Awakened presence blog

The Forgotten Silence

Have you forgotten your right to silence? Have your words simply become a way to fill the void? Silence is not a game. It’s the silent house from where all words come. Ignoring its presence is a forgetting of the very source of things, and it’s this forgetting that is at the root of our suffering.

Words create things. Everything the human created began with a thought, and often many words! The world is full of countless wonderful things created by we humans but we don’t have to look far to see that something’s got out of hand. When we lose touch with silence we turn to the world of things for our survival. We create more things, and more things and more things, with barely a pause for breath. Yet these things eventually exhaust us. Just as they are exhausting the earth! In silence we find our freedom and eternity.

In true silence there is no time, nor space, but only the wordless placeless place from where all time and space comes. If that place isn’t worth listening to, then we’re truly doomed. We shouldn’t wait until our body’s death is approaching before we start considering the bigger picture. We could die tomorrow! Besides, the world needs our attention to silence now more than ever. The awful thing however is that when we switch off the noise, we hear loud and clear our habit of filling the silence. This noise might just be the loudest of them all. Our mind simply cannot handle true silence.

Our healing comes through understanding that while our mind cannot fathom the placeless place from where it emanates, it’s not its noise that is actually the problem but rather our fusion with it. When we simply leave our mind alone, the dust will begin to settle, and in the dust beginning to settle, the silence will begin to arise. However when I say ‘we simply leave our mind alone’ what do I mean?

We have to establish who or what is the ‘we’ that I’m speaking of, otherwise we just don’t know how to do it. We may get a temporary break from our mind through our practices of yoga, meditation, conscious movement, tantra etc but until we honestly enquire into the nature of who or what it is that is practising, the mind will continue to veil the silence through dominating our precious lives – and such practice, rather than being a stepping stone to that silence, can if we’re not careful become another dependency that serves to block it.

Most of us either consciously or unconsciously think that we are the mind itself: a collection of thoughts, feelings and perceptions that exist in a limited amount of time and space. So any invitation to ‘leave our mind alone’ would amount to an invitation for the mind to leave itself alone – which would be impossible because the very action of the mind leaving anything alone brings the mind into activity. It’s no wonder that so many of us struggle to quieten our thoughts. It is not possible for the mind to leave the mind alone.

The ‘we’ that I am speaking of is not the mind. The mind is limited, but the awareness that is aware of it, and hence able to leave it alone, is limitless. It does not exist in the time and space of the mind. Conversely time, space and mind exist in it. In other words time, space and mind exist in us. Moreover time, space and mind are made of us.

So in order for us to leave our mind alone so that we can experience the inner silence that comes from the settling of the dust, we must become aware of that which is able to leave the mind alone. When we simply allow awareness to rest in the awareness of itself rather than the awareness of things, the mind can finally be given a true rest. In this respect awareness is the greatest mother of all.

Yet we soon see that the mechanism of mind has been running for a long time and has established a pattern of survival which won’t just disappear with this understanding. We have to gently but consistently allow our true self, awareness, to shine in its own presence time and time again. We must come to reside in the experience that we go to that makes us answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘am I aware?’ – savouring the peace of awareness’s presence until we recognise with our actual experience that our inner silence was right there all along, shining within our every word and our every breath.

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Location of The Hebden Wave 5Rhythms class:
Hebden Bridge Methodist Church,
Market Street HX7 6EU.
Francis Michael Eliot:
+44 (0)7749 418640