Sitting in Silence | INFJ Forum

Sitting in Silence

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Asa, Mar 13, 2019.

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  1. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    Dear INFJ forum,

    Please help me learn to sit in silence. Being quiet - not talking and being alone - is easy. Being silent and present with a peaceful heart is not.
    Can you do this? Have fellow Ne/Ni doms mastered this? What are your methods?

    I live in the forest and I want to become a wildlife photographer. This means I will need to wander into the woods and sit in silence, mindfully listening and watching the forest around me for hours. I have always practiced a sort of "lost in Ni, cranking up Se" balance in the forest. It is a place to think, get lost in deep thought, and simultaneously stay alert. If I want to capture wildlife I must stay alert, but also quiet.

    More than this, I need to cultivate peacefulness.

    Animals are often drawn to me and pick me out as a person to get close to, but not always, and wild animals are, of course, afraid. My INFP friend who is a wildlife photographer seems to have a peacefulness about him that earns trust. The animals know he won't harm them. While my mind is whirring, it seems that I am incapable of presenting this kind of peacefulness, but I think meditation will take me away from the present moment I need to be in to be ready to click the shutter.

    I've started wandering the forest without my dogs. (Today was the day because if I hadn't had my dogs yesterday, I would have seen a moose!) Today I set up some trail cams in spots I know wildlife travel. I sat in the woods for about half an hour, listening to the birds, listening to the faint jingle of the bell on my neighbor's dog's collar far in the distance, listening to the logging equipment many miles away, listening to every crack and snap of branches. After a while I noticed an owl feather. (I laughed at myself for my big picture brain that sometimes takes a little while to notice small details.)

    Sometimes when I'm in the forest and my dogs and I sit down it is so quiet I can hear my own heartbeat from the outside of my body. Thu-thump, thu-thump. Today was louder, but still so quiet, and I wonder how anything ever 'sneaks' in the forest.

    I gave up because there were no fresh tracks, which meant the likelihood that an animal would come by was slimmer (plus, my dogs were in these woods two days ago and that always frightens the animals off for a bit), because I had to be somewhere at noon, and because being present in the moment is something I prefer to do in short bursts. I really prefer to be lost in my head.
     
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  2. OP
    Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome

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    I should add that for me (maybe not for others), this is different than Shinrin-yoku aka "forest bathing", or forest meditation. All my life I've found peace in the forest and gone to the forest to clear my mind, and be at peace, but in those instances, I didn't feel the need to be completely alert... just "alert while my mind wanders" in familiar surroundings. At "home" I always grabbed a cup of coffee and drank it while sitting on the same rock. (Once a deer walked right behind me and my old dog, then noticed us and zoomed off.) I grew up in a forest.
     
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  3. Infjente

    Infjente Community Member

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    The only times I've experienced what you described, is when I've been on my two, one months long, long distanse - forest and mountain walk, by myself. After about two weeks, I'm starting to feel as a part of the nature, feels like my ego is fading. Between weak three and four, I might as well be an animal, a tree or a rock, I'm a part of all of it. In this state all my senses are so stimulated, that I'm totally in the now, my mind and heart is like a smiling, naked baby :tearsofjoy:. It's the highest level of inner and outer harmony I've ever experienced!
     
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  4. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Can you do any of these things individually? What is it about the combination of them that is troublesome?

    For what purpose or to what end?
     
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    Asa

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    I'm not good at living in the present in general. I can't sit for long periods (an hour or more) of time being present.
    I can sit for long periods of time doing things with my brain, but then I'm not paying attention as keenly as I need to.

    Meditation isn't my strong point, either. I'm not even a fan of Shavasana.

    I actually think that wellness advice to be in the present is geared toward Sensors because it is more natural and healthy for them, while the Ne/Ni brain is healthiest whirring about. That said, it is still a valuable exercise to learn for certain tasks, such as sitting in the woods waiting for wildlife to sneak by. You don't want to be lost in thought when a bobcat, coyote, moose, or bear is nearby. Haha. (And these animals are very quiet.) While hiking I do both, but I also have the dogs to alert me if something is off in the moments when I am lost in thought. Some of my best ideas come to me when I'm walking and hiking, and that happens because my brain is on its own journey, so to speak. :)

    I think animals can sense our energy, for lack of better term.


    @Infjente - That sounds lovely! What an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing.

    I do feel in harmony in the woods, in general, but I am still lost in thought when in that state of harmony. Sensing takes over if I see or hear anything I need to pay attention to, but that is typically for short intervals... maybe fifteen minutes at the most.
     
