Silence is the beginning and the end of everything – and even in the meantime it is always there. Yes, sometimes unrecognized or even pushed away, since silence is also associated with death. Even more so, people seem to believe, that life is all about movement, change. talking and excitement and silence is the opposite and therefore means „not-life“.
We literally get unease when silence sets in.
Just think of a conversation with someone and there are some moments of silence. This is something, that can freak people out.
Immediately questions like „Do we have nothing to talk about anymore?“ or „Is this the end of the conversation or even our relationship?“ arise, doubting the very foundation of our relationship with ourselves and the world. This is deeply rooted in our society.
Even as kids we learn, that silence is a bad thing. Either we are told to shut up, and therefore see silence as a form of punishment or we are about to be punished, when a teacher asks us a question and we can only respond with silence.
Most of the times, also when we grow up, silence is not an appropriate answer to any question. It is even considered to be rude or used in relationships to show our partners, that something really wrong is going on.
This way, it can even be used to blackmail someone emotionally.
Let’s face it: Silence has a very bad reputation and nearly no positive use according to our society.
Silence in spirituality
The only positive approaches to silence, we find in the spiritual and religious traditions of our world. There we are invited to meditate, stay in silence for a certain period of time and use this silent time, to contemplate, pray or converse with the divine.
Even there though, silence has been used to suppress or manipulate other people or – maybe even worse – to shut down inner longings and inner voices. Maybe under some religious cover, nevertheless missing the point and the true meaning of silence.
Some of the greatest spiritual teachers have thought in silence and through the transmission of stillness – one of the best known being Ramana Maharshi. Ramanas primary teaching was stillness, and he would only speak to people, who were not ready yet, to learn from the teaching in silence. Sure, there were many of them and so he kept on talking – otherwise we would have many books with empty pages about him.
Keep quiet – the true meaning of silence
My first teacher on my spiritual path – more than 25 years ago – was Papaji. He was a direct disciple of Ramana and his loving teaching was „Keep quiet.“
This of course didn’t just mean to stop talking with your mouth, but to stop listening to the endless blabber of your personal mind.
Like in meditation, when you learn very early on, that you change your focus from the words in your mind to the silence between them.
In a way, Papaji was teaching how to stay in a constant state of meditation also during your daily life.
This stillness is not seen or „used“ to calm down, relax or reduce stress, as often thought by western teachers. Sure, these may be side effects, but the main reason for befriending the silence in your mind, is to find out who you are. You realize, that this silence is your own true self and that you are silence.
This is a very important point, that makes a huge difference in how you approach silence. It’s not just another tool to relax. It’s way deeper than that. It’s the core of your being and once discovered, it will never leave you again. Silence is your best friend and lover – one, that will never betray you.
Silence is always very peaceful and loving. Actually these are synonyms.
There is no „doing“ in silence. Silence is pure being and nothing is left undone either.
Silence speaks. Silence acts. Silence is.
Since silence is your true inner being, you can talk and act while still being silent inside. Again, this has very little to do with shutting your mouth – even though it might help to do so from time to time.
I personally spend most of my weekends in silence. This is very important to me and is my way to stay in touch with the only reality there is: the peace of God.
Even my articles are written out of a silent knowing and the words are popping up on a blank space, like little children being born out of nothingness every moment.
The white space between and all around the words, is at least as important as the black letters on it. We miss this beautiful fact often.
Silence is another word for peace. It’s the content of our universal mind.
Contrary to the belief, that in the beginning there was the word, it was actually the silence. Silence is eternal – beyond space and time – and without it, life would not be possible.
Silence is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end.
Silence is the big healer. If your body is sick, it needs rest to heal.
Sure, you may do lots of things – feeding it medicine – but in the end, without rest, you won’t get healthy again.
Every night we go to sleep, to experience silence, which will replenish us for the next day. It’s a phase, where your body and mind heal in the explicit beauty of pure silence.
If there are lots of things going on in your psyche, it will also need some quite alone time, to sort things out.
This doesn’t mean, that you can only be silent, when you are alone – but for most people, this is really helpful.
If you are blessed with people in your life’s, which whom you can be silent, it can even grow and expand in magnitude. So are the riches and wonders of silence.
Silence is the end of judgement and with that of separation. A silent mind only sees oneness, where the busy mind previously has seen differences.
This is literally a no-brainer. Silence doesn’t do anything in achieving this – it’s forgiving in and by itself.
Forgiveness is still and quietly does nothing; it merely looks and waits and judges not.
May you be blessed by sweet silence.
May your heart know the bliss of stillness.