Silence Is Powerful

Recently I stumbled upon an enlightening book and would like to share some nuggets of wisdom that I gathered while reading it. I quote volubly from the book and also add my own observations.

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise by Thich Nhat Hanh exhorts us to find silence within ourselves. If we try, we would hear five sounds:

“1. The sound of the wonders of life that are calling you. (Sound of the birds, rain etc.)

Everything begins with a sound.

2. The sound of the One who observes the world. This is the sound of listening, the sound of silence.

3. The third sound is the Brahma sound – the transcendental sound, connected with spiritualism in Indian thought.

4. The sound of the rising tide.

5. The fifth sound is the sound that transcends all the sounds – the sound of impermanence, a reminder not to get attached to particular words or sounds.”

In the journey of life, how many of us have heard these sounds? Do we even know about them?

Do we introspect? Do we ponder about our activities, our purpose of the way we are living our life?

I am sure every one of us has heard the first kind of sounds but do we hear the call? Do we pay attention to them?

We also know the fifth sound so well yet never recognize its impermanence. 

There is a “small voice” – the inner voice that is often hushed by us. If we listen to that voice, it could unravel many desires that have not been paid any attention to.

Joy comes from listening to the inner desires that get drowned in the humdrum of life.

“We are what we feel and perceive. If we are angry, we are the anger. If we are in love, we are the love.”

Individual consciousness is required to eliminate toxic elements (anger, fear, despair) from our consciousness. It can be cultivated.

Conscious breathing is a good way to nourish body and mind with mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the practice that quiets the noise inside us. Noise of memories, of experiences, of past regrets, of uncertainty about the future… the list is endless.

Mindfulness too can be cultivated. It is not an easy task but also not unattainable.

“There is a radio playing in our head: Radio Station NST: Non Stop Thinking.” Mindfulness helps in silencing this non-stop station.

“Silence comes from the heart; it doesn’t mean we have to sit quietly.” No. It means learning to control the internal chatter, to calm the mind by “changing the way of your thinking and way of your looking.”

It is this chatter that prevents us from listening to ourselves or any one else. Only when we

“listen deeply to ourselves, can we listen to others. Take some time each day to listen with compassion to your inner child, to listen to the things clamoring to be heard. Then you will know how to listen to others.”

Four mantras to cultivate deep listening and presence in your relationships:

“1. I am here for you.

2. I know you are there, and I am very happy.

3. I know you suffer; that’s why I am here for you.

4. I suffer, please help.”

I have tried to condense a 225-page book into a short post to convey the most significant points that highlight the power of silence.

Thank you for reading.

Balroop Singh.

If you like poetry,  check my latest book: Magical Whispers

49 thoughts on “Silence Is Powerful

  1. I think turning off thought is an acquired skill and something that doesn’t happen overnight, but it can be achieved. The clutter of the world is always pressing around us. I have a couple tricks for obtaining silence, but they don’t always work. Thanks for sharing today, Balroop. It sounds like an intriguing book. Your takeaways for the post were compelling.

    1. I have learned to turn off thoughts with great effort Mae. I had to tell myself time and again that those troubling thoughts are not healthy, are not going to help… positivity has to be accomplished slowly yet chatter does creep in at times. 😊Thanks for sharing your reflections, much appreciated.

  2. These are great ideas. One thing I have done through the years is have a basic concept. If you are negative go do that someplace else and not around me. I try and have a “date” every morning on my back deck and listen to the birds and unless you are my wife everything else can wait.

  3. This book sounds wonderful, Balroop. I love the mindful practice of silence as a way to be fully present and alive. That NST Radio Station made me smile. How often am I tuned in to that channel… a lot. I think you did a wonderful job of condensing your thoughts into a post. It’s one to read again and contemplate. Thanks for sharing and for your recommendation. ❤ ❤

    1. Silence is rewarding Diana, it has given me many hours of contemplation. It’s not easy to turn off NST radio… often I struggle with that and some of my poetry emerges out of those moments. 😊 Thanks for sharing your view. Have a wonderful day dear friend.

  4. I enjoyed the wisdom of that post very much, Balroop, and the comments above too. Wisdom is attainable if we just take the time to sit quietly and listen – as you said.

  5. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Balroop. It’s definitely something I plan to read and incorporate into my life. I’m a big fan of silence.

