Silence is God’s first language: everything else is a poor translation.
Father Thomas Keating
There is tremendous noise that gets in the way of our seeing what is most important in life. I am not talking just about sound noise, but of all kinds of noise that compete for the attention of our senses each day.
From the moment I awaken my mind kicks into gear and the chatter begins: I need to make coffee, What time is it, Can I make my yoga class I should check on Trevor, What was that sound outside, What is the weather doing today, Have they found that airliner yet, Is that rain, I need to meditate
And so it goes every morning until I make my way into the family room, sit on a pillow, wrap a blanket around me, and meditate. Only then am I able to fully appreciate the degree to which the chatter consumes my daily existence and marvel at how I am able to get anything accomplished.
The seeker’s silence is the loudest form of prayer.
I have now meditated long enough that I am rewarded occasionally with periods best described as being somewhere else. I momentarily escape the mental chatter and slip into silence. There is no noise, no thought, but a strange clarity, a knowing. And then it ends and the chatter starts up again. I’m sure I continue to meditate because I want to get back to that peaceful place, but it’s not so easy.
Nothing is so like God as silence.
With so much noise constantly vying for our attention, we need contemplative practices that help us see the big picture when every day stressors threaten to overwhelm our sanity. This of course is easier said than done, but nevertheless, true. Absent silence in our life we will fail to recognize our unhealthy patterns, habits, and ruts that keep us living life on autopilot. And we will fail to discover our true nature.
Is that rain again I am definitely ready for a second cup of coffee Is that a tiny mouse running along the baseboard