Shh. It’s Breakfast Time. – The New York Occasions
“As someone who speaks almost all the time, the idea of enforced silence seemed a criminal offense,” said Melissa Klurman, a journalist in Montclair, New Jersey who also tried a silent breakfast on a retreat to Kripalu last year.
“One of the fun things about starting a mindfulness practice is that when you turn the external noise down, you hear more of the internal noise. If you’re not used to it, it can be incredibly uncomfortable, ”said Ravi Kudesia, a mindfulness researcher and assistant professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “The key idea here is that it is better to notice the whispers before they turn into screams.”
I couldn’t concentrate, so I let my mind wander through the litany of worries and memories. Then my mind settled like a toddler wearing off after a tantrum. After a few days of quiet breakfast, I began to hear myself. My worries and thoughts, happy with their time in the soap box, receded and the first thing in the morning to stop bothering me. I was able to focus on what was in front of me, with no guilt, no obligation, no stress. It was an unusual feeling of freedom.
For Deborah Vaphides, 62, an acupuncturist from Montclair, New Jersey, starting her mornings with a silent routine several days a week helps her feel grounded throughout the day. She sits at her window and watches the sunlight early in the morning while doing breathing exercises.
“I’ve heard the news every morning for decades. No more. I know that these days the news will find me no matter where I go, ”said Ms. Vaphides. “The image of light that changes during my quiet morning hours stays with me all day, and I come back to that calm anytime I need it.”
It turns out that this peace has a lot to do with our physical response. “When we are still, our brain and body react in a similar way to how we do meditation,” said Dr. Lauraine Hollyer, a clinical psychologist, in a telephone interview. “Cortisol, which is associated with stress, decreases in the bloodstream. Blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart rate also decrease. We can more easily focus and call back. “