Dear Friends ~ What does it mean to be a Friend of Silence? Our practice must not just be in the artificial conditions of a morning quiet time. We must find a way of working in the noisy conditions of our life. When the clamor and chaos of our ordinary life overtake us, if our friendship with Silence is strong enough, we will find a way to stop and be still -- still enough that the noise does not see us, silent enough that we can find a way back to ourselves. The noise of our life need not be an obstacle to our presence. When Silence finds a home in our body, we can come back to our own inner sensation of "I am" even when everything around us and within us is loud and falling apart. Night and day, noise and silence are both alike to the One in whom we live and move and have our being. ~ Bob
This state of presence is extraordinarily important to know and taste in oneself. For sacred tradition is emphatic in its insistence that real Wisdom can be given and received only in a state of presence, with all three centers of our being engaged and awake. Anything less is known in the tradition as "sleep" and results in an immediate loss of receptivity to higher meaning. To return to that favorite Wisdom metaphor, it is like the disciple Peter suddenly sinking beneath the surface of the waters.
To all that is chaotic in you,
let there come silence.
Let there be a calming of the clamoring,
a stilling of the voices
that have laid their claim on you,
that have made their home in you
that go with you even to the holy places
but will not let you rest,
will not let you hear your life with wholeness.
Presence signifies the quality of consciously being here. It is the activation of a higher level of awareness that allows all our other human functions - such as thought, feeling, and action - to be known, developed, and harmonized. Presence is the way in which we occupy space, as well as how we flow and move. It shapes our self-image and emotional tone. It determines the degree of our alertness, openness, and warmth. Presence decides whether we leak and scatter our energy or embody and direct it.
One of the first conscious efforts you can make after you have observed some wrong work or negative I in you is the practice of inner stop. It means to become absolutely still within yourself. You are not trying to stop your thoughts. Stopping all thoughts are not possible. But you can hold yourself inviolate against any particular thought that wishes to grab your attention by being entirely motionless inside. It has nothing to do with stopping the I itself. I's will continue to move in and out of your awareness but in your stillness, you have become invisible to them like a rabbit that freezes when it senses a predator. You notice an encroaching negative I or negative state and instead of trying to banish it you become silent and still inside yourself and therefore are invisible to it. You don't talk to it or contend with it in any way. You simply stay still within yourself which will give you the time to proceed to the next movement. Practicing inner stop gives you the opportunity to decide the best course of action.
I need to understand that by myself, without a relation with something higher, I am nothing.
I can escape only if I feel my absolute nothingness and begin to feel the need for help. I must feel the need to relate myself to something higher, to open to another quality.