Discipline of Silence


“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness effect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

Simply put, “ego-mind” is the activity of craving and aversion that gives rise to the sense of a separate self, which in turn demands one’s full attention in the form of caring, feeding, defending, and preserving. The process commences when perception is translated into an interior stream of interpretations, images, concepts, memories, beliefs, projections, judgments, narratives and commentaries, which mind then weaves into a vivid and perpetual story – the story of “me”.

In that fanciful narrative, the fictional character we typically imagine ourselves to be is taken as an actual independent and enduring person, entangled in dilemma, and relentlessly driven by attraction and fear to seek an elusive happiness through the exploitation of experience in this dreamy realm of transitory forms and appearances.

Should it pursue its ongoing adventures in the arena of “spiritual effort”, ego-mind will diligently follow all the rules, rites, and rituals, even congratulating itself on how well it’s doing transcending ego-mind.

ego mind

It will be right up there at the front line, earnestly battling itself via all manner of borrowed strategies and prescribed remedies – artifacts of the search — which in the end only serve to fatten it and prolong the internal struggle. The reason it is so successful in prolonging the charade is mostly due to the convincing nature of the illusion it weaves, starting with the assertion that we are the body — a separate subject seeking to survive and thrive in a world of “others”.

Furthermore, ego-mind can co-opt even our most profound realizations, taking the credit for how well it’s seeing through and “hacking” itself. In fact, the very movement and impulse to dispel delusion is prompted by delusion itself. Mind cannot be used to grasp mind.

In that regard, using the mind to look for reality is futile, because the mind that wants to free itself from all conditioning programs is itself a program, just as that which wants to eliminate the disease of the mind is itself a symptom of that very disease. That’s how it confirms its existence and survives so well — by ensuring that a perpetual state of war exists (not unlike certain governments).

The last thing it wants is to become obsolete through lack of attention. The last sound it ever wants to hear is the sound of silence. When the movement of attention falls into the inherent and prior silence of its own source, it is not interesting to the ego-mind, which thrives on the noise of conflict. Consequently, if one would be free, sages and shamans recommend cultivating the discipline of inner silence.


“Whatever happens in consciousness is purely imaginary, a hallucination. Therefore keep in mind the knowledge that it is consciousness in which everything is happening. With that knowledge, be still, do not pursue any other thoughts which arise in consciousness.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

“The grand trick of those sorcerers of ancient times was to burden the flyers’ mind with discipline. Sorcerers found out that if they taxed the flyers’ mind with inner silence, the foreign installation would flee, and give any one of the practitioners involved in this maneuver the total certainty of the mind’s foreign origin. [It] comes back, I assure you, but not as strong; and a process begins in which the fleeing of the flyers’ mind becomes routine until one day it flees permanently.”

~Don Juan Matus, “The Active Side of Infinity”, by Carlos Castenada

The quotes above, though from two very different traditions and from opposite ends of the world, coincide in describing a prime vehicle of liberation – the Way of Silence — but it is not a path most will undertake, because of the tremendous discipline and subtlety involved. In the “Bhagavad Gita”, Krishna told Arjuna that, out of millions, only a few will aspire to the truth, and out of those who do, only a few will realize it.

Even given these slim odds, however, what is the alternative? To be a slave to our own outrageous thought theater? If one is earnest enough in their desire for freedom, we will do what it takes, even unto death. In fact, it’s precisely that death — the end of the search to confirm and validate ego-mind’s existence — that mystics and realizers throughout the centuries have spoken of as the price of admission to real freedom: dying to the restless mind of craving and aversion, and all the passing parade of vanities and self-positions to which we subject ourselves in our ignorance.

Question: “It is said that the Self is beyond the mind and yet the realisation is with the mind. The mind cannot think it. It cannot be thought of by the mind and the mind alone can realise it. How are these contradictions to be reconciled?”

Ramana Maharshi: “Self is realised with mrita manas (dead mind), that is, mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward. Then the mind sees its own source and becomes that.”


