SILENCE is always knocking at the door of our spirit, but we seldom hear it. It is a buried treasure, waiting to be found. Seeking out silence is a daily requirement and needs to be developed into a habit to help keep the inner flame burning. When we are alone and in silence, we get infused with strength and inspiration. Silence is essential for our spiritual growth. We should guard our silent moments well and not allow routine schedules to deprive us of the time we spend in quiet solitude. Silence and meditation connect us with our inner-being and we re-enter the everyday world rejuvenated and with a fresh perspective.
Silence is important for meditation to be effective. The best place to practice silence and meditation is in natural surroundings. The silent time spent in contemplating the environs or the nature of our Being slowly develops an awareness of the peaceful state of Being that is always within reach, no matter what the circumstances.
Silence is not strictly soundless. After a point, one can listen to the sound of silence, what is traditionally referred to as nad. In her poem Silence is Shy, Vimla Thakkur, a Bhakta-philosopher writes, “Silence hides herself far away in the depth of the human heart/ she is eloquent when mind speaks not/ she is yours when you are not”.
A Christian mystic said: “There is a silence at the heart of things. You may find it when you do not seek but stand and wait, and like a hill or tree, are for a little while content to be. Then you may even hear the silence speak.”
A dear friend and I would often go for long walks in utter silence. He once told me that he could sometimes feel (hear) heavenly music – a celestial symphony – which made him spiritually elated. Maybe what the Mother of Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry said, can partly explain this: “In the depths of our Being, in the silence of contemplation, a luminous force floods our consciousness.”
S S Hans