Ever since Maharishi Mahesh Yogi inaugurated the Transcendental Meditation movement in 1958, he started each year with a week of silence.

Those of us who worked at the international level of the organization or who were in a residence course facility also took a week of silence. This tradition has continued since Maharishi’s passing.

A Relief to Unplug

I’ve been fortunate to take the week of silence almost every year since 1975. Some people can’t imagine not talking for a week and turning off the TV and computer, but it’s my favorite week of the year.

First of all, it’s a welcome relief to unplug from all the noise—such as the not so uplifting news in the media. Second, it’s profoundly restful. Most of all, it’s conducive to fathoming deeper layers of silence and joy within.

I’m able to increase the time of my practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM Sidhi Program, and it’s good to feel that I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything like cooking or marketing.

Inner and Outer Silence

In the first couple of days of silence, I notice a lot of thoughts, but usually around the third day the noise in my head stops, and I become aware of outer peace and deep inner contentment. The atmosphere starts to vibrate in silence.

Meditations become so absorbing and charming. I often have the experience of sitting at what seems to be the switchboard at the source of all activity or at the depths of an ocean where the silence is rich and full. Sometimes I notice fascinating patterns of sparkling light.

The silence is so expansive that I don’t feel the boundaries of my body or space and time. I experience an unbounded state of pure being, which the Vedic literature calls samadhi.

Usually I take daily walks during the week. However, this year it was zero degrees outside. All of nature seemed more still and silent in the bitter cold. The last two days the temperature was warmer, and I was able to go out and get some fresh air. Nature seemed to smile upon me and dance in sparkling divinity.

By the end of the week, I always wish I could take silence for another week. At the same time, one week feels like the perfect amount of time.

What would the world be like if everyone took a week of silence—even one day of silence? I’m sure we’d emerge a little wiser and more peaceful, realizing what a waste of precious life it is to even think about the foolishness of war.

Wishing you the power of silence in 2018!

Author's Bio: 

Ann Purcell is an award winning author—her latest publication is Tender Flower of Heaven a collection of 130 poems. Ann has been a full-time teacher of Transcendental Meditation since 1973, teaching Transcendental Meditation and advanced courses in many countries around the world. In addition, she has worked on curricula and course development for universities and continuing education programs. She over sees the teaching of Transcendental Meditation in girl’s schools and communities in several countries in Africa.

She also is a song-writer and has recorded 7 CDs.

Ann is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and has been featured in many podcast and radio interviews.