  6. A wonderful post, Balroop, and timely. I am constantly searching for silence, immersing myself in nature and noise-cancelling headphones. Unfortunately, even when camping some people play loud music to share with the campsite. I will ponder the phrase “…find silence within ourselves.” I especially like #5 “…the sound of impermanence…” I am a work in progress on the noise inside us. The concept of “listening” is coming up in my radar recently. Thank you for sharing many gems.❤️

    1. I am glad to hear that this post resonated with you Erica. Who doesn’t want to seek silence in this era of cacophonous noise, even the music of the day fails to soothe the nerves. Finding silence within is a journey worth taking. 🌸🌼🌸

  7. Thank you for sharing this profound review of the book Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh and I find all his books inspiring. Have read few of his books too. He is a great teacher on spirituality. Lovely and awesome post on Silence, Balroop. I too will buy the book from Amazon and read it.

  8. What a wonderful idea. I had a time in my life where I did listen to white noise, deciding what silence sounded like. Well, that ended badly with the discovery my white noise was tinnitus! Sigh.

  9. This post felt so beautiful and peaceful to read as it brings such profound rich space of being. I have deeply enjoyed contemplating the sound of silence always it opens up new realms of being, brings to awareness the spaces between all that we perceive and the impermanence of that. It is forever cultivation of skill to be able to decipher and discern the inner voice, it has a distinct quality bit too much of other sounds compete to get in the way, testing our capacity to stay with it regardless. That book must be treasure to dive into, your post gave such a beautiful taste of it.

    1. Thank you Prag for sharing your experiences with silence. I am glad you found them pleasant. 🤗 I found this book rewarding in understanding sounds of silence and felt I must share what I had discerned.

  10. What a beautifully inspiring post, Balroop. Yes, I’ve heard those sounds and I hear the sound of my own vibration. It brings me peace. The hardest part is embracing the impermanence. Thank you for sharing the wisdom gleaned from this book!

  11. I have never had any consciousness of these sounds, but I do feel that people who understand the power of silence are not many. At the same time, these people are mentally strong. Even the ancient wellness system of India recognizes the power of silence. Have you heard of Vipassana program?

    1. Vipassana takes you to another level of meditation, which could become burdensome. Self-consciousness is enough to bring in peace of mind… that is my belief. 😊

  12. Good post, great man, wonderful points to contemplate, always. Impermanence is an existential reality, no matter what people wish to believe. And life is energy, and energy moves on, with or without a body, quantum physics demonstrates this. But. Unless we attend to the here and now, we are bound to leave this life with regrets, something I do not plan on doing. 😉 Blessings, Balroop.

  13. Thank you, Balroop, for this wonderful summary. What an important reminder. I don’t think I’ve heard #5. I’m still learning to quiet the mind chatter. Practicing yoga has taught me to meditate which has definitely helped me quiet the mind. I will be adding this book to my TBR.

  14. This books sound enlightening, Balroop, and you did a fabulous job in condensing its highlights. Allowing mindfulness to quiet the noise inside me is something I work on daily. Just like you wrote: Noise of memories, of experiences, of past regrets, of uncertainty about the future… the list is endless. Especially uncertainty about the future. The world gets scarier every day, so switching from a calm, optimistic channel in my head to NST takes little effort. A quick flip of the switch. But as always, One day at a time. Thanks for sharing these nuggets of wisdom. Great reading to end my week. 💗

    1. It is Lauren. Mindful living brings in inner peace, which slowly leads us to switching off NST. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. You do such a beautiful job of condensing Thich Nhat Hanh’s book that now I want to get my own copy (and I will!) I meditate to the words of Thich Nhat Hanh often (I find his meditations in my phone’s app “Insight Timer”). Silence is often the most challenging “thing” to do.

    1. Silence may be challenging but it is so inspiring! My meditation is more like introspecting and sifting positive thoughts to enrich my living. Happy reading Pam. 🙂

      1. I just downloaded Thich Nhat Hanh’s book on my Kindle, so I can read it slowly. Silently. A little at a time. Positive thoughts – YES.

  16. It’s been quite a journey, but I am slowly learning to shut out the ‘noise’ that threatens my peace. One never realizes the value of inner peace, until it’s gone. Far more valuable than any material object. Thanks for sharing this, Balroop. 🙂

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