“Keep silent, because the world of silence is a vast fullness.” Rumi
Do you enjoy the silence or does it make you uncomfortable? Do you avoid silence or embrace it? What have you learned from the silence in your life?
What Is Silence?
We often think of silence as the absence of something: the absence of noise or conversation or the space between actions, but Rumi suggests it is much more than that. When I think of the silence in my childhood, I remember the many days when I lay in bed ill. I did listen to the radio sometimes, but often I read or drew paper doll dresses, or watched the birds or our pregnant cat trying to balance on the thin branches of the chinaberry tree. For me, silence was creative or thoughtful time. I had a lot of time to think about life at a young age.
At that time in my life, I rarely felt lonely in the silence because my mother or grandmother was always in the next room. It was only later as an adult after a divorce or losing a friend that the silence became a lonely place. Of course, as an introvert, I always needed some silence for rejuvenation, but for years, I experienced had mixed feelings about silence.
Silence Can Stimulate Creativity
At times, when silence appeared, I welcomed it, especially when I was a high school teacher. It was such a relief, for a little while, to be away from the noise of a classroom full of spirited teenagers, and have the space and time to do my own thinking. Silence was creative time too, and out of that silence arose poems, essays, and dances. When I needed to think or plan, I welcomed the silence and lack of distractions so I could focus on the task at hand.
Silence May Create Discomfort
However, when I had nothing to do, I often felt uncomfortable with the silence, like something was missing. I was uncomfortable doing nothing. Only when I was near Nature did the silence feel comfortable. But living in a city for years surrounded by noise, rarely walking through the forest as I did as a child, I lost touch with what I had valued so much in childhood.
It wasn’t until I started to meditate that I began to love the silence again. At first my monkey mind seemed impossible to still, but with time, the practice worked and led me to other spiritual practices that improved my life, like learning to release my fear and envisioning what I wanted to manifest. They all had one thing in common – I had to sit in the silence and find the silence within in order for a change to occur.
Silence Is A Way To Go Deeper and Love Oneself
In the silence, I found a deep peace simply by being there. I let go of my need to always be doing. I began to experience just being, and let go of any judgments my ego tried to create to distract me. In the silence, I became more connected to Spirit and the spiritual guidance we can all hear only when we are willing to be an open channel.
In the silence, where I did not need to prove anything or do anything, I learned to love myself, for I could feel Spirit’s love for me and knew I was lovable. Feeling this peaceful love allowed me to let go of all the ways I felt I was inadequate and understand I needed to learn to love others more and release my judgments of them.
In Silence We Become One With All
Now, I am able to experience all the richness of silence without any discomfort. Sitting in the silence gives me the same pleasure as soaking in a warm bath. When my life becomes too busy, I long for the silence, especially the silence of not thinking. In the silence, the interruption of bird songs, breezes, sweet thoughts, physical relaxation, and the release of whatever I do not need at that moment all heal the rough edges of my soul, and they remind me that what is out there in the world pressuring me is not what is important.
What is important is that I remember I am One with All, and from this place of peace, in the silence, what I need to know will come to me, and what I need to know to heal, will be revealed when it is time to heal. As Ram Dass says, “The quieter you become, the more you hear.”
What is your experience with silence? Please comment.
© 2013 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
RELATED ARTICLES: Eckhart Tolle – Silence and Stillness (video), Dive Into the Silence Between Your Thoughts, Awakening to Our Wildness, Being Authentic, Part 1, Quiet Spirituality