Silence

Jean Klein

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Awakin FeatureSilence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally is only silence.

Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it simply is. In silence all objects have their home ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence.

Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond positive and negative.

Silence dissolves all objects. It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind.

Silence has nothing to do with mind. It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness.

Silence is freedom without restriction or center. It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body.

Silence is joyful, not pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling without a feeler.

Silence needs no intermediary.

Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in silence.

Silence is autonomous like love and beauty. It is untouched by time.

Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates.

Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence is the absence of absence.

Sound which comes from silence is music. All activity is creative when it comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning.

Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art.

Silence is the home ground of all creative activity. What is truly creative is the word, is Truth. Silence is the word.

Silence is truth.

The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love.

Excerpted from here.

Seed questions for reflection: What does silence mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time you felt established in silence? What helps you cultivate silence?

Add Your Reflection:

27 Previous Reflections:

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    On Feb 6, 2020 Heidi wrote:
    Daring to hold the silence in a conversation can be one of the most amazing experiences possible. Time disappears and a huge void appears which, as the ancient Chinese would say, is full of potential, hold it still further and a deeper layer emerges which cocoons one in a timeless, almost magical state of deep connection and a sense of truly being heard or listened to.

    In coaching silence was a powerful tool that honoured the individual and provided them with dedicated uninterrupted time and space to explore their own options and to create their own new futures.

    We live in such a frenetic world that true silence hardly exists, if you happen across it one day be sure to stop and appreciate it, value that rare moment for as long as you dare!

    Thank you

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    On Jan 10, 2020 kaamos wrote:
    I feel like these words are among the most beautiful things ever said. So simple, yet so profound. If asked, I wouldn't be able to explain what I think the author means by silence - but I can totally feel it.

    For me, silence is the backdrop for everything that happens, everything thatis. It can be understood both in a cosmic sense and as an essence of one's mind. Some would even say that the universe and consciousness are the same thing, and silence (or emptiness) permeatesthem.

    Personally, I find that silence can be accessed through mindfulness. The moment I am aware of being is the moment silence "sees" through me. Does that make sense?

    I feel like there is a lot to process in this passage. I'm so glad I came across this website earlier today and I cannot wait to read more of it. I'm simply grateful.

    Also, I love the illustration to the text.

    Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 9, 2020 Cuquis Sandoval wrote:
    I find myself in silence. I like to write, and I woke up early because I need complete silence to do it.

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    On Jan 9, 2020 MJ wrote:
    Parents, teachers they keep telling to kids "Keep Quiet". In my case it was just opposite.
    My teachers used to say " Why you don't talk". For them I was much matured for my age. I don't know, why but I loved to be alone and after so many years also its true.Most of the folks are scared to be alone because they don't like silence and most of the time its external. They want people to be around. But I believe in this world no one is alone. If you sit in silence, your choices are increased to talk to yourself many folds. Its time when you can really listen to yourself. Once you know how to connect with real you, life is more beautiful. Because then you connect to people not because you are scared or empty within but you are full and really can pass positive energy to others.

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    On Jan 8, 2020 Manisha wrote:
    Today when I read this phrase, lot of contradictory thoughts crossed my mind. Because on Wednesdays,we sit together, do 1 hour silent meditation and then for next 1 hour we were supposed to reflect on the phrase which was about "Silence". Interesting right, I heard so much of about Silence today :) Also I am bit confused. Is author taking about silence within ourselves or surroundings? Even if we are quiet, not necessarily we are silent. Our mind keeps on talking to us. Lot of thoughts from different time keep on coming. As individual, I prefer to be alone. Whenever its appropriate and not sound rude, I would like to go in my silent zone. Not because i am doing meditation but i love to be quite hearing sound of nature or just sound of silence :) One thing I learnt long back, less you will talk more composed you will be. You may not be having lot of friends but for sure you will not have enemies. Long story in short, if you can survive without talking even though you can, you ... [View Full Comment] Today when I read this phrase, lot of contradictory thoughts crossed my mind.
    Because on Wednesdays,we sit together, do 1 hour silent meditation and then for next 1 hour we were supposed to reflect on the phrase which was about "Silence". Interesting right, I heard so much of about Silence today :)
    Also I am bit confused. Is author taking about silence within ourselves or surroundings?
    Even if we are quiet, not necessarily we are silent. Our mind keeps on talking to us. Lot of thoughts from different time keep on coming.
    As individual, I prefer to be alone. Whenever its appropriate and not sound rude, I would like to go in my silent zone. Not because i am doing meditation but i love to be quite hearing sound of nature or just sound of silence :)
    One thing I learnt long back, less you will talk more composed you will be. You may not be having lot of friends but for sure you will not have enemies.
    Long story in short, if you can survive without talking even though you can, you will be the most satisfying soul in the world.
    Enjoy Silence :)[Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 8, 2020 Mahesh wrote:
    Only in absolute silence that we communicate with our higher self or soul... ...only in silence or a meditative state we open up to new ideas and creativity.......silence is your best friend.

