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Silence—A Renewable Resource

October 7, 2010
by Van

Have you noticed after sleep, a walk in the forest, meditation, any time spent in silence you feel renewed? Silence, though we often habitually avoid it in our culture—labeling “being in the silence” as a waste of time, being introverted or non-productive. Or we find silence simply uncomfortable, boring, or even scary.

Before and after every thought there is an ‘inherent’ ever-present silence…waiting. This precious quality prevails before birth, after death, within every moment throughout life. Silence fills all spaces between every action, breath and thought—offering peace.

Most spiritual teachings indicate silence is saturated with the Divine, representing the place from whence we came…and possibly the place to which we go in the ‘here-after.’

We have only to open our awareness to silence—the ultimate renewable resource within. With every activity, gross or subtle, we use/burn energy/disturb the mind, often creating the need for more actions to follow. Life is never-ending in this action-reaction process—it can be depleting. In silence there are no needs for action—in fact stopping activity, if one goes deep enough, no judgment exists of self or others. How restful that could be!

As we wait for the stoplight to change, silence waits with us patiently in the ether within and about us. Often the business of life intrudes on our silent moments—we grumble about the delay: ‘the light is too long, or the person in front does not place the peddle to the metal quickly enough for us to get on with ‘it’ once the light does change. We sit entertaining/diverting ourselves with music, cell phone, mentally sorting through our agenda, the aforementioned person ahead of us: missing the offering of silence.

We bypass moments saturated with deep silence. Dreaded delays in life from which we squirm, complain, light up, switch on something, shout our displeasure… Yet later in the night we long for that same space, that silence as the dogs bark, a bed partner begins to snore, our own noisy mind revs up. Possibly if we ‘soak up’ a day’s worth of “the small silences” we may carry it into the night…or the rest of life.

Sitting in the airport a small child is wheeled down the long hallway, coming to rest before me. Parents, carried away with details, flight schedules, their latte’ in hand, fumbling with tickets: their child sits taking in the big world.

The little tyke, free from agenda, gazes about finally looking at me: you know those wide-open child looks..which can bare your soul. I sit there waiting, doing my watching thing. We connect, both are caught, entertained by the big world: we see one another in our silence. No words, just looking…from the silent place. The child comes from, the one I retreat to in the crowd of humanity. There we are in silence…a blessed moment for us both, the world goes on somehow ‘outside us’ filled with its activity, noise, nervousness, flight, announcements…

We connect; I wonder how this child sees such a place, this new world? I feel the child still close to a/the source of silence, observing looking out in wonder. We see one another from our silent retreat. All too soon the child is whisked off to the plane or maybe away from the big guy with the tattooed arms who looks too long at their son…We part with a lingering smile, the little one reaches toward me, he cries, “I want to”… We are both renewed, the child is being seen, I meet another observer, a fresh one, the wonder of silence touches us, I feel blessed.

One last story: my first silent meditation retreat. In the first two days mind said ‘how interesting.’ On the third day (sound a bit biblical?) mind said ‘this is a waste of time—I could be doing this and that’…the forth day mind is downright angry, ‘I hate this…’ then about day six, I lost track of time, shocked when it was time to go home. But was I more truly home than ever before? I had been taken in by silence, I had found myself, silently…

If you are ‘of the mind to’ after reading, this close your eyes, embrace your silent self now, maybe we can all meet there.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nan Newton permalink
    October 8, 2010 12:04 am

    This reminds me of the silence between notes, phrases, movements, in music: in the beginning and at the end. Silence offers up the opportunity to enter that world, and then leave with it entered… Silence has everything to do with form in art and in life. Don’t you think?

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