Nevertheless, to attempt to force attention into silence by an act of will is merely engaging in yet another variation on the theme of seeking, because willing and seeking are complementary. In this case, the exercise of the will equates with the idealism of seeking to have things be different than they are, even if that change is to a state of non-seeking. This is why Seng-T’san, Third Patriarch of Zen, wrote:

“When you try to stop activity to achieve peace, your very effort fills you with activity.”

Consequently, while an adept such as Ramana might advise, “Make no effort … your effort is the bondage….all that is required is to be still”, such instructions are almost impossible for ordinary untrained folk to carry out, for the simple reason that the sense of separate identity is a subconscious projection, and not readily accessible to the intellect’s willfulness or idealism.

The activity of separation is programmed into the very foundations of our delusion, in which consciousness is conditioned to assume the ego-mind’s cravings and aversions as its own, and so fixates on a resulting self-sense, in turn projecting that “me” story of desire and dissatisfaction into the mechanics of the search, and then re-affirming it in an endless loop.

Ironically, it is the vicious cycle of that very seeking which keeps the mind agitated and prolongs the delusion by reinforcing identification with the story over and over again, prompting efforts to change environments and circumstances, which only result in the mere modification of mind, rather than its liberation. This is why the great Dzogchen adept Longchenpa noted,

“In the meditation which is great natural self-perfection, there is no need of modifications and transformations: whatever arises is the Great Perfection. If you reside in the groundless state through detachment from mind you will accomplish, spontaneously and changelessly, the inconceivable sovereignty.”

thought bubbles

As long as other options born of craving and aversion appear inviting, silence will remain patiently in the background. It is what persists when thought has lost its magical ability to distract attention. Once that happens, attention may begin to rest in the space between thoughts. At first it may be for small moments, but these moments can be repeated many times, while the shift from distraction to clarity proceeds, and the awake spaciousness becomes more and more the present experience.

True silence is not an acquisition, a prized object to be gained after some long struggle. Rather, it is what is already true of us — our own native state — prior to the superimposition of the incessant internal narrative. It is our identification with that personal narrative, fueled by the alternating cycle of hope and fear, craving and aversion, which obscures our peace. Thus, we can see that silence is not an addition to consciousness — something new. Rather, it is the actual ground or basis of consciousness itself (“Dharmakaya”, in Buddhist parlance).

It is our own pristine knowingness, the natural space of awake awareness, in which all the various mental states and conditions appear and disappear. By simply being that which we already always are, without resort to any special scheme or strategy of transformation or modification, we simply relax and rest. When all else falls away, or becomes obsolete from lack of attention, this transparent stillness alone remains, this pure and simple silence.

By first recognizing, and then releasing, the chronic contraction which spawns mind’s neurotic activity, we can “fall into” the prior silence of our true nature, our natural “default position”. It is always a matter of clear seeing, or being aware of being aware, and then relaxing into this primordial nature: letting go, relinquishing the struggle, surrender.


The clench at the heart is habitually being reinforced by clinging and attachment. Attachment to what? Attachment to the personal story of “me and mine”. That is the noisy narrative which so occupies our attention, like a constant parade of clouds which obscures the spaciousness of the blue sky. This is why we turn attention around to its root, or source, in silence.

By disengaging from that stream of thoughts, images, interpretations, memories, and projections which constitute “the story”, attention comes to rest in silence, and it is only in such silence, freed from all distractions, all mental and emotional obscurations, all futile seeking and stressful striving, that our true nature can reveal itself as the pure simplicity of open awake awareness that it is.

“The radiance of consciousness-bliss, in the form of one awareness shining equally within and without, is the supreme and blissful primal reality. Its form is silence and it is declared by Jnanis (Self-realised) to be the final and unobstructable state of true knowledge (jnana).”

