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Reflections: Sitting in Silence…

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“See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Reflections: Sitting in Silence... Silence and thanksgiving in a chapel...

Ten Things That Lead Me to Silence…
There are times when we choose to be silent, during meditation/prayer, and times when we are stunned into silence by events that take our breath away; that leave us speechless. When our spirit meets true silence, we respond without prompting. Whatever we believe in joins us there; God, energy, our own spirit, instructing us to pause, to be quiet, to be silent. What is ironic is that the moment we decide that we want to be silent, to enter a meditative state, our minds become active with the anticipation and even anxiety that precedes a conscious decision to turn the decibel level down; and eventually off. As I read a WP Daily Post prompt on a related theme, I had a revelation to look at ten things that lead me to silence; that leave me speechless. Here are three and more will be added below after the blog hop which continues. Update your post or add a new one you’d like others to read. Rules below

Meditation and Prayer
♥ Beauty in Nature
♥ Random Acts of Kindness & Love

Reflections: Sitting in Silence... Silence & beauty of nature

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“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence…” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Reflections: Sitting in Silence... meditative, silent Buddha

♥ Harsh words – meanness
♥ Loving words and forgiveness
♥ Classical/Spirituals & Inspired Music
♥ Shocking events – both good and bad news

Sounds of Silence
Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.” The second monk said, “Aren’t we not supposed to talk?” The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?” The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak.”

“As a man thinketh, so is he.” Sometimes we make a great show of our vows of silence which, quite frankly, tends to reveal more about our ego than our wish to be quiet/silent. For true silence is not something we prompt, it happens of its own volition, in its own mystical, intelligent time. Above is a beautiful story on silence via Wikipedia to make you chuckle… We make the best effort that we can and the rest shows what we must really work at… True silence. Enjoy.

“There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” Gloria Naylor

Reflections: Sitting in Silence... Zoroastrian Towers of Silence

♥ Razor sharp Truth
♥ Sadness, Anger, Exhaustion
♥ A satisfying meal, a great movie, beauty inside and out

The Silent Monks
Three monks who had taken vows of silence were permitted an annual reprieve during which one monk was permitted to speak at the end of each year of silence. At the end of the first year, the first monk was allowed his opportunity to speak, whereupon he said: The soup is too hot. Another year elapsed. Then it was the next monk’s turn. The monks turned their attention to him, whereupon he said: The soup is too cold. Another year elapsed. It was the third monk’s turn. The assembled monks turned to him, whereupon he said: The soup is neither too cold nor too hot. However, it is too salty.
By the fourth year, the Abbess had posted a notice that it would be she who would speak at the end of that year. The assembled monks were particularly alert to hear the esteemed Abbess give her speech. One could hear the sound of a butterfly’s wings in the silence which enveloped the hall. Whereupon the Abbess said: There will be no more of this quibbling about the soup. Thus have I heard.

Another wise story above… also from Wikipedia. Silence comes in many forms and is expressed in ways that reveal our frailties and our strengths. We may earnestly choose to be silent, but what about our mind and its endless chatter? How do we silence that powerful companion? Do we even need to? Perhaps an answer is not needed… Silence does reveal all. What are your thoughts? What things make you silent? How do you spend your chosen quiet time? Do share. Thank You! 🙂

This post was inspired by a Daily Post prompt: See how long you can sit in silence.

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Positive Motivation Tip: There are times we choose to be silent and times we are left speechless. Both take us to a quiet place inside. Sit and reflect on that place…

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of thanksgiving chapelNature/Beauty/Silence, Sounds of Silence, Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, and Silence in Buddha, via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

37 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/06/2011 2:21 am

    I actually like silence. In fact, I have to say I am missing silence right now. 😆

    Not much silence around our house since Friday! Probably not a lot of silence for the next 12 years!

    But it is joyous noise – I like it. 😀

    • 07/06/2011 3:55 am

      Dear Robyn,
      I feel for you as I can imagine the flurry of activity in your home right now. Take a moment to breathe and, if need be, establish a new ground rule: 1-2 hours of quiet time added to the household routine. The children will grow to appreciate it. And then the joyous noise will be blissful!
      Glad to hear from you… 😉

      • 07/06/2011 5:33 am

        I figure when we get into a routine of school, John at work and me back at work, things will settle. I think there is still an element of jet lag, which I am trying to combat, but they keep falling alseep at the wrong times! Hard to make an 8 year-old stay awake!

      • 11/06/2011 7:11 am

        That is true… At least you are working on getting everyone settled into a routine. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  2. 07/06/2011 2:35 am

    Just a beautiful, inspiring post. A lot of times we’re all too busy with our daily hectic schedule, the constant talking, noise around us dulls our ability to reflect and listen to what is really important in our lives. You’re very right, silence helps us touch our souls. have a great day.

