Never Miss a Good Chance to Shut Up!


Will Rogers!  Remember him?  He was a popular figure in the 1920s and 30s.  He was a cowboy, an actor, a humorist, and social commentator.  If you’ve never heard of him, look him up, you young’uns. Will Rogers is quoted often for his acerbic sense of humor.  He said, “Never miss a good chance to shut up.”  I would vigorously nod my head in agreement!

His words should ring true for anyone looking for the chance to be silent, to go within, to let go of the ceaseless activity of the world.  A lot of us are so used to “chatting up” those around us, we measure ourselves by the perceived wisdom of our own words and fill the silence with something, with anything, even if it is drivel.  A lot of us think that only by thinking and then sharing those thoughts is anything at all accomplished.  We are immersed in sound and noise – the radio, the television, the traffic, our iPods playing, our cell phones texting — it is no wonder we have forgotten what it means to just be. Be still.  Be silent.

No thoughts, no action, no movement, total stillness:

only thus can one manifest the true nature and law of things

from within and unconsciously, and at last,

become one with heaven and earth.

Lao Tzu

You may not think you want to become one with heaven and earth.  It may seem that you’ve come this far without letting your self rest in silence.  All of that is well and good.  Then, carry on, as they say.  You are free as a bird — maybe.  But manyof us are tired of the incessant activity and noise. If we take only a few minutes to quiet ourselves, most of us will find refreshment and comfort in those moments.  It is easy enough to do.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Just before falling asleep or getting into bed, try to rest your mind. Let go of the replay of the day.  Maybe focus on something small you enjoyed during the day, then quiet the mind.
  • Just before rising, take a minute or two to feel gratitude for a chance to sleep and rest.  Think of something that will be pleasant in the coming day, then rest the mind. Stop thinking. Just observe.
  • During the day, at any time, stop and clear your mind.  Try thinking “No thoughts. No words. Silence.” Then, do it.  Be silent.
  • Find a cue that works for you.  Perhaps each time you sip a beverage,stop and rest.  Whenever you pick up your cell phone, take one beat to stop.
  • Best of all, block a period of time to devote to being still, using a meditative practice or just feeling your breath flow in and out. Start with five minutes, then the sky is the limit.

It is the stillness that will save and transform the world.

Eckhart Tolle

You may think it is hyperbole to suggest that something as simple as stillness could actually transform, even save, the world.  But what if it were true?  What if a simple act of quieting could bring about such change?  It starts with you.  Forget, for now, about changing the world.  Change yourself — by the simple act of silence.  Why not?


About deannemincer

Deanne Mincer has been a long time student of religious and spiritual studies. For many years, she was a practitioner of yoga and in the late 1980's she was drawn to share her enthusiasm by becoming a yoga teacher. Her certification, from the Himalayan Institute, was a comprehensive two year program including the study of anatomy, diet, nutrition, Ayurvedic medical practices, the methods of teaching hatha yoga, the science of breath and the study of raja (the royal path of yoga) philosophy. She has taught yoga, meditation, and spiritual classes for more than twenty years. In the mid 1990's she became a follower of Siddha Yoga where she experienced a spiritual awakening called shaktipat and her teachings took on a new and freshly informed understanding. As Deanne continued her studies, she learned level one in Reiki and also sutdied with Henry Grayson, Ph.D. where she refined her work with muscle testing and the complex of energy healing methods Dr. Grayson has developed for use with his patients. Dr. Grayson's work is illuminated in his books, Mindful Loving and Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind. Deanne teaches group and private classes in yoga as well as stress reduction programs and meditation in many forms (sitting, walking, whirling, meditation in action, and "sleeping" meditation called yoga nidra). She has developed methods of using yoga in treating those with life threatening diseases as in the programs she designed for Gilda's Club and Friends in Deed in New York City. She was a consulting producer on an alternative health program for CNBC's Alive and Wellness, and she has demonstrated yoga on network television. Deanne created the audio DC, Inner Light Yoga with Deanne Mincer and she has spoken widely and demonstrated meditation in many venues. Deanne is an enthusiastic and joyful teacher. She is known for the keen interest she takes in her students' physical and spiritual development. She stresses that each student should work at their own pace in a non-competitive and caring environment. You can read some of the comments her students have shared in the Tesimonials Section of this site. Her teaching is grounded in her own steadfast spiritual awareness - that each of us is a being of eternal light and love and that we can all come to knowing this truth for ourselves. She is eager to help guide you on this joyful path of body, mind, breath and spirit.

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