silence 2

The good and the wise lead quiet lives.



The only language able to express the wholeness of truth is silence.  Silence is ever speaking.  It is a perennial flow of language which is interrupted by speaking.

Ramana Maharishi

What is it that stands higher than words?  Action.
What is it that stands higher than action?  Silence.

Francis of Assisi


Silence must be comprehended as not solely the absence of sound.  It is the natural environment for serenity and contemplation.  Life without silence is life without privacy.  The difference between sanity and madness is the quality of our thoughts.  Silence is on the side of sanity.

Norman Cousins


Silence has a regenerative power of its own.  It is always sacred.  It always returns you home.

Barbara De Angelis


As I age I am grateful to find that a silence has begun to gather in me, coexisting with my tempers and my fears, unchanged by my joys or my pain.  Sanctuary.  Connected to the Silence everywhere.

Rachel Naomi Remen


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


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As there are silent depths in the ocean which the fiercest storm
cannot reach, so there are silent, holy depths of the hearts of people
which the storm of sin and sorrow can never disturb.  To reach
this silence and to live consciously in it is peace.

James Allen


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


True silence really means going deep within yourself to that place
where nothing is happening, where you transcend time and space.
You go into a brand new dimension of nothingness.  That's where
all the power is.  That's your real home.  That's where you really
belong, in deep Silence where there is no good or bad, no one
trying to achieve anything.  Just being, pure being. . . .
Silence is the ultimate reality.

Robert Adams

  silence 2   

Concentrated power is silence.  Diffused power is noise. . . . When
you reach the place of silence in mind, you have reached
the place of power, the place where all is one.

Baird Spalding


I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.


The apron of silence is with me.
Silence is a gift.  Be silent.

Clara Sandburg

Silence is a true friend who never betrays.


Silence is the language of God;
it is also the language of the heart.




Our greatest experiences are
our quietest moments.

Friedrich Nietzsche

There are times when silence
has the loudest voice.

Leroy Brownlow

Our task is to listen to the news
that is always arriving out of silence.

Rainer Maria Rilke

There are times when silence
is the most sacred of responses.

Eugene Kennedy


Deliberately to choose to be silent at times, to watch and weigh our
words when we speak, would accomplish more for many
than the pious practices they so much enjoy.

Bede Frost

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.

Bertrand Russell



Talk uses up ideas.  Once I have spoken them aloud,
they are lost to me, dissipated into the noisy air
like smoke.  Only if I bury them, like bulbs, in the
rich soil of silence do they grow.

Doris Grumbach

All my days I grew up among the sages, and I have found
nothing better for a person than silence.

Pirke Aboth

May my silences become more accurate.

Theodore Roethke


The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

Baba Ram Dass


Silence is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.
Talking is often a torrent for me, and I need many days
of silence to recover from the futility of words.

Carl Gustav Jung

What a strange power there is in silence!  How many resolutions are formed,
how many sublime conquests effected, during that pause when the lips are
closed, and the soul secretly feels the eye of her Maker upon her!  They
are the strong ones who know how to keep silence when it is a pain
and a grief unto them, and who give time to their own souls
to wax strong against temptation.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Without silence, there cannot be any real appreciation of life,
which is as delicate in its inner fabrics as a closed rosebud.

Deepak Chopra


In a noisy world, seek the silence in your heart.  And through the power
of silence, the energies of chaos will be brought back to harmony--not
by you, but through you, as all miracles are.  When we visit this silence
regularly, particularly in the morning, then the days of our lives become
lit from above.  Darkness and fear are cast from our midst, slowly at first,
one moment at a time.  Ultimately, all darkness will be gone from every heart.

Marianne Williamson

Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all that we see
is beautiful and attractive.  This is undoubtedly part of the reason we 
flee silence.  We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy,
our phoniness.  We see how false and fragile is the false self we project.
We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self.
It is a harrowing journey, a death to self—the false self—and no one
wants to die.  But it is the only path to life, to freedom, to peace,
to true love.  And it begins with silence.  We cannot give ourselves in love
if we do not know and possess ourselves.  This is the great value of silence.
It is the pathway to all we truly want.

M. Basil Pennington


A person who lives right, and is right, has more power in his
or her silence than another has by his or her words.

Phillips Brooks


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silence 2

Silence speaks, the contemplatives say.  But really, I think, silence
sorts.  An ordering instinct sends people into the hush where the voice
can be heard. . . Silence, that inspired dealer, takes the day's deck,
the life, all in a crazy heap, lays it out, and plays its flawless hand of
solitaire, every card in place.  Scoops them up, and does it all again.

Patricia Hampl


There is something greater and purer than what the mouth utters.
Silence illuminates our souls, whispers to our hearts, and brings them together.

Khalil Gibran


Certain experiences may be transmitted by language,
others--more profound--by silence; and then there are
those that cannot be transmitted, not even by silence.

Elie Wiesel

Silence means you are under complete control of all your emotional reactions, which are conquered in silence.  Everything that happens in our bodies happens in complete silence.  And when you start hearing from it, then you know something is wrong!  The principle of healing is to invoke silence--going into the silence.

Mother Serena
What I love most of all is the silence.  It's the silence that works.  Silence is marvelous. . . Whew!  It's gorgeous.  No sounds. . . nobody. . . no touching. . . I walk through the door, and there it is waiting for me in the room.  I have instant silence!

Joan Fontaine
Silence is unceasing eloquence.  It is the best language.

Ramana Maharishi
An elaborately patient silence can be very provoking!

C.S. Lewis

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From the spiritual side:
In this noisy, restless, bewildering age, there is a great need for quietness
of spirit.  Even in our communion with God we are so busy presenting our
problems, asking for help, seeking relief that we leave no moments of silence
to listen for God’s answers.    By practice we can learn to submerge our
spirits beneath the turbulent surface waves of life and reach that depth of our
being where all is still, where no storms can reach us.  Here only
can we forget the material world and its demands on us.

Alice Hegan Rice

The truest communication with God is absolute, total silence;
there is not a single word in existence that can
convey this communication.

Bernadette Roberts


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.  The more we receive in silent
prayer, the more we can give in our active life.

Mother Teresa



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(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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