A Joyful Noise!

U.C.M. Newsletter of Joy, Humor, Laughter, and Inspiration

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon

safedoti@aol.com

Vol. 10 pg 27 (07-07-11) SILENCE

AFFIRMATION

I am becoming one with God in the Silence.

I crawled out of bed this morning and immediately switched on the television to hear the latest news, put in a load of laundry and started my dishwasher.

I sat down to my computer and was overwhelmed by the cacophony of sounds around me. And then the air conditioning turned on and my phone started ringing (my cell phone with the irritating tinny music).

I felt like screaming – particularly since the television was on a local news station and all I was hearing was horrific news of murders, burglary, cheating in schools and forecasts of miserable weather.

So, I turned everything off – crawled back into bed and started meditating. AH! I contemplated a spiritual day with just silence!

In the stillness I realized that silence is vastly undervalued in our culture. It’s impossible to escape the ringing of cell phones, blasts of music or television in homes, work places, airports, or in the mall. It’s hard to think, harder still to know what you feel or to hear God whispering to your heart and soul.

Seers and saints say that ‘Silence is Golden.’ Their words have a deeper meaning and an even deeper import. Science has proven that ‘Silence’ enhances the Creative Potential of an individual. Silence is not just being quiet. It is not just keeping the mouth ‘shut’ and going mute. Silence is becoming tranquil. Silence is tuning down the noises of the senses. Silence is avoiding totally the ‘unnecessary.’

In today’s overwhelming noise it is difficult to attain total silence. Even though, many religious practices encourage “quietude” or “silence” to attain spirituality.

One or our best examples is India, a haven of spirituality since ages immemorial. There are many tales and legends of saints and sages seeking respite in the woods, mountains and hills observing silence for years. This intentional silence and meditation bestowed upon them indescribable divine powers. They had within them a reservoir of sacred energy. Their words used on purpose had great impact, almost oracular. They created as they spoke. Such is the power of Silence.

Intentional Silence, Meditation, chanting of mantras, and yoga are a few of the tools that aid and escalate a person’s spiritual level. Silence is not just keeping quiet and watching your favorite TV sit-com. It is also silencing the urges of your eyes and ears. Silence is not silently munching your favorite burger; silence is quieting the urge to have one. In other words Intentional Silence is saying ‘no’ to things that may not have any value of being done or carried out in that moment. It is like accumulating energy in order to use it for constructive purposes beneficial to all.

There is no hard and fast rule that Silence is to be practiced only by Hindus. It can be practiced by any person who wants to heighten his/her levels of awareness. Any person whether a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jew or Christian can become silent in order to attain spiritual excellence. You don’t need to seek respite in some woods or mountain caves. You can stay amidst civilization and silently strive to become spiritually quiet.

The benefits of being silent are for one and all. Students, housewives, professionals and even UCM ministers can abstain from talking at least for a few minutes or a couple of hours. While not talking it is essential you stop listening to rock bands, watching tragicomic serials, or the evening news and movies on TV.

Silence is looking into self to become self aware.

Benefits of observing Silence:

1. Heightened spiritual awareness
2. It gives you a lot of tranquility and spiritual satisfaction
3. It will protect you from negative effects of chattering and gossip
4. It will conserve your energy levels
5. It will dampen your anger
6. Your creative potential will increase by many times
7. You will realize the importance of speech
8. Your personality stands totally refined
9. You will grow above mundane thoughts
10. You will have attained loads of contentment.

If you are committed to following a path of personal and spiritual growth, silence is a helpful tool. Even if you’re surrounded by noise, take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the power of silence. Maybe you can’t be silent for an entire hour – then utilize 20 minutes every day, to restore, heal and reveal the unexpected.

John of the Cross reminds us that silence is God’s first language “and one of the Desert Fathers wrote it is by silence that the saints grew, that it was because of silence that the power of God dwelt in them…

Shri Ravi Shankar says If you want to make sense it has to come from silence.  Practice silence and become golden.

Talk is talk; silence is wisdom, according to an Algonquin saying

“The silence sings. It is musical. I remember a night when it was audible. I heard the unspeakable.

Henry David Thoreau

       All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence. Herman Melville 

Silence Isn’t Always Golden!

Once upon a time, there was a prince cast under a spell. The prince could speak only one word each year. However, he could save up words if he did not speak for an entire year. The following year he was allowed to speak two words. (This was before the time of e-mails, letter writing or sign language.)

One day, he met a beautiful princess (ruby lips, golden hair, sapphire eyes) and fell madly in love. With great difficulty, he refrained from speaking for 2 years so he could look at her and say, “My darling.” But at the end of these 2 years, he wished to say that he loved her. So he waited 3 more years; bringing the total number of silent years to 5.

At the end of these 5 years, he realized he had to ask her to marry him. So he waited another 4 years without speaking.

Finally, as the 9th year of silence ended, his joy knew no bounds. Leading the lovely princess to the most secluded and romantic place in the beautiful royal garden, the prince heaped a hundred red roses on her lap, knelt before her, and taking her hand in his, said, “My darling, I love you! Will you marry me?”

And the princess tucked a strand of golden hair behind her dainty ear, opened her sapphire eyes in wonder, and parting her ruby lips, said, “Pardon?”

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