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