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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.


Silence is the sound that makes no noise. It comes and goes without us ever noticing. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to make it stay. There are many different classifications for silence and all come with their own connotations. Possibly the most well known is awkward silence. This type plagues people in all situations, especially first dates, and is always dreaded. In contrast, there is a more contemplative silence that gives way to deep thoughts. The interesting part is that both of these silences are the same, and it is only the way we view them that justifies the names. These are classified as physical silence and can be helpful for most people. Total silence is the only true type that combines physical and mental silence. Total silence for most people only lasts a few moments because our minds are always active and thoughts flow through them almost nonstop. Clearing your mind is one of the most difficult tasks and only advanced meditators can achieve this. When the mind is silenced everything becomes calm and it provides a deep rest that can only be achieved in this way. At Namo Buddha we practiced meditation every day and I realized the difficulty of complete silence as I was only able to attain this for a few seconds. While I couldn’t silence my mind, I was able to figure out the solution to awkward silence. Normally people try so hard to think of something to talk about but that’s where they go wrong. Next time you experience awkward silence just take a moment to try and forget about the awkward and focus on the silence. From personal experience, when you are trying to meditate and not think the thoughts will pour into you mind. During that next awkward silence just try and meditate and you will think of hundreds of things to talk about.