November 22

Truth does not reveal itself in the
chatter of conversation, nor can it
be coaxed to betray its secrets
upon a printed page.  Truth speaks
only in the deep stillness of silence.



Today's Meditation:

I think that I would be much more in tune with the truth of this statement if there were more silence in my life.  As it stands, there are very few times when I'm able to experience true silence deeply, and because of that, I'm not nearly as able to reach the "deep stillness" of which Shantidasa speaks.  The few times that I have been able to do so, though, have given me a hint of the truth of which he speaks.

I've been fortunate enough to be able to do a lot of hiking in the Grand Canyon during the off-season (I lived and worked there for a year).  During those hikes, I've been able to experience a deep and profound silence, one in which my thoughts have the chance to slow down and relax a bit, in which I can take a deep breath and actually hear that breath.  And during those silences I get a glimpse of the bigger picture of life, the importance of just being as opposed to always doing, the amazing miracles that surround us all the time.

Truth tends to be a relative term in our day-to-day lives, for we constantly have to redefine our truths based on our new realities--new friends, new neighbors, new co-workers, new bosses.  But truth in the greater sense really is unchanging, and we're never going to get close to it when we talk about last night's TV show or yesterday's football game.  Those things may be interesting to talk about, but such conversations contribute nothing to who we are and how we live our lives.

If we never seek out silence, then we're choosing to keep ourselves immersed in chatter--noise that may sometimes be useful and sometimes productive, but which in the final analysis doesn't allow us to learn anything deep about ourselves.  When we find that silence, we must use it to slow ourselves down, slow our thoughts down, relax and let ourselves be and let the world be.  Only then will we start to get glimpses of what our lives are all about on a deeper level, and only when we're able to see that will we be able to begin our journey towards that level.

Questions to consider:

Why are we so obsessed with making noise and dispelling silence?

What kinds of truths have you seen or felt during your truly quiet times?

How can we go about finding moments of silence in our lives?

For further thought:

This withdrawal from the day's turmoil into creative silence is
not a luxury, a fad, or a futility. It is a necessity, because it tries
to provide the conditions wherein we are able to yield ourselves
to intuitive leadings, promptings, warnings, teachings, and
counsels and also to the inspiring peace of the soul.
It dissolves mental tensions and heals negative emotions.

Paul Brunton
The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

More on silence.


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