February 3
Silence is something like an
endangered species.  The
experience of silence is now
so rare that we must guard
it and treasure it.

Gunilla Norris


Today's Meditation:

Silence can play a very important part in our lives if we allow it to do so.  In this world that's constantly bombarding our senses with sensory input, only in an environment of complete silence can we find the kind of peace that human beings have been searching for probably since we appeared on the planet.  Silence used to be easier to find, so people probably didn't value it as much--it was there when we needed it.  Nowadays, though, there are many people who don't even know what silence is like, especially for an extended period of time. 

True silence is like a balm, a healing force that can allow us to find a depth in our lives that we generally don't reach when we're distracted or when others want our attention.  Many people find silence and immediately become afraid of it, so they turn on a TV or a stereo just to banish the silence.  There's something about the idea of not having something to latch their minds on that terrifies them, and it just could be that they're afraid that the silence may be something very positive for them.

We have to give silence a chance.  We have to search it out and allow it to be a part of us, and then we have to find out where our minds can go when we're not overwhelmed by outside sounds.  When we do this, we can see and feel the world in new and different ways--we can experience our lives in deeper ways when we're not struggling to sort out the hundreds of sounds that tend to follow us wherever we go.

But where can we find silence?  That's one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves, and it does often take a lot of effort to put ourselves into a silent environment.  But it is important to find such a place--or such places--for the sake of our well-being.  The challenge of finding places where we can experience silence, and then putting ourselves in those places on a regular basis, may just be one of the most important challenges that face us in our lives.  I've found that silence doesn't have to be the complete absence of noise, and that we will recognize silence when we find it.

Questions to consider:

Why do we value silence so little in our cultures of today?

What do some people fear in silence?  Why are so many people afraid to be by themselves in completely silent places?

When was the last time you experienced silence?  How did it feel?

For further thought:

Silence stands outside the world of profit
and utility.  It cannot be exploited for profit;
you cannot get anything out of it.  It is "unproductive," therefore it is regarded as
useless.  Yet there is more help and healing
in silence than in all useful things.

Max Picard

More on silence.


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