There was this very beautiful line that I read in Orhan Pamuk??s novel,' My Name Is Red'. He wrote about a blind man watching the snowfall and smiling to himself. That line stayed with me for a long, long time. How could a blind man watch the snow?
I pondered. I know that when the sight is taken away, the other senses become sharper. The blind man must have felt the cold air around him with the tiny snowflakes brushing his cheek; he must have caught a puffy, wet ball in his hand and had felt it melt in his palms, but did he hear the snow falling?
Somehow I believe that he actually listened to the snowfall, more that he felt it. He must have listened to the silence of the falling snow. He listened, because he was silent inside, in his own wonderful and special way.
Often silence makes people unforgettable, accustomed as they are to the noise and commotion of the world, but silence is all about coming home to ourselves.
When we sit in silence we relax and slip into an exquisite nothingness. We look within and drop our opinionated mind and learn to feel everything around us more deeply.
When the incessant chatter of the mind stops and we let the quietness around submerge us, something sacred is born within Nietzsche said that our greatest experiences are our quietest moments.
Needless to say, it is only in silence that we are capable of listening. Like that blind man watching the snowfall and smiling to himself, we learn to listen more when we are silent.
Silence is the basic ingredient for entering into our intuitive mind and to resist the cacophony of meaningless noises outside.
It is interesting to note how Silent and Listen have same letters but are arranged differently.
We humans have a tendency to talk more and listen less; much of it is because we have forgotten the art of waiting and allowing ourselves to grow silent within.
Nature has no trouble in remembering this art. Nature thrives on silence. We never hear the footsteps of moon when it appears on the
sky. We don??t hear a loud hang when the sun comes out and the stars burst open in the sky. Their arrival is always wrapped in a glorious silence. Look how the tree knows it! It remains bare, beautiful and still; waiting for the new leaves, knowing that the old has gone and the new will soon be coming. The tree waits a silence.
Just like tree, when we are silent and waiting, something beautiful inside us keeps on growing and it is this stillness and silence that gives birth to creativity.
Often it happens that when we wait in silence, life rushes back to fill those crevices in our souls. There are times when silence becomes the most potent way of communicat-ion and is more effective than words. We all have at least one memory when we have faced that eloquent silence of our elders such as parents or teachers when we have felt a cold fear at the bristling silence of their fury. When their silence had scared us more than angry words.When just one quiet look had had us behaving better than a harsh repri-mand or scolding.
Lovers all over the world are said to communicate with silence. Understand each other's silence. The famous telepathy between two people who have strong feelings for each other happens in a compelling silence.
In a business world the salesmen are taught the art of persuasive silence. After he has urged the potential client to buy some product and the customer is contemplating quietly over what the salesman has described, the well trained salesman remains absolutely silent during this important hiatus. Often he gains his sale by using this important tool.
Undeniably, silence needs a special kind of power and authority of mind and saying it with silence needs a certain 'command of language'. To say nothing is often more difficult than expressing the anger, love and betrayal with words.
However, being silent with a natural and calm stillness within is like a spiritual reflex. Analyze it too much or think too much about it and it degenerates itself into something superficial and edgy. If we become self-conscious about silence then we begin to work against it. We rush to fill it with inane talks and nervous gestures, and the silence loses its value.
But we can certainly develop this powerful way of communicating
by practicing a calm mind. By realizing that between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response because in our response lies our growth and our freedom. That "space" is silence.
The French mathematician Blaise Pascal said "All man's miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone."
As these beautiful lyrics of the song 'Sounds of silence' by Simon and Garfunkel say:
"People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.
Hear my words that I might teach you;
Take my arms that I might reach you.
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
In the wells of silence"
Each time when I feel that I just cannot take another step forward in life, I seek refuge in silence. And sure enough I get recharged with fresh dose of faith, hope and confidence.