Entering the Silence
Silence is a true phenomenon that consists of far more than stillness and quiet. . . .
Silence is experienced bodily. . . .
We feel the presence of Silence throughout the physical world as a kind of touch, like that of a warm breeze on the skin on a fall day. We feel its presence as a living surround that fills us within. Our whole body, as sensory organ in itself, senses this realm. We cannot say we experience silence just in front of us, or to one side, or above, or in back of us. It is all around and also within, and yet it has a quality of a complete Other. . . .
We experience it in a somatic way, as an aloneness that partakes of the whole of the world. We feel isolated within our individual ego, but if we move out of it just a little bit and begin sensing our own bodily presence, we feel the touch of Silence announce itself, and we have found a way out of self-absorption. . . .
The most basic experience of Silence is intimacy. We feel an intimacy with the world, as if we are within everything around us rather than behind or alongside things that we are then looking at. This mantle of touch brings us to the living truth of our being. . . .
Illusion and ego-fantasy begin with forgetting this intimacy. When our forgetfulness of the touch of Silence become severe, we experience anxiety. . . . Our anxiety comes from our bodily experience of being reduced to the likeness of everyone else, of being completely forgetful of the touch that gives us a unique sensing of our bodily presence in the world. . . .
When we are touched by the ineffable in the way of intimacy, we begin to face all the inner noise, for we have aroused the guardians of Silence. All of this noise, and much more, gradually has to be burned away. . . . But as we begin to sense this debris, we are held safely within the surround of Silence. There is no need for us to sink down into all that noise and resolve it therapeutically before entering the world of quiet, for Silence is in itself therapeutic. We discover bits of the noise gradually, and Silence reveals how to clear them. Typically we are shown our inner noise by something in the world. . . .
After we have sufficiently contemplated the silence that we meet in the natural world, and we have found the way into sensing a new body, we begin to enter Silence through meditation, but not until then, or it will revert to a standard spiritual practice, and we will bypass the depths of Silence in order to get to one or another spiritual goal.