What is Silence?

What is Silence?

When we settle into deep meditation or find ourselves deep in the forest, we may experience a moment of deep silence. Not just silence outside, but silence within, a quieting of the monkey mind. This is the goal of Yoga.

At first, inner silence may be pretty unclear, like a blank spot when nothing was noticed. Without content, it’s just empty.  

As that silence becomes more familiar, we’ll notice it has a sense of presence and of being. It Is. We may find that sometimes, as we settle into silence or come out after, there is a wave of happiness. (this is crossing the bliss body) In fact, that may be the easiest way to recognize it at first.

Over time, we may begin to realize that silent being or presence is who I am. And then the shift happens. The silence wakes up to itself through this apparent person. (the “me” doesn’t wake up)

What form waking takes will vary – we may wake up to an infinite emptiness. Or if there is more clarity, it may have a sense of fullness, rich with potential.

Gradually, we may come to recognize the liveliness behind our experiences of the world. Everything can take on a vibrancy or aliveness. At some point, we recognize that outer liveliness is the same liveliness in our inner wakefulness. Then the inner and outer are recognized as one and Unity dawns.  (the process of recognition will vary – this is one way it might be described)

After the Unity shift, there is no longer an inner silence and separate world. They are one and the same. There is no longer silence alone. It is full, lively silence.

With the Brahman shift, we go beyond the liveliness of creation and experience and lean back towards silence again as nothing. But again, there can be an empty nothing or some sense of totality of nothing. And that will evolve as it unfolds.

With the dawning of pure Divinity in ParaBrahman, silence falls way again. All is found to be pure Divinity with a clarity and power beyond anything prior. How can you describe something beyond the beyond?

Most interesting is that it means our early experiences of infinite silence were just touching the surface of Divinity. Even liberation is barely stepping the feet in. The vast power and intelligence behind all of creation is more than a person can experience. It is beyond the dynamics of consciousness and experience. It can only be known by becoming it.

So we step towards it instead. We discover deep silence and peace. And perhaps a wave of happiness.

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  1. Carl Smuda

    Periods in my life when I’d have a real solid TM program I also had the strongest and deepest love experience. I was deeply and truly in love with Silence. Daily I would go and spend time with my Love. And it was real.

    1. Beautiful, Carl. Well described.

      Just remember that, as an experience, it will come and go, practice or not. There are stages in energetic opening and stages in enlightenment that can massively amplify the heart. And there are others that may mute it.

      But coming to a place of deep safety, we can stand with an open heart and take whatever is here.

  2. Rasmus Nertlinge

    We can have relationships grounded in silence and relationships grounded in noise/conversation. A relationship grounded in silence still have plenty of conversation, though rarely comes in to a state of “uncomfortable silence”. just primarily silently enjoying the synergy of being in each others presence. The conversation or lack of conversation, is of little consequence.

    1. Hi Rasmus
      Right. Or one can come to relationships in silence or in noise. It takes two to tango, so when we change how we are in a relationship, it will change the relationship.

      Of course that can mean it ends if we no longer meet the needs of someone who feeds on noise. But it also opens us up to other deeper connections as well.

      I have some good friends here. Sometimes, the conversations are deep, sometimes mundane but it’s secondary, really. 🙂

  3. Chris

    Hi David, I wonder if you have any notion as to whether silence “comes online” (in a steady, non-flickering way) when Makara is reached? Can steady, effortless silence dawn for people at different times, or is it a particular symptom of a certain stage?
    For me, the overriding facet of this was that I was able to really see non-doership as plain as day. Actions happened, but there was literally no choice… no list of pros and cons in the mind before “commencing” an action, just silence and the witnessing of my body “doing” things, (almost like I was watching someone else’s life.) I’ve become used to this, but it was certainly like a “death”!
    I greatly appreciate your writing on how we have to let go of this (a few times!)

    1. It’s an interesting question, Chris. We’re immersed in it all the time so its more a revealing. But that revealing also comes in stages. Even though inner silence may be experienced as infinite, etc it’s depth can increase considerably.
      Makara (just above the third eye) is when the kundalini becomes stable and the witness or observer becomes ongoing. But everyone’s process is a little different. Some blow right past it, some don’t experience it, and for others its prominent.
      But a sense of silent presence can develop before that.
      So yes, it can arise at different times. There can also be phases where its overshadowed for a time. It depends on the life, practices, history, etc.
      It is a typical symptom of Self Realization but that shift can also stir up lots of processing, making the silence less obvious for a time.
      Yes, when the witness comes online, its like life just happens. The ego claiming everything drops and we sit back and watch.
      However, the sense of “death” relates more to waking up than just witnessing.
      In time, that separate silence moves forward more. Eventually, inner and outer become one and silence isn’t silent anymore.
      (laughs) Yes, more than a few times. I can recall Lorn mentioning a perpetual surrender, a continual letting go. I was horrified as it had taken so long just to really let go once. 🙂

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