~Ramana Maharshi

Colors of Silence

See also:

About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Verses and ramblings on life as it is: https://writingonwater934500566.wordpress.com/ Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: https://themindthatneverwas.wordpress.com/ Verses on the Play of Consciousness: https://onlydreaming187718380.wordpress.com/ Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: https://themysteriousexpanse.wordpress.com/ Poems of the Mountain Hermit: https://snowypathtonowhere.wordpress.com/ Love Poems from The Book of Yes: https://lovesight.wordpress.com/ Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: https://travelsindreamland.wordpress.com/ Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: https://freetransliterations.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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41 Responses to Discipline of Silence

  1. Bob OHearn says:

    “Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it simply is. In silence all objects have their home ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence. Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects. It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without restriction or center. It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary. Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty. It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates. Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence is the absence of absence. Sound which comes from silence is music. All activity is creative when it comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning. Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art. Silence is the home ground of all creative activity. What is truly creative is the word, is Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth. The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love.”

    ~Jean Klein

  2. Bob OHearn says:

    How can you understand that silence
    — chaotic or otherwise?

    Is it possible for you to capture that silence?

    When that silence starts operating through you,
    it is something extraordinary,
    something vital and living.

    This structure which is trying to understand
    the nature of it, capture it, contain it
    or give expression to it,
    cannot co-exist with it.

    The difficulty is you seem to know
    a lot about this state –
    you have imagination.

    You imagine it to be what is described
    as “Silence is Brahman” and begin to
    think about it.

    This imagination must go.

    That [silence] is something living
    and the structure which is trying
    to capture it is a dead structure.

    You are all dead.

    You are not living human beings at all.

    You have never known one living
    moment in your life.

    You are living the lives of your thoughts.

    All thoughts are dead —
    it doesn’t matter whose thoughts —
    whether those of Shankara, of Ramanuja
    or of the hundreds of sages, saints and
    saviors we have had and perhaps have still.

    It is useless to try to understand that.

    How can you capture it?
    If there is any such thing as silence,
    chaotic or otherwise, living or dead,
    it will begin to express itself.

    When it expresses itself,
    you are not there.

    So, you will never know the nature of
    that silence at all.

    What you call silence is not silence at all.

    ~ U.G. Krishnamurti

  3. Bob OHearn says:

    “Life moves, undulates, breathes in and out, contracting and expanding. This is its nature, the nature of what is. Whatever is, is on the move. Nothing remains the same for very long. The mind wants everything to stop so that it can get its foothold, find its position, so it can figure out how to control life. Through the pursuit of material things, knowledge, ideas, beliefs, opinions, emotional states, spiritual states, and relationships, the mind seeks to find a secure position from which to operate.
    The mind seeks to nail life down and get it to stop moving and changing. When this doesn’t work, the mind begins to seek the changeless, the eternal, something that doesn’t move. But the mind of thought is itself an expression of life’s movement and so must always be in movement itself. When there is thought, that thought is always moving and changing.
    There is really no such thing as thought. There is only thinking, so thought which is always moving (as thinking) cannot apprehend the changeless. When thought enters into the changeless it goes silent. When thought goes silent, the thinker, the psychological “me”, the image-produced self, disappears. Suddenly, it is gone. You, as an idea, are gone. Awareness remains alone.
    There is no one who is aware. Awareness itself is itself. You are now no longer the thought, nor the thinker, nor someone who is aware. Only Awareness remains, as itself. Then, within awareness, thought moves. Within the changeless, change happens. Now Awareness expresses itself. Awareness is always expressing itself: as life, as change, as thought, feeling, bodies, humans, plants, trees, cars, etc. The changeless is changing. The eternal is living and dying. The formless is form. The form is formless. This is nothing the mind could ever have imagined.”

    ~ Adyashanti

  4. Bob OHearn says:

    “If you can abolish desires,
    Internally gazing into the heart-mind,
    You see that in actuality there is no heart-mind.

    Externally gazing into form,
    You see that in actuality there is no form.

