Silence can be awkward in the beginning. Eventually, once mastered, you will experience great benefit.
Practice: Think only of your breathing. Allow all other thoughts to fall away. Do not block thoughts or push them away.
Example: If you think about making dinner, acknowledge the thought as existing. Do not indulge yourself in the thought process of thinking about what you will make or what you may need from the store to make it. The thought will fall away if not followed.
It can be helpful to have a pad and pen with you to jot the more persistent thoughts down. Persistent thoughts are usually tied to a belief of consequence. The brain will repeat the idea over and over to offer you protection. For instance, a repeated thought might be that your registration is due. If you don’t pay it on time, there will be a fine, an undesirable consequence. If you jot it down and you know it will be addressed, you can typically let the thought go.
Your thoughts may also want to follow a fun, peaceful, or exciting idea. Do not indulge yourself in these thoughts either. As soon as you start following a thought, the brain goes into action, creation, responsibility, etc. If you need joy in your life, these thoughts may persist. Make a note to address the issue of your need following the completion of your silence practice.
Purpose: Your silence practice is a form of re-connection. It is designed to bring you back to a true state of being. When we are born, we are free to live in the moment. As we begin to think, we create a storage system for each labeled item and event.
When you begin silence, as soon as you start your practice, your brain will begin to attempt to apply labels or memories to all things. This is habitual conditioning. This habitual process keeps you constantly out of the moment, always looking in the past to see what the label is or seeking the future to see how the label will be applied. By taking time for silence in your practice, you adjust this learned behavior to allow access to the state of being that lives only for the moment.