by Joshua

The art of inner silence

In moments of deep silence we touch the core of our existence and learn to go beyond time and space.

Inner silence is essential in my life. I trust this mystical emptiness, which is nevertheless so full of abundance. In it I know my being is safe, in it I can listen to my soul and touch my innermost truth. I have always appreciated silence for its quality, as it has always been a safe haven for me to go to when the world around me has become too loud. In silence, I can breathe and - when I have lost my way in the hustle and bustle of everyday life - find my way back to myself.

Silence has many facets. It is quiet and loud, gentle and unpredictable. To fathom it, I have been to the primal mountains of the Himalayas, meditated in dark caves and swam in the crystal clear mountain lakes. I meditated in the living, never-sleeping rainforest of Brazil by day and by night. I was just by myself and I was with many people, listening to my silence and theirs. At some point, a silent knowing burst upon me that I was not prepared for, despite all my preparations. It fundamentally changed the way I live my life. Since then, I know the silence in me and I know myself in it.

Cultivating inner silence in everyday life is an art that requires a lot of dedication to learn. After all, we move from a world that is shaped by the outside into a world that is shaped by the inside. Crossing such thresholds requires a lot of sensitivity and gentleness with our being and thus also skills to deal with them, which we often have to learn first. In the silence you will meet undoubtably yourself. Such a tender encounter is too precious to not celebrate it accordingly.

There are many difficulties that can arise on the path to stillness. In addition to dealing lovingly with the obstacles that arise, I consider a personal preparation as essential before you go into stillness. Through a gentle preparation you create an inner space within yourself where stillness can feel at home. You then prepare your body and your emotional and cognitive experience for the silence and invite your whole being to be awake and present.

By taking time to prepare for silence, you give silence a value that goes beyond just spending time with silence. With each preparation, you cultivate a space within yourself where silence can feel at home as a guest. This creates a space in you that is still present in you even in the absence of stillness and can be nurtured by yourself continuously. So no matter which technique of going into stillness you prefer, with an appreciative preparation you give the subtlety of inner stillness a space in which it can create its home.

I want to sit and I want to be silent and I want to hear what God speaks in me.

Meister Eckhart

Learning from nature 

Meditation leads us into a state in where our cells vibrate full of life. Our mind is awake and clear. We feel truly connected to all life and experience ourselves as part of something much greater than ourselves. In this being, silence blossoms in its full beauty. Everything is an expression of creative beauty and diversity. We enter a mystery in which pure being is the highest good and our existence is part of a great dance.

Meditation techniques are to be understood as signs along the way, which one can follow. Nevertheless, in the end everyone has to take their steps and make their experiences. We should not disregard the fact that we are on a path whose destination we do not know exactly. It is often described to us by others and the resonance of our longing serves as our only compass on this path.

It is always worth pausing and asking yourself where you are, where you have come from and where you want to go.

My greatest teacher is nature. Nature, with its essence of the natural, reminds us of essential qualities of life that are all too easily lost in everyday life. You have to know that most meditation techniques were developed at a time when we humans lived more within nature. Spiritual seekers usually lived for several years with their masters, surrounded by wild nature simple lifes. Today, the orderly, fast-paced structures of our modern civilisations make it difficult for us to enter the simple and original soul spaces that are within us. In the wilderness of nature, on the other hand, we can get in touch with them much more easily. The purity, beauty and originality of wild nature causes a sense of wonder all by itself, which can bring us almost magically into contact with our inner silence. Without words, we can humbly experience that we too are nature and let ourselves be reminded again of what life is.

In order to understand this a little bit more, I suggest that you take a look at the Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi or read a beautiful nature poem once at home and once after a day spent in nature. You will be surprised by the difference in inner sensations. When the mind becomes quiet and simple, the language of the heart develops its own wisdom and teaches us what our soul are longing for.

An everyday approach to a fulfilled silence 

So above all we need time, preferably in nature, to be able to touch a fulfilled inner stillness. Unfortunately, in our everyday life, a longer, unintentional stay in nature is usually not so easily possible in terms of space and time. Therefore, for us modern people, a different approach to stillness is also necessary. We cannot simply do the same as people with completely different life circumstances and then expect the same effect. Certainly, we will not achieve the same depth in everyday life as with longer time-outs, but with good preparation we can significantly increase the quality of inner silence.

What might this look like? First of all, let us be aware that every method of “going into silence” can only work with what is currently in our awareness. If there are only everyday thoughts, then even the best technique in the world cannot distil much more than these everyday thoughts in a highly concentrated form. This can then become a surprisingly loud experience for us and not exactly what we are actually looking for. If you create an appropriate space within yourself, then the techniques will help you to refine it further.

Spiritual traditions sow very fine seeds that want to be nourished and need to be strengthened again and again with a lot of patience and devotion. They are very pure vibrations that need time to expand within you. Every moment of pause contributes to this. The many small moments when you become still, breathe consciously and become aware of yourself will give these seeds sun and water to grow. The many small moments in which you connect with it allow your inner silence to grow.

So, in principle, we should prepare ourselves for stillness in every breath in order to nourish what we really want to live. That sounds a lot, of course. But it is quite simple. Just close your eyes for a moment and breathe a little while - just for you. And then? Just do it again… It is time that shows us the path we have walked step by step.

Every moment of contemplation is very precious. We cannot become self-aware often enough and remember our existence: you have a body, you can think, you can feel and you can act. When you are aware of yourself, you can truly live your own life in harmony with yourself. Every single moment we spend consciously with ourselves plants a seed of awareness that can germinate and grow in our lives. Also take the time to activate your body with all its cells. Give yourself time to feel and deepen your feeling. What do you feel? How do you feel? Become aware of yourself.

I would advise you to make time for it regularly at the beginning. You will then find it easier to develop a good foundation. For example, the morning is a good time to align yourself for that day, or the evening is a good time to feel the day you have lived. Stay with yourself and listen.

Divine love, unlike human love, is deep and wide and silent, one has to become still and wide oneself to become aware of it and respond to it.

Sri Aurobindo

Now comes something very important, something that nature reminds us of. Cleanse your mind with the highest and purest qualities that are available to you right now. Connect with joy, gratitude, compassion, love, connection and beauty. Remember that you have everything within you that you need right now. Everything is within you. Feel these qualities in your heart and breathe. Give yourself time. Have faith and allow these qualities to expand within you. With each time you weave a fine ribbon of contemplation that weaves more and more through your cells and will continue to accompany you through your life.

The more awake, purified and aligned you go into the silence, the deeper you will be able to dive into yourself and your truth. In this way, you can leave everyday life in a gentle way at any time, enter a filled space of deep silence, and return to everyday life deeply connected to yourself and your being. The frequency of silence will expand more and more within you and become your inner source for a true, creative expression of life.

Take some more time for yourself, close your eyes and give yourself a simple, inner smile.

Listen to your being and let yourself be touched by it.

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

Bertrand Russel

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Albert Einstein