    Remotely gazing into things,
    You see that in actuality there are no things.

    When you awaken to these three,
    Only then do you gain a glimpse into emptiness.

    Using emptiness to observe emptiness,
    You see that emptiness is not empty.

    When even emptiness does not exist,
    You see that no-thingness is indeed no-thing.

    Without even the nonexistence of no-thingness,
    There is only clear and constant silence.”

    ~Scripture on Clarity and Stillness
    Taishang laojun shuo chang qingjing miaojing

  5. Bob OHearn says:

    “Silence is the true teaching. It is the perfect teaching.
    It is suited only for the most advanced.
    Others are unable to draw full inspiration from it.
    Therefore they require words to explain the Truth.
    But Truth is beyond words.
    It does not admit of explanation.
    All that it is possible to do is only to indicate It.”

    ~Ramana Maharshi

  6. More good stuff Bodhisattva Bob!

    As we think about moving beyond thinking we always come to this obvious logical paradox.

    We all do a lot of “thinking” every day, much of it for useful and practical purposes. Thinking is actually a very beneficial activity when done in the present! It is when thinking becomes highly abstracted and removed from the reality of the present that it becomes highly problematic and indeed, as we can see all around us, downright dangerous.

    Here is a little something I composed after contemplating this conundrum, in an attempt to place the use of “practical thought” in a better perspective.

    Thought is another of our senses;
    I have found it helpful to view “thought” as simply another of our senses. No more or less significant, important or useful than any of our other senses. As humans we have become transfixed on our over developed ability to exercise abstract thought. Even thinking about methods of moving beyond thinking is simply more thinking.

    Shhh… pay attention now, no thinking, relax and just listen, I am still here, I’ve been here all along, and there is nothing wrong with this moment at all.

  7. Bob OHearn says:

    “Only in silence and in darkness can it be heard and seen.”
    ~Sri Nisargadatta

    “Nothing that knowledge can grasp or desire can want, is God. Where knowledge and desire end, there is darkness, and there God shines.”

    ~ Meister Eckhart

  8. Bob OHearn says:

    “You want something like a round-the-clock ecstasy. Ecstasies come and go, necessarily, for the human brain cannot stand the tension for a long time. A prolonged ecstasy will burn out your brain, unless it is extremely pure and subtle. In nature nothing is at stand-still, everything pulsates, appears and disappears. Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking — birth and death everything comes and goes in waves. Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule. No use rebelling against the very pattern of life. If you seek the Immutable, go beyond experience. When I say: remember ‘I am’ all the time, I mean: ‘come back to it repeatedly’. No particular thought can be mind’s natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    “The mind cannot imagine anything about the Self.
    If it tries to imagine about the Self, it ends.”

    ~ Siddharameshwar Maharaj

    Last night I begged the Wise One to tell me the secret of the world.
    Gently, gently he whispered,
    “Be quiet, the secret cannot be spoken, it is wrapped in silence.”


  10. Bob OHearn says:

    “The mind can operate with terms of its own making, it just cannot go beyond itself. That which is neither sensory nor mental, and yet without which neither sensory nor the mental can exist, cannot be contained in them. Do understand that the mind has its limits; to go beyond, you must consent to silence.”

    “It is the mind that tells you that the mind is there. Don’t be deceived. All the endless arguments about the mind are produced by the mind itself, for its own protection, continuation and expansion. It is the blank refusal to consider the convolutions and convulsions of the mind that can take you beyond it.

    Listen to what I keep on telling you and do not move away from it. Think of it all the time and of nothing else. Having reached that far, abandon all thoughts, not only of the world, but of yourself also. Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness. It is not progress, for what you come to is already there in you, waiting for you. Whatever thoughts come to you in connection with the ‘I am’, empty them of all meaning, pay them no attention.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    “When we just remain in that present awareness and observe, then the self dissolves too. When the self dissolves there is just pure awareness. When the self completely collapses, there is this inexpressible, simple yet profound and ecstatic, compassionate awareness. Nobody is there. “I” is completely nonexistent in that place.”

