1. Please tell us about the “silence” assignment that is a part of your personal development trainings.
The training is made up of a number of enquiries (sections) and the purpose of the assignments is to create the environment to experience the enquiries individually. Developing self-awareness requires us to become observers of our current thought processes; what is driving us, our reactions and responses to particular circumstances – this often leads us straight out of our comfort zone. The purpose of this particular assignment is experience one’s inner thoughts and movements more vividly and this is best done in silence. It is also about the participants’ taking a risk, stepping outside their comfort zone and being in action of their promise to be silent.
2. Why is this an important part of the training?
This is due to the fact that all our work is about creating the space to retreat from being completely identified with our thoughts and feelings. In other words, create a gap in between the thoughts and feelings so that our participants see that they do have a choice rather than jumping straight away into their reactions. On the training, at the point where participants have spent two intensive days becoming aware of themselves in a whole new way – this uncovers their potential in a manner that they perhaps may not have previously seen. In seeing that a new state of consciousness is available; this provokes a torrent of thoughts, rationalisations, assessments, interpretations etc. and in this exercise, the participants get to be still, and just “look” – this in essence is how we stay Conscious, by looking and being aware, rather than and before constantly reacting / deciding / acting.
3. What is the therapeutic value of silence?
Being in the business of transformation, for us it is not a question of whether it is therapeutic or not. Every human being benefits from having a healthy distance to their cognitive movements/thoughts such that they do have a choice in the matter rather than just being taken away or used by a reaction and later regretting what they have done or said. So to be able to reflect first, before one acts is found to be extremely beneficial by most graduates of our work and on their way to becoming a more conscious human being.
This in turn provides us with the opportunity to be more effective and make clearer decisions. Also, by turning inward and allowing ourselves reflection, we create the possibility for cleaning and clearing of the mind. We get to observe thought patterns and their impact on us.
4. Do your trainers also practice silence? If so, why, how often and for how long?
On the training, in preparation for delivering this assignment to the participants, our trainers conduct the exact same exercise the night before so that they are fully in the presence of the value and impact of this tool. Outside of the trainings, practicing silence is an individual choice and a trainer may practise silence; however there are no official assignments for that because when the mind calms down, silence is a beautiful natural consequence. Additionally all of our trainers are well practised in and train various methods of meditation. This is an essential element of the Consciousness trainings, which is introduced in the programmes subsequent to the training.
5. Any other thoughts on silence or silence therapy or coaching?
One of the greatest resistances we experience in our participants in relation to this exercise is their perceived inability to communicate with loved ones during this exercise and their assumption about how it will negatively impact the other or even cause separation. The overwhelming feedback we get afterwards, is how deeply it created connection and intimacy. They observe that words get in the way and that in every experience; bonding with children, lovers, pets, friends and even attendants at fuel stations was more open-hearted, intimate and empowering.