'Finding the time and a place in which to be silent is important for us all. A wonderful project'
HOW DID SILENT SPACE BEGIN?
Our lives are often hectic. It can be difficult, particularly for those of us who live in urban areas, to find five minutes peace.
During the summer of 2016, garden writer Liz Ware set up a not-for-profit project and called it Silent Space. A handful of gardens open to the public agreed to take part and to reserve an area where people could be silent. For a few hours each week, visitors to these quiet areas were invited to switch off from technology and to stop talking.
The feedback was very positive and the project proved to be easy to run. As one visitor pointed out, ‘It’s wonderful to have permission to be silent.’
As the understanding of the benefits of spending quiet time in green places grows, so does the number of gardens taking part. How much easier might our lives be if green places for quiet reflection were easily accessible to all? Silent Space now has charitable status.
'Silence is not the absence of something, but the presence of everything'
WHAT HAPPENS IN A SILENT SPACE?
There’s nothing complicated about a Silent Space. It’s an area of a garden or a park, already enjoyed by the public, that is reserved for silent visiting. While some gardens run their space for as little as a few hours a week, others are permanent.
Once inside a Silent Space, we stop talking, turn off our phones and cameras, and switch off from social media. There are no other rules.
Whether sitting or strolling, we take time to notice the beauty around us. Even as little as five minutes will help us to enjoy the restorative benefits of being peaceful in a green place.
Image © Peter Young
'You cannot love what you do not know'
Charles Eisenstein ('The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible').
WHY IS SILENT SPACE IMPORTANT?
Research indicates that noise pollution causes damage to our bodies and to our minds. It’s little wonder that spending silent time in nature can bring us comfort and help us to feel restored. But perhaps there are other benefits too?
Being silent in the natural world is a particularly gentle kind of silence. We’re soothed by the birdsong and the sounds of the breeze in the trees. Quietly observing and listening, we grow to know and truly value the world we live in – to better appreciate our place within it and our responsibility to protect it.
And, as we connect with nature, we also connect more deeply with ourselves. It’s in the quiet times that inspiration comes.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Do you manage or work in a green place that opens to the public? Or are you a garden visitor who knows a place where Silent Space could work well? Visit our Join the Scheme page and then get in touch. Help us to create a more tranquil world.