Inviting Silence

  • Journal Entry #6 — Seeing It Otherwise

I’m inviting silence into my day — into my life — in a more intentional kind of way.

In our haste to accomplish everything we deem “important,” we implicitly push silence aside, telling ourselves that we’ll make time for that later.

Or when things quiet down.  Or when the “big projects” are behind us.

Maybe we subconsciously shun silence because we believe it is unimportant, or a luxury we simply don’t have.

We also may use noise (external or internal, i.e., continual thought that is dysfunctional) to keep ourselves “pleasantly” distracted from ourselves … from others … from the world and its deeper questions, mysteries.

  • Do we somehow equate silence with a sense of lack?  A lack of vitality or life itself?  Is this the underlying fear, perhaps?

When reading the works of any of the great spiritual masters, or people we think of as “wise,” they point to silence as the source of our spiritual dimension.

  • A few examples …

“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” ~ Rumi

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” ~ Mother Teresa

“We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.” ~ Yeats

“Be still, and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10

“My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear — a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.”~ Kahlil Gibran

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship.” ~ Eckhart Tolle  (He wrote an entire book called Silence Speaks.)

I wonder …

  • Are there different kinds of silence?  Morning silence v. evening silence.  Or silence while sitting in a large group v. the silence experienced when meditating in isolation.  Is there an impatient kind of silence, a contented version of silence, or an expectant type of silence?
  • Does silence feel light or heavy; does it inspire you or somehow discourage?
  • Do you enjoy silence, or try to escape it?  Do you “suffer” through it, or relish it?
  • If you were to paint it, what color would you choose?  What sort of visual image might you create?
  • Do you sense a beginning or an end when silent, or does it feel more like the alpha and the omega?
  • How much time do you devote to silence each day or week?
  • Can you sense the silence within even when interacting with others or when engaged in a work project?
  • If you were to write a story about silence (or a poem), how would it go?
  • Is silence welcome in your home, in your life?  Or are you always looking for something “better” … something “more?”
  • Is silence a source of comfort for you, or does it annoy you … make you anxious?
  • What are your perceptions, assumptions, and reactions to silence … how might you see things otherwise?  Open yourself to its revelations?

Often I find silence without looking for it or planning for it.

It’s really a matter of “noticing” it.  And when I do notice silence, it’s all-encompassing.  Vast.  Somehow sacred.  ~ dh

Thanks for stopping by today.  See you in a couple of weeks!

Seeing It Otherwise, our spiritual journey for 2013, focuses on exploring perceptions, assumptions, and reactions.  It’s a great opportunity to journal or meditate on the ideas and questions presented.  Blog posts will serve as brief journal entries every other Friday morning.  I hope you’re enjoying this close-up of life and spirituality.  Next journal post: April 26th.

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