This morning I set out to try a new coffee shop five blocks away from my apartment at the intersection of a freeway entrance and a main thoroughfare. The coffee was good. The constant din of speeding cars and accelerating engines was not!
To feel Silence, we have to subtract what is not silence from our awareness. Sometimes we can listen past the noise to the deeper Silence beneath it. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from the environment to feel in our bones the eternal Silence. I listened for Silence at the coffee shop, but I couldn’t hear it.
We have all heard that Silence is Golden, but I like to say that Silence is Gold itself. From the Bhagavad Gita, we learn that “That” is indestructible: “Fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, weapons cannot destroy it, wind cannot dry it” (Bhagavad Gita, 2/23). Similarly, Gold is always Gold, even when enmeshed in rock, even when sunken in the ocean for hundreds of years, even when battered by explosions, each piece remains Gold.
Silence is always Silence, although it may be hidden beneath an ocean of noise. In listening for Silence, we become peaceful. We become clear. We become whole.
In March I ended my post by saying that becoming peaceful is our contribution to the sanity of the world. What I meant was that our sanity increases as our communion with Silence grows. And, since we are all part of one humanity, our Silence affects others. Let us listen for our own inner Silence so that, in time, we and our whole culture may become sane, peaceful, and loving.