To speak from the heart, we must listen to the speech of the heart

The spaciousness of silence nurtures new sensitivities, new sense-abilities. During this phase of the spiritual journey, the emphasis will not be directly on speaking but on perceiving: on SEEING instead of just looking, on LISTENING instead of just hearing. Eyes and ears are not sufficient... To speak from the heart, we must listen to the speech of the heart, which grows articulate in being moved and is animated by the speech of the world. The eyes of the heart do not find nouns in the world, but verbs. The seeing and listening of the heart enable us to appreciate the world and all it phenomena as animate. We must simply become quiet enough, heartfully sense-able enough, to perceive and inwardly honor this silent speech of the world.

~ from THE SPEECH OF THE GRAIL by Linda Sussman

No longer trusting entirely in language to contain reality

The solitary life, being silent, clears away the smoke-screen of words that we lay down between our mind and things... Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being, between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world of silence, words to not separate us from the world nor from others, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.
~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton

Silent and radiant people

I believe in the influence of silent and radiant people. Such people are rare. They, nevertheless, give savor to the world.
~ Marius Grout

Why I make my home in the mountain forest

You ask why I make my home in the mountain forest,
And I smile, and am silent,
And even my soul remains quiet:
It lives in the other world
Which no one owns.
The peach trees blossom.
The water flows.
~ Li Po in THE ENLIGHTENED HEART by S. Mitchell

Be a lover of silence

If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence, like the sunlight, will illuminate you in God, and will unite you to God. Love silence: it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence. May God give you an expression of this "something" that is born of silence. After a while, a certain sweetness is born in the heart, and you are drawn almost by force to remain in silence.

~ from TRUE PRAYER by Kenneth Leech

Make sure your talk is an improvement on silence

A tourist spending the night in a small New England Town joined a group sitting on the porch of the general store.  After several vain attempts to start a conversation asked, "Is there a law against talking in this town."

"No law against it," said one old timer. We just like to make sure it's an improvement on silence."

~ thanks to Robert S. Bower

Too many words can alienate us from one another

I feel an increasing desire to be silent with friends. Words are important in bringing hearts together, but too many words can alienate us from one another. Not every event has to be told, not every idea has to be shared. Once an atmosphere of mutual trust is present we can be silent together and let God be the One who speaks, gently and softly.

~ from THE PRIMACY OF THE HEART by Henri Nouwen thanks to A. Vernilye

When we first try to sit in silence

It is a paradox that we encounter so much internal noise when we first try to sit in silence.

~ Gunilla Norris

Only in silence the word

Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life.

~ Ursula Le Guin
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