Silence is something that comes from your heart, not from outside. Silence doesn’t mean not talking and not doing things; it means that you are not disturbed inside. If you’re truly silent, then no matter what situation you find yourself in you can enjoy the silence.
The problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people from expressing themselves, but rather, force them to express themselves. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, or ever rarer, the thing that might be worth saying.
At certain times, a silent mind is very important, but ‘silent’ does not mean closed. The silent mind is an alert, awakened mind; a mind seeking the nature of reality.
My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear — a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.
People often ask me questions that I cannot very well answer in words, and it makes me sad to think they are unable to hear the voice of my silence.
The power of quiet is great. It generates the same feelings in everything one encounters. It vibrates with the cosmic rhythm of oneness. It is everywhere, available to anyone at any time. It is us, the force within that makes us stable, trusting, and loving. It is contemplation contemplating us. Peace is letting go - returning to the silence that cannot enter the realm of words because it is too pure to be contained in words. This is why the tree, the stone, the river, and the mountain are quiet.
The observations and encounters of a devotee of solitude and silence are at once less distinct and more penetrating than those of the sociable man; his thoughts are weightier, stranger, and never without a tinge of sadness. Images and perceptions which might otherwise be easily dispelled by a glance, a laugh, an exchange of comments, concern him unduly, they sink into mute depths, take on significance, become experiences, adventures, emotions.
Thomas Mann - Death In Venice
In nature nothing is at stand-still, everything pulsates, appears and disappears. Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking—birth and death everything comes and goes in waves. Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule. No use rebelling against the very pattern of life. If you seek the Immutable, go beyond experience. When I say: remember ‘I am’ all the time, I mean: ‘come back to it repeatedly’. No particular thought can be mind’s natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence.
Now, what you have learnt here becomes the seed. You may forget it—apparently. But it will live and in due season sprout and grow and bring forth flowers and fruits. All will happen by itself. You need not do anything, only don’t prevent it.
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
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.
The stars twinkled in the sky.
In space - billions of universes.
Resting my forehead in my hand and thinking.
I do not dream.
A big Reality has awoken me,
A truth that strikes the eye,
The truth that is being, visible, unique,
I - under this huge starry dome,
I - perceiving its entirety with my brain,
I relish it, I become one with myself
And slowly - inside - I am restored to myself:
To profound joy and perfect rhythm.
All my thoughts, words and deeds
Were only bringing me closer
To universal embrace:
Here I am resting joyfully in myself,
Wrapped in deep silence on all sides,
And my heart beats in the rhythm of everything
Which surrounds me.
Enough. No need for words.
—Julian Tuwim, translated by Adrian Thomas. Courtesy of The Sound of Silence.
The silence was enchanting. Infinite space seemed to enter it, and my spirit, alone with the stars, seemed capable of any adventure.
I wanted silence. My daydreams were full of places I longed to be, shelters and solitudes. I wanted a room apart from others, a hidden cabin to rest in. I wanted to be in a redwood forest with trees so tall the owls called out in the daytime. I daydreamed of living in a vapor cave a few hours away from here. Underground, warm, and moist, I thought it would be the perfect world for staying out of cold winter, for escaping the noise of living.
And how often I’ve wanted to escape to a wilderness where a human hand has not been in everything. But those were only dreams of peace, of comfort, of a nest inside stone or woods, a sanctuary where a dream or life wouldn’t be invaded.
Linda Hogan, “Dwellings”
I cannot exist without leaves
flying and falling to earth.