Listen To The Silence

By Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
Author of THE ART OF BEING, 101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life
"Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote, "Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being"..." ~ Deepak Chopra

Quite often, early in the morning before I do my meditation for the day, I will go to my piano and sit quietly. With my eyes closed, I gently place my fingers on the keys and when inspired, begin to play only single notes very slowly, with no song in mind, just allowing my fingers to go where they are led to go. As a form of mindfulness practice, after each single note I play I draw in a deep breath, and while slowing releasing that breath I listen to the silence between each note played. From a musician's perspective, the space between the notes is as important as the notes themselves; without the silence between the notes, there would be no music it would be one long continuous run-on noise that becomes meaningless. Likewise, from a metaphysician's perspective; the silent spaces between our breaths and between thoughts are equally as important because life's greater meaning will always be found in the moment.

I use this analogy because just about everyone can relate to it. We are all so busy 'doing life' that at times, if we are not intentionally mindful of the sacredness of the moment, and the blessings it offers, it slips right on past us, becoming one looooong run-on noise--and thus, like the run-on music, our lives end up taking on less and less meaning. If we want to test this truth first hand to see if we fit into this category, we just have to take a scan of our physical and emotional body at the end of our typical day--if we feel wrung out and like we forgot to breathe all day, we probably have. The spiritual truth is; the calmer our mind is, the more efficient we will be in whatever we are doing, and, our emotional body as well as our physical body will reap the benefits. How can this be? A calm mind reflects the Light of Wisdom that lies inherent within us. Infinite Intelligence, being Life Itself, knows how to 'do life' better than we do. It knows what we need, when we need it and how to lead us to what we need, if we will just take time to listen. It is sort of like when I breathe and listen between each note I play on the piano, that Divine Intelligence within knows what note needs to be played next--I simply follow Spirits lead.

As Rumi suggests, our job is to still the waters and trust that the Light will be reflected clearly into our lives. Silence really is the great teacher. What lesson does it hold for you today? Pay attention to it and learn to follow Its lead, trusting that God not only speaks to us with Sacred Words, but Sacred Silence also.

. . .without the silence between the notes, there would be no music. . .


It's rubber band day! Place a rubber band loosely around your wrist for the day. Throughout the day, when you catch yourself in the 'run-on' mode, that is, doing life so mindlessly that everything is running together, stop whatever you are doing, snap the rubber band and take a deep cleansing breath...and listen to the silence. (This can be done, even in the middle of Grand Central Station, because the silence comes from within, not the world around you.) What does the silence have to teach you in the moment? As you listen, do so with an awareness that Infinite Intelligence is waiting patiently for you to make a space for It to be revealed. With this intention, the silence then becomes Sacred Silence.

OK, Now breathe.

Peace, Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
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© 2003 by Dennis Merritt Jones

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