to listen for the deeper sounds of harmony and beauty and of God that are to be found in the essence of silence."

Sounds like something my yoga instructor would say at the end of class. Except that last part about God. And it sounds like the sort of peace I feel after that last part of yoga class, when we lay on the floor and everyone is silent. 

So, practicing silence is a good thing - but fifteen minutes? I can't imagine. Let's start smaller. Five minutes of silence (and stillness) . . . at some point . . . today. Go.
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5 Comments »

5 Responses to “31 Days of Quality Time :: Day 8, Habit No. 2”

  1. We tried doing this in our Bible study last week. We all felt so uncomfortable. I long for silence but it feels a bit odd when I actually get it!!

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  2. Oh gosh - group silence! Super uncomfortable!

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  3. I absolutely love that you read that book. Awesome. I agree with what he said, some things don't ever go out of style with age.

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  4. Working on silence and solitude at our house, too.

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  5. 5 minutes was my challenge, too! Now I'm working on 10. Kind of a relief that the "recommended" time is 15. Only one more jump!

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