Why Seek Silence?
In a world of volume oriented, attention demanding personalities trying to be noticed, there is something missing. What was missing from the world where every one is screaming trying to be heard? I asked myself many times. Why does this not seem right? It didn’t seem right because the thing that was missing is hard to notice. The thing not noticed was silence.
Silence is a key; the key to intuition, the key to compassion and the key to humility. Silence is perfect for self reflection. Silence is essential for collecting your thoughts. It is the most simple and practical of tools for the conscious mind. Without silence you cannot listen. Without silence you can not hear. Silence is the means to noticing self realisation and, in our world of noise, it is silence that is least practiced.
Many people experience silence as the absence of sound, and this is true to a degree. They think that silence is the removal of all noise from the environment they occupy. But silences embodies much more than that. Silence is the presence of quiet. And this also refers to the mind and spirit. It is the occupation of a peaceful mindset when all around you are engulfed in turbulence of the mind and body. Silence is relief; relief from incessant thinking unhelpful thinking; relief from the noise of society and relief from the problems that consume us.
In the modern world people love silence. People are drawn to silence, we look for it when there is noise all around, we seek it when we are tired, seeking it when we are worn down with noise. When all is said and done, people prefer the calm of silence to the noise of over achievement. So we cultivate silence when ever we can. In our own private world we are drawn to the calm that is silence just as we are driven from the noise that is attention.
To achieve silence you don’t have to quiet the mind or resist thinking. You don’t need to be a Yogi or Zen master. When seeking silence you don’t even have to look. You meet with silence. All you have to do is be aware of the silence between the thoughts in you mind. Silence is there waiting for you. It is within everyone. Many won’t know how to pay attention to the silence between their thoughts. Many more won’t care to. But some do. For some, silence is a sanctuary from the sensory bombardment of the world around them.
Silence has a magical allure that stirs in people a desire for more. To experience nothing else but the clarity and acute awareness that is the embodiment of silence overrides the confrontation the noisy attention world. Surrendering to silence is as addictive as the compulsion for companionship or a drug induced euphoria. This compulsion is in essence consciousness turning to the higher self, seeking noiseless conversation with the non-physical self.
Silence actually allows for everything sound oriented, be it thought or action, to manifest within the mind. Thoughts once drowned out by the noise of the world around us can now take place in silence. In silence thoughts are able to come and go, freely, without interruption and without adulteration by the external around us. Thoughts are transient, changing, evolving and moving in and out of the ether as we focus our attention on them. But silence is unchanging, comforting and timeless, dependable when all else moves on and evolves.
Silence is the base source from which everything else arises. Silence is the formless parent constantly giving birth to thought, to voice, to the sound that we are immersed in. Like ever changing waves arising from the ocean are the expression of the ocean; when waves subside back to the ocean they have gone nowhere. Wave and ocean are both one. Fish swimming in the ocean are like waves, contained by unknowing of what they live in. Silence, mind, thought and activity are one. Silence is isn’t the antithesis to thought, but the ever-present spacious background in which thought is contained. Without the ocean the fish cannot live. Without silence thought cannot be heard.
Getting angry with ourselves when we have noisy busy thoughts will lead us to think we’re cannot achieve silence. It will lead us to think we failed because we are not quiet. However you cannot make yourself quiet. The quiet is already here. The quiet is embodied by silence. When practicing meditation you will begin to notice that you dwell more in the quiet space between your thoughts, allowing thoughts to ebb away and the silence to deepen and lengthen around you.
Acknowledging thought is the key to silence. Interacting with thought will ensure continued thought. Just was one wave will create another and another, transforming itself again and again as it encounters resistance, one thought will lead to another and another, sometimes the same, sometimes different, an evolution and continuation of thoughts as they are interacted with resisted and responded to. Acknowledgment and acceptance of thought deprives the conscious mind of the fuel for continued thought. Resistance results in conflict, acceptance results inevitably in peace, and silence.
You will begin to see that nothing can obstruct your silence. Thought is no disruption to silence. All thought arises from the ocean of silence and cannot overwhelm that which contains it. Why should the ocean mind if it has waves, if it is turbulent or smooth? The depths are unaffected by the surface. Thoughts are just the surface of the silence, embodied by silence, originating from silence, returning to silence. Silence is always there underneath, requiring nothing, supporting everything.
Live over the depths of silence, being aware of that below. Enjoy the activity of the mind without clinging to aspirations of peace and quiet. Love the entirety of our being, our thoughts, our feelings and our physical experiences. Allow them as expressions of our true nature which is always clear and unstained. In the silence from which you were born, awareness of silence is the parent that nurtures you. Accept the noise of life. Seek silence to connect with your higher self.
We strive to let go of thoughts and focus on the silent spaces between them with meditation and self reflection. It is here we find peace. There is bliss in silence.
Being quiet does not involve talking or not talking. It does not involve any doing whatsoever. Just let the mind fall into silence. This is enough. Sri. H.W.L. Poonja