“Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.” ~Henry David Thoreau
“When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.” — ECKHART TOLLE, Stillness Speaks
“Not merely an absence of noise, real silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.” — Peter Minard
― Mother Teresa,
“We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox.”
― Nicholas Sparks,
Silence can be hard to come by in our hectic, fast paced and often LOUD world. Sometimes is seems that everywhere we go we are bombarded with sound and often it is just too loud to ignore. As someone who is very sensitive to sound, if it is too loud it sends shock waves through my entire body. I am very aware of the potential harm in prolonged exposure to my own body, but I believe constant exposure to noise is harmful to every one. Once while leaving a church service with especially loud music a dear older man who was a church usher said to me, “We’re going to need to have a healing service for all the people who go deaf from the music.”
But aside from the pain and discomfort caused by loud sounds, they also disrupt our spiritual connection to the divine. We need that connection. We actually need time alone in the silence to clear our minds, reconnect and remember who we are. If you think you are too busy to find time for silent reflection, don’t worry, sooner or later you body will make time. This may not be the most pleasant of experiences as it may involve a physical injury or illness requiring you to stop and just be still.
Find time in your day to sit in the stillness and just be. You can start with just a few minutes. If you live a busy life it may take time to get used to the quiet. It may feel bad at first. I believe that is why we work so hard to fill our lives up with busyness and noise, to avoid the discomfort we feel in silence. We may even do this in church. Give it time.
I like to spend time in nature. Sitting in a beautiful setting naturally calms me. Focusing on your breath is another way to ease into silence. You may meditate if you wish. A spiritual path I follow calls the place of stillness where we meet God in meditation The Silence. You will hear more about this aspect of silence later this month.
Our bodies, minds and spirits need times of quiet. Find or create the time to sit and listen to the silence.
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” —Mother Teresa