Silence is defined as complete absence of sound.
The old traditions called it inner silence because it is a state in which perception doesn’t depend on the senses.
In today’s noisy world quietness, stillness, hush, tranquility, noiselessness, sound-less, peacefulness, peace (and quiet) are words used to describe inner quiet, stillness of mind and senses. But Inner Silence requires discipline. When we learn to bring attention to soul experience, to stop relying on the senses alone for satisfaction and joy, then we are going to become more aware of the divine.
“The Maitri Upanishad expresses this with great beauty, accuracy, and paradox: “There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one’s mind and subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.”
To rest beyond our mind, and yet to be present in silence within the mind, means that the divine cannot be grasped by the mind’s methods: through reason.
The divine is ineffable because it is infinite, and so it transcends the mind’s capacities.
Yet it “abides in silence within our mind” because it comprehends all things within itself and is immanent in all things, and all things exist within it. To become aware of its
subtle presence within subjectivity, one must rest in it through contemplative meditation.”
Inner silence works from the moment you begin to listen. What mystics were after was the final, dramatic, end result of reaching that individual threshold of silence. Some need only a few minutes of silence to reach that state. Others need long periods of silence before they can be in touch with their subconscious connection to the divine. The result is what Mexican shamans called stopping the world, the moment when everything around ceases to be what it’s always been.
In this website, silence also refers to LISNing – the practice of being quiet when someone else is speaking, so that you can attend with your heart to what they are really saying.Full Glossary Index