Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

The Mystery of Silence

--by Dorothy Hunt (Feb 18, 2008)

Silence cannot really be described. It is not the absence of sound. It makes it possible to notice sound. It is still, but its stillness is constantly moving. It is nothing, but a nothing filled with everything. It is aware, but may move unaware. It is love, but a love that lets hatred be. It is wise, but its wisdom only fools can know. It has a shape, the shape of this moment. It has its own sound, but can only be heard when the mind is still. Unceasingly, it speaks Truth without uttering a single word.

This Silent Mystery is prior to mind. It also moves as mind, but the mind cannot imagine what it is to disappear into Silence. That is why it is so often afraid of deep silence. Yet it is in silence that we can discover the truth of what is always here, always undivided, and always in peace, even if the moment does not seem peaceful. The Silence of our true nature is deeply, profoundly, and unceasingly present. It cannot be lost by the mind’s confusions nor gained by its clarity, for this awake and eternal Silence does not come and go.

We do not need long years on a meditation cushion to ask ourselves: What is here when we are not trying to arrive there? What is here, so close we do not notice? Who am I when I don’t go to my mind for an answer? What knows cannot be known except to Itself. It is a Mystery prior to any and all concepts. We might say it is what silences every thought and every concept—even those called truth, God, Buddha, world, or the concept of a “me;” yet it is simultaneously their source.

In This that dreams the world and the play of existence each moment, everything continually appears and disappears into an ever-present Silence that knows no separation between background and foreground, divine and human, teacher and student, enlightened and unenlightened, God and flea. It is undivided Silence, empty of nothing, continually moving, continually still. It is what we are. It is where the mind cannot go, where mind must remain in unknowing.

--Dorothy Hunt

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On Feb 18, 2008 krishnaswamy wrote:
In Dakshinamurti Slokam, Adi Sankara speaks of Siva as Guru teaching the rishis in silence:

Lao Tsu describes the ‘Law of the reversed effect’ thus:
It is in the letting go, that we are enabled to receive;
In the stillness, that we can participate;
In the silence, hear;
and, out of the dark night, see.
To know the Truth, one must get rid of knowledge

On Feb 18, 2008 nagraj rao wrote:
A lot is written when there is nothing to write about. This is mind trying to show off with big big words.
Silence is silence and nothing else.
Too many attributes have been given where none exist.
What is beyond mind, the mind will never be able to grasp. you only play around with words and try to confuse simple minds with your vocabilary.

On Feb 19, 2008 supun wrote:
I read this a few times, and it is very confusing. When I read it out loud it sounded very nice. But yet for something that speaks of silience it is a bit fluffy and long winded (probably purposfully?). I don't know if silence cannot be described, maybe it doesn't need to be described and that's probably her point. Sometimes we take it for granted just like we take "peace" for granted as only a concept. Silence is very real just like peace can be.
The main idea in me at this point:
The mind knows of silence just like it can contain the concept of nothingness :-). But, I don't agree that Silence is our TRUE nature, but I think it is part of our nature that we tend to take for granted. Sometimes I equate silence with not being awake. Then I realize maybe the point of reading this is to be aware. I don't know if things dissapper into this type of Silence.

It become more like a less muddy pond where clarity appears :-P

On Feb 19, 2008 Troy wrote:
There is nothing that we cannot agree upon, understanding that if it exists, even in concept alone, that it is truth.
Now how can I understand this in my own terms ?

Yes, silence cannot be described using symbols that create form, an absence of silence, that unified ‘nothingness’ from which we create. The area which no, we cannot accurately describe what it is, only trying by description of what it is not, from the outside, a metaphor for the content and whole of our unconscious
The use of flowery wording & dialectical descriptions that seem to cancel each other out ( but really leave your mind with a contradiction that allows an opening however brief for “silence” to emerge ) is beauteous
It is also within this place of utter potential, of “nothingness” ( as utterly simple as it is to know, often TOO simple by our illusorily modern lives to accept )
Within ‘this’ silence, or rather within our SELFs, is where we can find it/us/I am…all
Thru dialectic cancelation, a sort of unification, & understanding that all of life is ONE, that there is no separation except that which we stubbornly work to impose trying to maintain/control so we can understand it
Instead of trusting openly & completely our own common/unique process of life

This is a simple description of the mechanics of language in relation to experience transmitted. Very intangible & inversely relatable

On Feb 19, 2008 Conrad wrote:
Faantastic. Thank you.
I am reminded of the Trappist Thomas Keating who said: "God's first language is silence. All else is a poor translation."
Ghandi said : If you don't see God in thr next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.

On Nov 7, 2012 Pedro-loco, Ajijic,MX wrote:
pedro-loco has 3rd degree Alzheimer's {3 + part 4 out of 7}. Bad thoughts-dreams can be harnessed through semi-rigid clock towers.  That is ~ with purpose restrict worries and bad thoughts to 60 seconds.  Repeat next day if required.