The importance of silence

All the most influential peacemakers and social changers had a practice of silence: Thoreau, Gandhi, Howard Thurman, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Keating… they all had prayer, silence, meditation, contemplation as part of their daily lives.

It’s in the silence that we reach an elevated and expanded consciousness. It’s in the silence that we go beyond the illusions and stories, and get to know who we really are. It’s in the silence that we touch our common essence and go beyond what separates us to realize what unites us. It’s in the silence that we transcend our loyalties to our tribes and realize that we are human and divine before we are anything else. It’s in the silence that we move from egoism to altruism, from individuality to community. It’s in the silence that we realize that we are all in this together, that we are all connected, that we are one. It is the silence that we get that we are all in the same spaceship — Spaceship Earth.

It’s in the silence that we realize that this is a place of abundance, and that we can organize ourselves to live on this planet in new ways through which everyone can have dignified lives, free from man-inflicted lack, pain or suffering. It’s in the silence that we realize that this is our Garden and Playground. It’s in the silence that we realize that this is Heaven, if we want it to be.

A new consciousness emerges in the silence. The end of the impetus to compete, conquer, dominate, subjugate and accumulate; the end of the impulse to pursue power in order to control, oppress and exploit; the end of prejudice and tribalism; the end of aggression and violence;  the end of injustices and abject poverty; the end of indifference and neglect… All the above comes from inner work, from a practice of silence.

The understanding that we are all in this together; altruism, empathy and compassion; forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance; cooperation and collaboration; patience, generosity, kindness, love, nonviolence, tranquility and peace; respect for the environment and for all sentient beings; respect and service to others… All these wonderful insights are experienced by those who practice the cultivation of wisdom through moments of introspection in silence, stillness, and solitude.

The Silence allows us to see the Magic, the Mystery, and the Miracles. We look at the same things, but now we see what we were not able to see before. Now, we feel awake, alert, attentive, aware, appreciative, and alive. We feel like little children, discovering the world and living in a state of awe.

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