Silent meditation, which you can experience in our weekly meditation class, is a way to quiet the mind and open the heart to the possibilities of the moment. Silence is a powerful tool that helps us turn inward and listen to the quieter voice that comes with insight. Before the voice of insight, of course, we first hear the louder thoughts that pass through: “Can I really sit here for a whole hour?” “My nose itches.” “I wonder what I’ll have for dinner.” “I can’t believe that so-and-so said such-and-such to me today.” And so on.

Once those thoughts—none based on the current moment—begin to fade to the steady rhythm of the breath, insight has the space to arise. Insight lands more like a feeling than a thought. It takes up the moment, and then, like everything else that arises, it passes. Only when we are truly silent can we access this treasure trove of wisdom that resides within us.

Some people might find, especially at first, that silence only amplifies the “monkey mind”—those incessant thoughts that continually pass through the mind. But when you view this amplification as a tool, as a way to bring your attention to the thoughts themselves, you will find that you can more easily let them go. By noticing the thoughts, you begin to understand how your mind strays from the present moment. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle. Once you recognize the true nature of your mind, you’ll find it easier to anchor your mind to the moment by simply remaining present with your breath.

Accessing the power of silence can help you tune into the healing nature of presence—your ability to experience the moment, as it exists. The more frequently you tune into this healing silence, the more frequently you’ll be able to experience the peace it brings. Set aside a few minutes a day for silent meditation. Start with 10 minutes, and build your way up as it feels comfortable. This one simple practice will have profound effects on your life when you keep at it over time.