What is silence?
When we look up the definition of ‘silence’, we discover that Silence is said to be the lack of audible sound. Silence can refer to any absence of communication or hearing, in speech, music and media. Silence can also be used as a form of non verbal communication and spiritual connection.
Silence in spirituality is often an indicator of inner stillness. A silent mind, freed from the onslaught of thoughts and thought patterns, is often thought to be both a goal and an important step in spiritual development. This inner silence is not about the absence of sound, rather it is understood to bring one in contact with the divine, the ultimate reality, or one’s own true self, one’s divine nature.
Many religious traditions state the importance of being quiet, still in mind and spirit for spiritual growth to occur. In Christianity, there is the silence of contemplative prayer. In Islam, there are the Sufi teachings that suggest the importance of finding silence within. In Buddhism, descriptions of silence and allowing the mind to become silent are implied as a feature of spiritual enlightenment. In Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta and the many paths of Yoga, teachers insist on the importance of silence, known as Mauna – a source of peace and silence for inner growth. In some traditions communal silence is used as a form of worship. Silence often is thought to create the opening for the divine to speak in the heart and mind. Eckhart Tolle says that silence can be seen either as the absence of noise, or as the space in which sound exists, just as inner stillness can be seen as the absence of thought, or the space in which thoughts are perceived. Gangaji and Eli suggest having a silent mind and an open heart.
In the context of Satsang, in the investigation of the truth of the one self, let us discover this silence.
What is silence? Where is silence? How does one experience or cultivate silence?
My teacher Papaji says not to stir a single thought – then what is discovered, if you do not stir, give rise to, or follow a single thought?
Firstly let us be clear about what we mean by mind or thought – A thought can be identified as being a mental, physical or emotional response, it may present as a word, a series of words, as a thought stream, it may arise as images, pictures, colour or sound, as a physical sensation or any other phenomena.
When there is no attention given to the arising of any thought we discover what is here, what remains, and what has always been here. Profound, vast, still, empty, full, silence – this is the ground of our being , this is awareness itself, this is the consciousness that is all – all arising and falling back into silence.
Then there is the possibility to discover the endless depth of this silence that is our own self.
In gratitude always for This One Self – Namaste Yantra-ji