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Sophia wrote:
    Last night I participated in a mindful self compassion three hour silent meditation. It was so pure and provided me the opportunity to envelop myself in genuine loving kindness. Afterward, I experienced absolute serenity. Silence IS golden.

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Vivian Jin wrote:
    This reminds me of a quote from a poem I read recently—"What a relief it would be to scream yourself hoarse, / to be forced intosilence, / the one note you know you can always hold." The poem is called "No, You Shut Up" by Raymond McDaniel

    Silence is like a purifying force, the normative state of the mind and soul. It is what one returns to when at a loss for words or actions.

    Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 7, 2020 ZG wrote:
    oh... thank you

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Barney Jones wrote:
    Solo sailing on a 32' wooden Hinckley was a meditating silence.

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Laurel wrote:
    Reading this passage a memory was evoked. Of standing so high on hills above the little village i lived in, that i was immersed in a wide open silence....only interrupted by the whispering 'shshshshing' of the wings of birds flying high above. Even though that was a sound, i was physically in a 'bubble of silence' where i could feel myself in it, and being able to hear the sound of wings from in the sky was something I had never heard like that before, it was the silence around me that allowed me to hear that.

    1 reply: Halldor | Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 7, 2020 Marc Forest wrote:
    For me deep awareness - mindfulness -is in the silence. In silence there is no-thing, simply awareness.I come to a place of ease and peaceby listening to the silence. Even when there is external and internal noise, silence is always available. We just need to bring awareness to it by listening.

    Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 7, 2020 AZRA RAZA SHAAZI wrote:
    So true silence is that brings us close to the sacred .Silence is oneness without any division .Silence is that takes you zbove sll petty issues and towards Equanimous mind that remains same in all situations

    Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 7, 2020 Tyler Dawn wrote:
    A beautiful work! As I read through this passage a second time, I replaced "silence" with the word Spirit. This resonated deeply with me! Happy New Year Everyone! May your 2020 be a vision without words. Peace and Joy💗🙏🏻

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Benjy Nepomuceno, OCDS wrote:
    Contemplation is the highest form of prayer. You approach it in silence as an active prayer from you in your mind. If you are deserving (as St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila teaches) and you have entered the dark night, this turns into passive prayer in which the Holy Spirit prays for you "in groaning" and you are still a participant remaining in silence. 

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    On Jan 7, 2020 Becky wrote:
    This is the reason why animals cannot speak...

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    On Jan 6, 2020 neeru wrote:
    simply beautiful

    1 reply: B | Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 6, 2020 Halldor wrote:
    Pure poetry