    • 07/06/2011 3:59 am

      Thank you David,
      Silence does help us touch our souls… I loved the quote when I saw it as it resonated with me too. I agree with you, the constant din in the world can be so tiring that we lose our desire to reflect and be silent…. TY! 🙂

  3. 07/06/2011 2:40 am

    It is so important to spend quality time with silence and be “alone” with ourselves. This gives us the time to recharge our batteries. Silence of the night is what I like. I have always been a night person or PM person, what is hard is that AM people or Morning people do not get us PM people at all. My writing comes Alive in the stillness of the night. During the day the distractions are just too much for me. Great post today!!

    • 07/06/2011 3:52 am

      We share this trait of being our most alert at night. I find the night and its accompanying silence; soothing and healing. Early morning does same for me. I am grateful that spirit led me to write this post and that WP DP had a version of it as I needed to be in this space today…
      TY! 🙂

  4. 07/06/2011 4:41 am

    Zoroastrian Towers of Silence – never heard from this before, thanks for sharing! often architecture helps us to become silent …

    • 11/06/2011 7:12 am

      Thank you too! Yes, beautiful architecture can take our breadth away… Any of Antoni Gaudi’s works and all those modern design gurus can make our hearts skip a beat… 🙂

  5. 07/06/2011 8:02 am

    When I walk my dogs along trails through the woods and fields (or rather we walk together or they run ahead, they don’t require a leash because we live in the country) I make it a habit not to call out to them unless absolutely necessary. It’s peaceful to hear the birds and the scurrying of small animals in the woods. And the funny thing? When I’m quiet on our walks, my dogs don’t bark, either. They may chase something, but they do it quietly. It’s like we have come to an agreement that silence is to be cherished.

    • 11/06/2011 7:14 am

      Animals are quite amazing and they do tune in to where we are emotionally. Our cat knows when to play and when to sit quietly on the sofa and observe… So fascinating to watch and it adds to the peaceful moment. 🙂

  6. 07/06/2011 8:55 am

    The only thing that comes straight to mind when I reflect on things that make me silent is my son. When I stand over him and watch his chest rise and fall while he sleeps? I couldn’t speak, even if I wanted to, so full is my heart of wonder and love.

    That last anecdote is one of those things that leaves me speechless. What a different concept of time, and silence! I can barely imagine a world in which I release so few words into the world, but by the same token . . . it’s neat to wonder. Thanks for the prompt!

    • 11/06/2011 7:17 am

      Watching a child at rest is an amazing experience especially for a new mom. I know when my twins were born, I would sit in their room and marvel at them curled up in their cribs sleeping. Childbirth and children are such a blessing!
      You are welcome Deb. 🙂

  7. 07/06/2011 9:29 am

    First of all… only you could throw in a couple of badumbump’s in the middle of a very thoughtful post… and you made me laugh out loud with both of them. Thanks for that!

    As a child I spent a lot of time in a sort of forced quiet. I wrote a post called Sounds of Silence that explained some of it. When I got out on my own I couldn’t be in quiet for 2 sec. I had to have the radio or TV on the second I walked in the door.
    Then I had kids and didn’t have to worry about quiet for many years. 😉
    Finally I found inner peace and learned to completely love silence. It is something I treasure.
    Great post Eliz!

    • 11/06/2011 7:21 am

      Oh barb,
      You are funny! What the heck is a badumbump? I will visit and read that post… I spent some time in silence too as a child and occupied myself with books. There is something to say about it as we become more observant when we are not in the middle of every conversation… I don’t know how people who talk endlessly find the time for reflection…. Interesting. 😳
      I treasure the quiet times too. TY! 🙂

  8. Bree permalink
    07/06/2011 11:19 am

    What a beautiful meditative post. I like noise less as I move up in years.
    The loud music and chatter of my youth grate on my nerves now and I find that I tune out loud conversations too.
    Silence comes when I sit back and look to nature for solace, and I embrace it readily.
    I love the photos you added too.

    • 11/06/2011 7:24 am

      TY Bree,
      I find the dissonance of my youth less appealing now too… I guess all those disco music nights and clubbing got tired! LOL! 🙂
      I do enjoy the quiet time and perhaps that is why I love late night time… I thrive when everything around me is silent… 🙂

  9. 07/06/2011 2:19 pm

    There is always noise in silence, whether it’s the hum of a highway in the distance or the chirping of insects and birds at night. There is even noise from the weather. It’s cool when I can tune into the silence of my surroundings; there is much to be learned about myself. I like listening to the silence with no self-made distractions; it brings me to a deeper level of awareness.
    I love the Monk stories you shared. They made me smile.

