Entering the Silence

Entering the silence is such a difficult thing for us Westerners. We seem to have a fear of silence.

We turn our attention away from the silence as if we don’t want it. But then, when we experience it for real, perhaps for the first time, it is so strange for us. We don’t recognize that place.

When it ends, however, we realize the beauty of the silence. We realize the harmony of the silence. We realize the peace of the silence.

We wonder, how can we return there? We wonder, what is this fear of silence that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about?

Fear of Silence | December 6, 2014

I have the impression that many of us are afraid of silence. We’re always taking in something—text, music, radio, television, or thoughts—to occupy the space. If quiet and space are so important for our happiness, why don’t we make more room for them in our lives?…

What are we so afraid of? We may feel an inner void, a sense of isolation, of sorrow, of restlessness. We may feel desolate and unloved. We may feel that we lack something important. Some of these feelings are very old and have been with us always, underneath all our doing and our thinking. Having plenty of stimuli makes it easy for us to distract ourselves from what we’re feeling. But when there is silence, all these things present themselves clearly.

– Thich Nhat Hahn, “Fear of Silence

Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation Image

What we need to do to enter the silence is to turn off our TV, our cell phone, our computer, and other distracting devices and just sit or lie down. We need to withdraw ourselves into ourselves. We need to become aware of our breathing.

All this may be easier to do if we use the First Mindfulness Meditation Practice and continue with the rest of them. This daily practice will help us eliminate our fear of silence and bring us back to our  true home.

Books by Thich nhat hanh

Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

Thich Nhat Hanh

The Zen master and one of the world’s most beloved teachers returns with a concise, practical guide to understanding and developing our most powerful inner resource—silence—to help us find happiness, purpose, and peace.

Many people embark on a seemingly futile search for happiness, runn… [Read More…]

Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm

Thich Nhat Hanh

“Written in words so intimate, calm, kind, and immediate, this extraordinary book feels like a message from our very own heart….Thich Nhat Hanh is one of the most important voices of our time, and we have never needed to listen to him more than now.”
—Sogyal Rinpoche

Fear is de… [Read More…]

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