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The Wisdom of Silence





Knowledge enters through the brain. Wisdom enters through the bones.


I've been honored to meet a few individuals in my life who have quiet in their souls. They had spent their lives steeping in silence. And when they spoke their words emerged from that silent place.


I hope to be so quiet one day.


When I was younger, I sought out the quietest places I could find: rooftops, cemeteries, woods, abandoned train yards.


But as I've grown older, my life has grown nosier. I've tried to move faster, to get ahead and to make a name for myself. The noise obscured my inner silence.


Going fast, we go slow. Going slow, we go fast.


Moving quickly, we miss the point.


Moving slowly, we arrive—like a docking boat—to the center of the world.


Lately I have begun to steep myself in silence again. And returning to that "deep quiet," as my partner calls it, is one of the most important things I can do for myself.


Everything becomes simple. Everything becomes clear.


Go into the silence. Go into the hills and down to the water. Go to where the dead are laid out, and listen.


There will be a voice.


It may not speak in words, but it will speak. Maybe in images, or in signs, or the mysterious movements of the heart.


Listen and you'll hear it down certain alleyways. You'll hear it in the desert sand. And in the flight of the turkey vulture as it slides in circles overhead.


Are you stuck? Listen. What is being asked of you?


Put aside your oversized ambitions, or your false meekness, whatever it is you think you are, and put yourself in service to the message from the depths—which is the self-same message that comes down from on high.


If you go all the way down, you find God. If you go all the way up, you find God. Not some king-deity, but the true divinity which is in fact the essence of you.

If you truly want to move forward, stop. Sink down into the truth. And you will be told what you must do.


Wars rise and ebb. Pain comes and goes. And yet all the drama of our human world is wrapped, all around, in the silence of the cosmos.


That silence is not apart from us. It saturates our world.


If we listen, we can hear each moment of our lives wrapped in that same mysterious quiet. That motionless peace.


This is the "now-flowing" of Meister Ekhart, the "power of now" of Ekhart Tolle, the "be here now" of Ram Dass.


When we slow down and arrive—when we are "now"—we find that "now" remains unchanged.


It is like a doorway through which everything can pass.


Every war, every death, every ecstacy, and every torture. Despite the endless parade of reality that passes through that thin gate, "now" remains forever open and unchanged.


As it's always been, and as it always will be, it stands silently at both ends of eternity, and all throughout.


The longer we stand in its threshold, the quieter our bones become.


And in that silence we will find our peace.



 

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