The Power of Quiet in a Noisy World

We have seen many articles about the power of silence, the power of quiet in a noisy world. See, for example, Entering the Silence, Entering the Silence with Purpose and Maintaining the Silence.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, 2000 – Photo Jerome Freedman

When you go to a ten day meditation retreat at one of the meditation centers founded by S. N. Goenka, you remain silent for the whole time. At retreats with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, silence is encouraged, especially at the beginning of meals. When you sit at home on your cushion or chair or lie in your bed and meditate, you become silent.

As they say, “Silence is golden.” But  silence is more than that. We need to be silent to experience the wonders of life,

“We spend a lot of time looking for happiness when the world right around us is full of wonder. To be alive and walk on the Earth is a miracle, and yet most of us are running as if there were some better place to go. There is beauty calling to us every day, every hour, but we are rarely in a position to listen.

The basic condition for us to be able to hear the call of beauty and respond to it is silence. If we don’t have silence in ourselves—if our mind, our body, are full of noise—then we can’t hear beauty’s call.“
-Thich Nhat Hanh from Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise

When we enter the silence and recognize the power of quiet in a noisy world, we enter the realm of the real, the present moment. From this place of peace and quiet, we recognize that there is no place to go, nothing to do. We are totally happy in the present moment.

What do you do to enter the silence? What are your experiences like when you do so?

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…]

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