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  6. Infjente

    Infjente Community Member

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    It's like that for me as well. I think it has to do with time. Even if I'm hiking for a couple of days, my mind is still attached to my everyday life. I know I'll have to pack up and leave soon. It takes a minimum of two weeks for my mind/spirit/body to "surrender" to my senses, and when it happens it's like a dimming light switch ... you know the feeling when you're under water, and everything is calm and quiet, even your mind? It's like that, except you're not under water :tearsofjoy: Every sounds, sight, smell, touch is your mind, not distracting your mind. It's hard to explain all this without sounding psychotic :sweatsmile:
     
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  7. OP
    Asa

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    Perfect comparison. I definitely felt the same way when snorkeling. (I haven't done scuba.)
    I love both the ocean/water and the forest. <3

    I get it. I've been there, too. Learning how to be there on a daily basis for 1-2 hours is a challenge for me. Ideally, I want to start riding my bike to location (like ponds) early in the morning and also hike into the woods either in the morning or just before evening daily, then sit at those spots and wait.
     
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  8. Infjente

    Infjente Community Member

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    If you learn how to get there in 1-2 hours, you got to share it! :smiley: Have you noticed a change in how accessible this state is to you over the years?
     
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  9. JamieUK92

    JamieUK92 Permanent Fixture

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    I can relate to the constant whirring of thoughts.

    I’ve been practicing meditation for a few years now and it certainly takes a lot of practice.

    I don’t know if it’s possible to totally shut down our stream of thoughts. However, you can certainly slow the stream down.

    Once you learn how to separate yourself from your thoughts and just observe the stream as it passes through your consciousness, then you are well on your way.

    Start with guided meditations to build up your breathing and visualisation techniques. Kelly Howell - brain sync is a favourite of mine.
     
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  10. JamieUK92

    JamieUK92 Permanent Fixture

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    Also, if I was you, I would meditate for 30 mins at home beforehand. Meditation really refreshes my energy and psyche. I always feel extremely well grounded, calm and radiate positive energy for a good few hours after a meditation. Until the world starts to pollute my energy again.
     
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    Asa

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    Overall, no. I've always struggled with getting my brain to be one with my surroundings. That's different than switching into Se mode. Se mode is 'constant vigilance'. I do also notice a big difference in my Se abilities over the years.

    My usual state of balance and peacefulness is very "in my head". I have some kind of resistance to "no thinking". My biggest fear is losing my brain, my ability to think and memory. I have stubbornly refused to let my mind go static my entire life. Now I see the problem with that. Haha.

    Thank you for the tips on meditating.

    I feel that way after yoga and working out. It's a good feeling.

    I wonder if @Skarekrow has any meditation tips, please?
     
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  12. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Where do you suppose your brain would go, if you "let it go" ?
     
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  13. JennyDaniella

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    Silencing the mind can be extremely tricky. The mind always needs to resort to thinking constantly and our ego gets in the way. It’s difficult, but achievable to reach a state of calmness. The main problem is being in a present state of now and enjoying the current process of everything, and being in a complete state of serenity and peace. The constant mind chatter is a huge issue that many of us go through, but like I mentioned; with practice, you can do it.

    I think what you are doing now, immersing and listening to the sounds in nature is actually great thing. Focus on the sounds of nature and the beauty of it.

    The birds. The sound of your breath and heart beat.

    Then concentrate on the visuals of nature. It might not be totally green right now, but focus on the bark, the structure of the branches.

    Putting yourself in a position of now and not worry about the process of being still and silent is the first thing you need to do to reach a place of inner silence and peace.
     
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  14. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I just don't try and it happens. If I try it doesn't happen. I'm sure that's not helpful.
     
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  15. ClevelandINTP

    ClevelandINTP Community Member

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    Do something productive like walking or running and silence with no music or distraction

    That way you’re engaged with the outside world and have to pay attention a little at least but can still go inside
     
  16. OP
    Asa

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    Can we let our brains go?

    The brain fog that comes with my condition(?) has taught me a little of what that may be like and I don't like it.


    Thank you for your lovely post. I agree. I just can't do that for lengthy periods of time yet. :)


    Yes, it is helpful! I understand what you mean.

    Thank you for your input, Cleveland. What you are saying is train, just like training for a sport, correct? I do hike, run, etc, daily without headphones, and without conversation. In the forest you need to pay attention to your surroundings, so I do that, but I do it in balance with "thought". Like many artists and writers, my best ideas come to me while walking in the forest. If I follow your directions and practice daily, I will probably get to the point where I can sit still for an hour of using Se.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  17. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    I don't think so! Haha! It's pretty securely fastened in a thick cage. That's what makes your fear kind of funny and irrational ^_^
     
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  18. OP
    Asa

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    Well, I mean Ni.
     
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  19. JennyDaniella

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    Nicholas Cage?

    [​IMG]

    No? I...I’ll just go and be on my way..
     
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  20. Wyote

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    People live in Se worlds, somehow. So it is possible ;)

    I think you're on your way, with your current techniques. Have patience with yourself.
     
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