The Journey into Silence

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“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu

 

This month, I am following my dear friends, The World According to Dina, Leaping Tracks and Silkannthreades into silence. For most of us, this is entering unfamiliar territory. We have become accustomed to sound, whether it be the soothing lilt of music, the white noise of traffic, urgent text message notifications, or the inevitable clamour of an alarm clock. At the same time, our affinity with silence has lessened to the point that we are uneasy in what seems to be a “void.” Consider how we rush to fill a conversation when there is a lapse into silence.

Silence is a complete absence of sound, something which very few of us will ever experience. City dwellers will always have the company of noise.  Nature offers the echoes of ocean waves crashing along a shoreline, wind rattling the trees, rain pelting the ground, voices of animals and the songs of birds. And the universe – even interstellar space is filled with noise.

I am discovering that silence can be reached when we allow the noise to drift away, when we relinquish the message conveyed by the incoming signal. In so doing, we open ourselves to new possibilities and outcomes.

In the end, silence is a personal journey, an inner conversation, an open invitation to explore and celebrate.

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” Chaim Potok

 

Finding Silence within a City Garden from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

20 thoughts on “The Journey into Silence

  1. Sounds wonderful. Enjoy. My mother spent a week in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Japan where the monks had taken a perpetual vow of silence. I can’t even begin to imagine my mother silent! I love silence. All photographers (and retired shrinks) probably do.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I can only imagine the difficulty in keeping silent for one week – not even to talk about to yourself. Yikes! What a remarkable experience. You reminded me of Ansel Adams and his thought – “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. I love silence! I spend most if my time in it — live alone in the country, no radio or TV. I can hear myself think, and there’s nothing to block the Muse coming through. One hundred poems in the last month!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your words about silence. I stopped listening to music except occasionally so that I could savour the sounds of the world – the sea, birds, wind…as you say. Over the years I’ve found that Silence is more than golden – it can be bliss… I used to love the profound hour of silence at Quaker meetings for years, and the gentle silence of retreats I attended. Recently, before my second marriage ended, silence became my lifeline. As I coped with a sick and difficult very old man I suggested that we spend one day in silence- I felt it would be a respite for me. So every Tuesday was the day, and it became a deep and beautiful, almost mystical experience which gave me strength and serenity, while it gave my husband peace.
    Silence is a powerful precious element…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for you insightful comments. Sometimes we are unable to enter silence without the help of others because of our emotional or physical pain. I recall those marvelous people who, when I was experiencing times of sadness, anger or frustration, reminded me to seek a quiet time to heal. I love how you said, “silence is a powerful precious element…”. It is more precious than gold, and is a gift of infinite joy and possibilities. And speaking about Quakers, I have been reading some of the works of Mary Parker Follett, who came from a Quaker background. I know you will enjoy her thought, as I do: “give your difference, welcome my difference, unify all difference in the larger whole – such is the law of growth. The unifying of difference is the eternal process of life – the creative synthesis, the highest act of creation, the at-onement. This is the 100th anniversary of her book “The New State” which she wrote when she was very ill. Always a joy to hear from you! Hugs!

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  4. Enjoy that beautiful silence. I am lucky to live in the woods and sometimes it falls completely silent, especially in the winter. So few are able to feel comfortable with silence. I live for it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have been following your wilderness journey via Instagram. – simply breathtaking. I agree wholeheartedly – few feel comfortable with silence because it can seem lonely, as if to isolate. Loneliness is the same as aloneness – this discovery only comes when we take a step into silence. This is something that you have learned and it has given you great strength.

      Liked by 2 people

    • How very well said, Liz. I am learning that our state of mind has enormous influence on our physical well-being. Silence allows us to meet ourselves, to give voice to our deepest longings and to arrive refreshed, ready to participate. I especially appreciate Joseph Campbell’s thought: We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” I believe that silence vitalizes our spirit. Thank you for your post on silence

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  5. Your wonderful video is a perfect illustration of how to allow noise to drift away. Watching it I became fixated on the drake and the duck and everything else faded into the background. These natural refuges in a city work so well to buffer the noise of a city.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Gallivanta for joining me on the walk. Vancouver is joining other towns and cities in creating green spaces to increase the quality of air and living. With climate change as a focus these day, there is a recognition that we need to develop systems that support our environment. I love walking by areas that allow dogs off leash. So many friendships are formed – both dogs and humans. Thank you so much for stopping by – sending hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Clanmother Rebecca,
    thanks a lot for mentioning our blog and post about silence 🙂 🙂
    We are approaching the silent nights now as sang of in a famous German Christmas song that was later translated in many other languages.
    For us, silence is a way of life and can be reached in a noise polluted surroundings. What matters most is the noise we create ourselves, f.e. that we can be reached and communicate all the time, that we constantly carry our cell phone with us, that we are dependent on blogging and other social media. Silence has to do with overcoming our vain side by being dependent on the admiration of others. Well, silence is an inner state of being but nevertheless, a quiet surrounding helps to reach this mode of consciousness. As we wrote in our post, silence has a lot to do with not doing. We are obsessed with doing and achieving. In our age, we have to learn not to do and not to achieve any more. This is the paradox to achieve not achieving any longer. That’s what the old Chinese (the Daoists) called ‘wu wei’ (無為), a state of wisdom.
    We are still learning not to do anything once a day for quite a while and very rarely we succeed.
    With lots and lots of love and hugs to our dear friend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    💃🚶‍♂️👭

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dearest friends, the Fab Four of Cley. How very, very well said. We connect success with benchmarks that have no meaning and validate who we are by the opinions of others. This afternoon, I spoke with a young man who said that he left a position because of the “sales” quota system that was in place – something he could not achieve because he could not sell something that was not needed. Our work and personal time have becomes the same. We become attached to living in the “fast lane” thinking that the more we do, more life we live. I especially liked your thought on “what matters most is the noise we create ourselves.” And the “paradox to achieve not achieving any longer” is something that I will integrate into my thoughts in the coming days. Thank you so much for stopping by. Much love and many hugs coming the the Fab Four of Cley!!!!

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  7. What an interesting topic. It seems to be a generational issue, as in they who pine for silence and they who appear to thrive on the noisier the better. I am a one hundred persent urbanite, born in a city, Montreal to be exact, though have been living in township type locals, in France and Canada for some 18 years, though I really only come fully alive when in large cities. Yet In complete contradiction I am of the pine for silence segment of my fellow citizens. If but to confirm this contradiction, and if I may be so bold, I’ve included for you, my most recent of the many poems I have written on silence. This one appears in my latest book, number 15 and counting, that is being released this month. Thank you Rebecca for you usual thought provoking subject!

    “ Silence ”
    – or dreary prolixity –

    Should I not bide
    Shades of silence,
    Despite apt chide
    For my defiance,
    Thus so implied,
    In time a blessing
    Fate chose abide,
    Spare be waiting
    A dreary prolixity…

    Might I propose
    A passive silence,
    Shade composed
    As a compliance,
    Amid emptiness
    And the tedium,
    Of prolix verbosity…

    Not a word more
    I so implore,
    Tho but to tease
    In lieu of please,
    Save impose silence
    As just impede,
    For arrant discordance
    If we’re to taste freed,
    Alas but to live in silence!

    © Jean-Jacques Fournier

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your words of poetry – your boldness is so very much appreciated. I find that poetry allows us to explore what we hold deeply within us. “Might I propose A passive silence…”. I too have lived in cities most of my life and have found that in the midst of the many dramas that occur around me, I can chose silence – the silence that quiets the angst, “arrant discordance.” I am looking forward to the release of your latest book. Thank you so much for adding depth to the conversation!!

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