    • 11/06/2011 7:31 am

      Yes,… the sound of one hand clapping philosophy. 🙂 I agree. Actually, when you go into the deepest meditation, everything stops; I mean everything. It is a profound silence that must be experienced to grasp….
      The rest is secondary noise and we do tune them out. You know, like when someone says something to you and you didn’t hear it because you were off somewhere in your head or God knows where we go when our minds wander…
      But, like you, I love the silence too and those stories were a serendipitous gift. I stumbled upon them as I was searching for the right photos to use from Wikipedia… A real gift, I must say. TY BB! 🙂

  10. 07/06/2011 3:22 pm

    If I’m arguing with someone and they something mean, or painful but true, that catches me off guard- I find myself silent. I suppose that would be a ‘stunned silence’. But I find that the beauties of nature inspire a silence in me also. Of course, this is the preferred!!

    • 11/06/2011 7:34 am

      I concur… stunned silence can be beautiful or ugly. Both stop us in our tracks… Human cruelty is particularly disturbing because I can never fathom how people can be so hateful towards each other… We need the gift of silence and reflective prayer to comprehend our connectedness as a global community. 🙂

  11. 07/06/2011 5:29 pm

    I am glad to read this post. It is a has occurred to me that I have not taken quiet time for awhile. Thank you!

    • 11/06/2011 7:36 am

      TY! BB, I’m glad you found this helpful as I did too writing it… We all need quiet time and it is easy, when we are in the throes of the hustle and bustle of life, to forget that self nurturing is important… here’s to some silence… 🙂

  12. 07/06/2011 5:56 pm

    I am experiencing the quiet times for reflecting on my thoughts and a sense of direction. I believe everyone needs these quiet times. Great post ! Love the photos !

    • 11/06/2011 7:38 am

      Thank you Penny and I hope all is well… The quiet can be very healing…. and frightening too. But we will prevail. You know… it’s all good. 🙂

  13. 07/06/2011 6:03 pm

    True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~ William Penn

    Even in the stillness, the cosmos swirls. Even when silence reigns, we hear its heartbeat.

    • 11/06/2011 7:40 am

      TY Nancy! I like the poetry that second line… silence has a heart beat… Thankfully a sensation not a sound; not a sound to interrupt the stillness. Penn’s quote affirms the value of sleep… we need it to rejuvenate our minds and bodies… I need more sleep. 🙂

  14. 07/06/2011 7:56 pm

    this is the second time I’ve seen the Zoroastrian Towers of Silence on WordPress. I am a pretty quiet person–a little shy in certain situations and then again–I just don’t feel the need to have to speak all the time!

    like those monk Wiki stories.

    • 11/06/2011 7:44 am

      Perhaps spirit is trying to say something to you TPP, no? I wonder about those towers myself and even though they were sacred; a place of deep reflection and spiritual growth, I wonder what else went on in there… I am curious…
      There are times when I feel the strong need to say nothing… Zip and then I sit and watch. 🙂

  15. 07/06/2011 10:18 pm

    Just yesterday, I had the wonderful experience of nature’s silence 200 feet above the ground. I participated in a Navitat Canopy Tour Zip Line in the mountains of North Carolina. Floating across 1000’s of feet of wire with just the sound of the wind and nature produced a sense of stillness in motion.
    If we are to know ourselves, our minds and our bodies need moments of meditative recollection to rejuvernate. Silence takes us there.

    • 11/06/2011 7:46 am

      That sounds like a precious gift of a trip… You know, for a moment there I could sense the stillness you described…. Divine. TY! 🙂

  16. 08/06/2011 10:12 pm

    Silence is a form of detoxification. It leads to peace and relieves stress. I like the very first thing that made you speechless – beauty in nature. To me, those are the best times for silence. That and staring at the stars on a clear summer night. Ahhh….

    Thanks for a lovely post, Elizabeth!

    • 11/06/2011 7:49 am

      TY Karen! I like the idea of silence as a form of detox… Great concept. Given all the stuff we are bombarded with daily, we all need some time to shut out the noise… on/offline. 🙂

  17. 08/06/2011 11:52 pm

    Thank you for this post Eliz! Beautiful pictures and very inspiring as always. It”s been quite some time since I’ve been silent and do some introspection. Hopefully one of these days I’ll give myself time to go on a recollection of sorts. Thank you for reminding me of the power of silence.

    • 11/06/2011 7:55 am

      Thank you too dear one. Welcome back… it’s been a while. I hope you are adjusting to a new work environment and finding time to be reflective. I’ve kept up with the outings and I wish you well… Stop in again and keep blogging. 🙂


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