10-Week Pause: Session 9 – Silence (Retreat)

Silence is golden, the saying goes. This session is a silent hour of cultivating the capacity to come back home to our being instead of constantly living on a treadmill, on our thoughts and judgements, and relying on external stimuli. Through this process, we are strengthening our muscle to remain calm and to have clarity in everyday life. 

The intention of this practice is not to achieve a certain state of mind but merely to just sit in the present moment, with guidance given at the beginning. To do this practice, find a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for an hour. You may wish to have a shawl or coat or socks on hand in case you’re feeling cold. 

This practice is intended to be an hour long or sit as long as you wish, perhaps using an alarm clock to alert you when your intended duration is up.


Session 9 is an hour of silence to come back home.

Choosing to sit in a place where you will not be interrupted for an hour.

Checking on the posture.

Spine upright as possible, while maintaining a soft front.

Gently breathing.

Letting the eyes close if you wish. 

Bringing to bear what you’ve cultivated from Session 1 to 8.

As best as you can, being in the here and now, in the present moment.

Whenever the mind wanders off to some ideas, conversations, opinions, images, with 

care, noting where the mind has gone, and guiding the attention back to the breath.

It’s ok if the mind is very restless.

It’s ok if the mind loses focus.

Each time the mind drifts off, very gently, bringing it back to the breath.

Coming back to the center, coming back home.


Feeling the breath, focusing on the sensation of air flowing in and out of the nostrils.

The rise and fall of the abdomen wall. 


It’s also normal to experience an itch or discomfort or even sleepiness, tiredness. 

It can be distracting.

Each time this happens, very kindly acknowledging that and bringing the sense of focus back to the breath.

Signaling to the mind you are coming back home.

You may choose to sit still or adjust the posture to relieve any discomfort – doing it slowly and with intention. 

And now we will sit in silence. 


When you are ready to end this practice, taking a few breaths, letting the eyes open, and slowly taking in the surroundings. 

As you get on with your day or evening, bringing this sense of mindfulness to the next few moments.

Thank you and see you in our final session, Week 10.

Guide: Noelle Lim

Image credit: Motoki Tonn, Unsplash

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