So, what is “the silence fast?”
First, silence is defined as “stillness” or the absence of sound. To effectually maintain this stillness we have to eliminate those things that prevent the silence of the mind. Second, to “fast” usually involves abstaining from all forms of food, but in this case, the silence fast is the absence of noise. Examples of implementing this practice might look like the following: not watching TV; not using social media, e-mail, or internet; turning off the radio; talking only when absolutely necessary; meditating in an empty room; etc. Living in a state of intentional silence will look different to each individual as their personality requires.
The benefits of the silence fast vary, though they do commonly include: a peaceful outlook on life, a generally relaxed mental or spiritual state, and most significantly the ability to free the inner-self, or spirit, to hear the divine.
For myself, I crave those small quiet moments where I more fully recognize the presence of Jesus and can listen to him in the silence. At times, Jesus himself made silence and solitariness priority. There are many references to the uses of silence in scripture, of which these are a few: Psalms 4:4, Psalms 62: 1-2, Habakkuk 2:20, and Mark 1:35.
As a side note, learning to value the small moments in our day, as covered in my first article, could be helpful prior to starting the silence fast.
I hope you give intentional silence a try. If you do, let me know! I would love to know how you enjoyed it.
Selah. (pause and reflect)
If you enjoyed your small moments of silence, you may enjoyThe Apprentice Series, which is where I was first exposed to this spiritual practice.