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    On Jan 4, 2020 David Doane wrote:
    Don't speak unless you can improve on silence makes sense to me -- I would do well to follow that advice more often. From the Psalms is, "Be silent and know I am God." Paschal said our problems come from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone. I agree with the Four Seasons that silence is golden. I love Jean Klein's many statements about silence -- each is a reflection in silence. Silence often was anxiety producing for me, and is for many people, but it seldom is anymore. Now I often welcome it. Silence is a time to turn inward, break from external and even internal talking and listen for and to the I am that is my real self and is an expression of God. Silence is getting regrounded in myself. Silence is peaceful. I feel established in silence when I allow and embrace it and tune in to what I am experiencing inside. What helps me cultivate silence is valuing my inner life and knowing that silence is an entryway into it. What also helps me is to close my mouth, ... [View Full Comment] Don't speak unless you can improve on silence makes sense to me -- I would do well to follow that advice more often. From the Psalms is, "Be silent and know I am God." Paschal said our problems come from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone. I agree with the Four Seasons that silence is golden. I love Jean Klein's many statements about silence -- each is a reflection in silence. Silence often was anxiety producing for me, and is for many people, but it seldom is anymore. Now I often welcome it. Silence is a time to turn inward, break from external and even internal talking and listen for and to the I am that is my real self and is an expression of God. Silence is getting regrounded in myself. Silence is peaceful. I feel established in silence when I allow and embrace it and tune in to what I am experiencing inside. What helps me cultivate silence is valuing my inner life and knowing that silence is an entryway into it. What also helps me is to close my mouth, close my eyes, get away from the external world, go to a quiet internal space, and reflectively nonjudgmentally pay attention to what I am experiencing.[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Jan 3, 2020 Prasad Kaipa wrote:
    When I read Silence passage by Jean Klein, image of womb came to my mind. It is the doorway to life. Womb represents life itself and it is the ground on which another life comes into the world. Then came the image of sky. Then the Sanskrit word for sky — Akasa. It is the primordial first element out of five elements that create life. Interestingly Akasa is only acknowledged in India as the fifth element (or the first). The West acknowledges only four elements — Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Even Chinese do not acknowledge sky. Sky represents silence. It is the ground on which all other elements come to life. silence and sound are sensory perceptions associated with sky. sensory perception associated with air is touch or feeling. For fire, it is vision or image. For water, it is taste and for earth, it is smell. So the creation of universe begins with sound and the origin seems to be silence. When I look at this image taken early in the morning — the mist, the trees, the ground,... [View Full Comment] When I read Silence passage by Jean Klein, image of womb came to my mind. It is the doorway to life. Womb represents life itself and it is the ground on which another life comes into the world. Then came the image of sky. Then the Sanskrit word for sky — Akasa. It is the primordial first element out of five elements that create life. Interestingly Akasa is only acknowledged in India as the fifth element (or the first). The West acknowledges only four elements — Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Even Chinese do not acknowledge sky. Sky represents silence. It is the ground on which all other elements come to life. silence and sound are sensory perceptions associated with sky. sensory perception associated with air is touch or feeling. For fire, it is vision or image. For water, it is taste and for earth, it is smell. So the creation of universe begins with sound and the origin seems to be silence. When I look at this image taken early in the morning — the mist, the trees, the ground, the doorway and the pathway with nobody or no animal in sight, I experience the silence. The silence that is the ground of everything.



    Click on the image for higher-res photo. [Hide Full Comment]

    2 replies: Halldor, Rany | Post Your Reply
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    On Jan 3, 2020 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    As I was reflecting on the reading by Jean Klien, thoughtsabout silence started flashing through my mind. Here I am wondering about what silence means to me. My mind is busy looking for the answer to the question "What does silence mean to you?" I noticed my mind wondering and wandering looking for something beyond the thinking mind. As I let go of the thinking and talking mind I felt the presence of silence. I felt like I am flowing in the river of silence, the flow of is-ness beyond time and space. My daily practice of MindfulnessMeditation helps me to be connected with my home ground. I feel at home, secured, silent, centered, flowing and at ease. When I went to a week -end silence retreat I had prolonged periods of silence. This was a profound experienceof silence for me. It has had a carry over effecton me. My daily practice of Mindfulness Meditation helps me to cultivatesilence and to be established in silence. It has a carry over wholesome effect in my daily transact... [View Full Comment] As I was reflecting on the reading by Jean Klien, thoughtsabout silence started flashing through my mind. Here I am wondering about what silence means to me. My mind is busy looking for the answer to the question "What does silence mean to you?" I noticed my mind wondering and wandering looking for something beyond the thinking mind. As I let go of the thinking and talking mind I felt the presence of silence. I felt like I am flowing in the river of silence, the flow of is-ness beyond time and space.

    My daily practice of MindfulnessMeditation helps me to be connected with my home ground. I feel at home, secured, silent, centered, flowing and at ease. When I went to a week -end silence retreat I had prolonged periods of silence. This was a profound experienceof silence for me. It has had a carry over effecton me.

    My daily practice of Mindfulness Meditation helps me to cultivatesilence and to be established in silence. It has a carry over wholesome effect in my daily transactions.
    Namaste!
    JagdishP Dave







    [Hide Full Comment]

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    On Jan 3, 2020 Xiaoshan Pan wrote:
    As thinking becomes a disease, silence is the cure.

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply

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