Those of you who find it useful to meditate might be interested in this, although this would be a matter of training the mind rather than getting at the nature of mind.
I was listening to the radio this morning and some guy that was on had not talked on Sundays for like 20+ years, it started out just as a voice issue but for whatever reason (and it wasn't religious) he kept it up until now.
I've done some silent meditation retreats, and obviously nobody talks for the most part but it got me thinking: Usually the silence is bi-directional, that is you are not talked to and you don't talk either, but what if you did one or the other? Of course the pure silence is still valuable, so I thought maybe you can do it like this:
1. Start with plain silence,
2. then no talking on your part but take in environmental stimuli,
3. Silence again
4. Talk, journal or whatever and stop paying attention to stimuli
6. Normal, real-time bidirectional interaction
So basically you're alternating input and output with pauses in between, (although it may be helpful for the pauses to be even longer than the active periods) we might repeat 1-4 a few times too and ramp the time frame involved, but you get the idea. Obviously it's not just about sound either, it's a matter of mental activity which would involve all the senses, that's why lots of people close their eyes in meditation - so a way to integrate that in stage 4 would be to just keep your eyes closed and speak into a tape recorder, although if we want to just involve all the senses you could just be in a simple little room to minimize stimuli while you're in the output period.
This isn't really new, they basically do this at the end of long retreats to get people used to talking again, but that is pretty brief and limited to social interaction. In terms of sensory deprivation there is also the float tank, and people who are starting an apprenticeship to train guide dogs for the blind live with a blindfold for like a week or two. Speaking of social interactions, naturally during the second stage there wouldn't be anything to elicit a response from you, just taking in information. And of course we do this to some extent in everyday life, but it tends to be on auto-pilot so to speak.
Well, I think I'm all out of output, what do you think?