For some time, this has become a specific center point in spirituality: the idea that the mind will become silent, even thoughtless. And even though we may have some periods of low activity of the mind… most of this idea is better connected with the experience of attention and intention.

Let’s say, for example, you want to cook a meal for a loved one, and it’s a dish you have never prepared, and you want to honor your guest. Your intention sets an internal environment: ensuring you have the right ingredients in the right quantities, following instructions precisely, seasoning it, serving it, and so forth. All of these steps require your utmost attention. You may have music playing in the background or even a podcast, but it will not be your center of attention. The more your attention and intention are prevalent, the less you will be distracted by any external input. You are focused and present.

That is a way to experience silence, even if the mind is there. It can become a background noise, and you can move your attention away from it. This requires discipline and effort, but the more you practice your attention and intention, the more the mind settles into a place that is not the center of your experience.

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