Silence - Briefly

By  Vanessa Webb | 



Muni's are the silent Ones. Having chosen a life of sacred silence, they are deeply in the observance of Mauna, realizing its beauty and its life, and the reality of time there. When I am settled, quiet is something that I can be; and I can let the quiet settle me down, and I can become quiet enough that I truly enjoy listening to silence, but it's contained within a sense of time - I know that the rhythm will shift and my day moves on to things where my personality picks up again. There is a relief in this. "How unbearable might it be...", my mind wonders, to commit to a deep connected silence for an undetermined length of time, within oneself. What kind of a storm could it kick up? Or would the silence see me through that storm? My mind moans and groans, and wanders and wonders whether I'd have that sort of courage. My mind prefers to wrestle with the thoughts, instead of simply sitting myself down and doing it - indicating that I'm picking up on the strength of that which is silent, and of those Ones who choose to live by it.

We're so misaligned with the understanding of silence in our modern world - associating it with "ghosting", leaving an email unattended, or being lackadaisical about holding up our end of a friendship. But this isn't silence. For those of us who love silence, and yearn to welcome it within the rhythm of our day, how can we move it from our meditation into the body of our experience? Can there be silence in closing the kitchen cupboard or gazing at the horizon? Is silence present in another footstep or while washing our hands? Can silence be held within a wordless prayer, or felt as it's embodied by breath? Silence, not of voice, but woven through gesture, body and mind, threaded like fabric into existence. Consistently. And when I sit, how can I bear to be with silence a little longer, and a little longer - can I wait through the storm for its emergent beauty, rising like an embrace, or a fragrant zephyr, a black pearl or crimson light, or droplets of dew on the grasses. Can I wait 'til then?


*image by Timo Wagner on Unsplash (original image cropped)