Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Value of Quiet . . .

Unfolding Fern, Botannical Gardens, Edinburgh
I know how to achieve perfect zen concentration -- the absence of any thought at all.

I just sit down at the end of a particularly intense day and open up my blog and attempt to write something. Nothing.

Aha, the zen master would say!


This is the moment to embrace that sense of nothing. To be fully quiet. To take 10 or 15 or even 30 minutes to allow all the threads that have claimed your attention to simply slip away.

Fern Tree, Botannical Gardens, Edinburgh
If I can, I begin by stretching through a few standing yoga stretches, breathing deeply, saying any affirmations that occur. From standing to sitting to floor, a simple routine. No hurry. If I can't remember what's next, my yoga cards help me along the way.

Then I take a final breath and go into my favorite pose when I'm tired -- the dead man's pose. I dim the lights, lie flat on my back, arms and legs perfectly comfortable on the floor. I just focus on my breathing. If a thought comes, I breathe it away.

If you have done this, you know that within a few minutes, all you can think of is breathe in, hold to 10, breathe slowly out. Gradually the tight muscles relax, the tick of the clock fades, the threads of obligation ease.

I do not pretend that I know yoga or that my practice is perfect. I only know that now I am refreshed. I can ask what is most important without feeling overwhelmed by competing priorities. I am ready to pay attention to NOW, whatever that may be.


  1. The end of the day is when I also like quiet. Love to lay in bed and just be thankful and try not to think.. problem is I fall asleep too fast!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vicki. Sleep well!

  2. I almost feel as if I need to go back to bed after having read this at 7:09am.

    1. Thank you for the morning wake-up laugh! I'm trying to write a blog entry a day with the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Yesterday was far too hectic. Every part of my office has a pile of to-do-work. So this setting aside of nothing time to simply relax makes all else possible. Of course, my bed this morning looks pretty inviting. I'm pretty grateful for warm quilts as it's 20 degrees out there, but the Russian lady awaits a ride home after water aerobics this morning, and the daily round begins.

  3. What a beautiful challenge this is for me! I read it and snorted inwardly, that silly old voice forcing her way in "Ha! Quiet! This woman must not have a three-year-old!" Then I remembered how irrelevant that is... I always have the option to create time for silence, introspection, yoga, if only I shape time to make room for it. Thank you!

  4. What a lovely comment. Made me laugh out loud for I do have a 6-month-old granddaughter -- and I remember three-year-olds. May each day bring you a moment of nurturing.

  5. Thanks, Beth, for your blog moment helped me return to my moment. I will return to this post often; maybe even make it a part of my practice.