Invent National Day of Noble Silence
by Soul Places | Diane Ludeking
I shared this list with a group of friends last week and the National Day of Noble Silence drew lots of gasps and cheers. I’m not even sure how it ended up on the list since I don’t know that much about it. It must have been inspired by a daylong meditation retreat I participated in around that time. During this retreat I practiced mindful eating at lunch, mindful walking from point A to point B and no conversation with each other between meditations. In addition to those things, a Day of Noble Silence would include no eye contact, no TV or radio and awareness of every movement you make and thought you have. Basically it’s a day arranged for just you and the voices in your head. Sound like fun?
I thought so when I did it. I stopped eating when I was full because I paid attention to every bite. I scratched my nose because it itched, not because I felt awkward in a group and needed to make an unconscious gesture to unconsciously reveal my discomfort. There was no pressure to make small talk at lunch. I brought my unconscious thoughts to my attention and realized why I’d been feeling so pent up lately. I left with a whole new appreciation for myself.
Naturally, I began to daydream about what a National Day of Noble Silence would look like. Would you answer the phone at work if it fell on a workday? Would you even go to work? Maybe it would become a paid holiday. Brilliant! What better way to nourish and refresh employees? How awkward would it be though, not to talk to your partner or roommate, not even making eye contact as you pass in the kitchen? Would the grocery stores have to close for this day or could we manage the checkout lane without eye contact or speaking? What about my animals? Can I still pet them and smile at them? No cell phones seem obvious but what about Facebook and email?
I’m sure someone would figure out how many billions of dollars in commerce would be lost this day and it would never be given a second thought. But I think the tradeoff in emotional and spiritual commerce would be worth it. What do you think? Can we do it?
Make your own idea list and go for at least one of them. I ended up going on the trail ride.