    ~Anam Thubten

  12. Bob OHearn says:

    “Do your work in the world, but inwardly keep quiet. Then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization. It may profit others, but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realized people are very quiet.”

    -Nisargadatta Maharaj

  13. Bob OHearn says:

    “To hear nothing is a good place to start. For nothingness has so much to say it becomes deafening. Do not seek to hear something within nothingness, simply become aware there is nothing you need to hear. In this, all you hear is your own wisdom. For in your greatest wisdom there no longer exists a need to question, for you are the answer to all questions. There no longer exists a need to know anything, for there no longer exists a need to achieve anything. All that remains is simply to be that which is. That which is, is that which you truly are.

    Now become one with this silence and stop trying to place things inside it in order to fulfill your human ego’s need to achieve something. You see you are attempting to measure and determine achievement and process by expectation and what an end result should look like. Stop thinking inside the box. Eventually in time, with patience, it may be weeks or it may be years, the silence will unveil the door to the only answer that matters.”


  14. Bob OHearn says:

    “Keep quiet by knowing you are not the ego that has to keep ouiet. This Quietness, this Silence, has nothing to do with talking or not talking because even when you are not talking your mind is continually racing everywhere. No thought rising from your mind is this Silence. Awareness of any object is not it. The one who is aware of awareness is it!”


  15. Bob OHearn says:

    ” Silence is another name for God.
    Quietness is a name for consciousness, peace.
    Everything is found in the silence, not too much in the words, in quietness.

    You should try to be quiet for as long as you can,
    especially when you are at home. Try to sit in the silence and quietness
    for as long as you can.

    It’s in the silence where you will receive the message.
    It’s in silence where pure awareness reveals itself to you.
    Never be afraid to sit in the silence. It’s your greatest asset.”

    ~Robert Adams

  16. Bob OHearn says:

    “SILENCE is not the absence of sound.
    SILENCE is the absence of you.”

    ~Wu Hsin

  17. Bob OHearn says:

    “I have the impression that many of us are afraid of silence. We’re always taking in something—text, music, radio, television, or thoughts—to occupy the space. If quiet and space are so important for our happiness, why don’t we make more room for them in our lives?”

    ~Thich Nhat Hanh

  18. Bob OHearn says:

    “I cannot solve your problem by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere. It is not the right advice that liberates, but the action based on it. Just like a doctor, after giving the patient an injection, tells him: ‘Now, keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet,’ I am telling you: you have got your ‘injection’, now keep quiet, just keep quiet. You have nothing else to do. My Guru did the same. He would tell me something and then said: ‘Now keep quiet. Don’t go on ruminating all the time. Stop. Be silent’.”

    ~ Sri Nisargadatta

    All we need do is simply notice how easily we are snagged by any passing thought and off to the races we go. We so love the idea of being quiet, but cannot bear the reality of it for more than a moment without getting up and running after some preaching or other about how good it is to be quiet.

  19. Bob OHearn says:

    This silence, this moment, every moment, if it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There’s nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.

    ~ Rumi

  20. Bob OHearn says:


    “If, then, you wish to behold and commune with Him who is beyond sense-perception and beyond concept, you must free yourself from every impassioned thought.

    Persevere with patience in your prayer, and repulse the cares and doubts that arise within you.

    Try to make your intellect deaf and dumb during prayer, you will then be able to pray.”

    “In diligent exercise of mystical contemplation, leave behind the senses and the operations of the intellect, and all things sensible and intellectual, and all things in the world of being and non-being, that you may arise by unknowing towards the union, as far as is attainable, with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. For by the unceasing and absolute renunciation of yourself and of all things you may be borne on high, through pure and entire self-abnegation, into the superessential Radiance of the Divine Darkness.”


  21. Bob OHearn says:

    “I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.”

    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  22. Bob OHearn says:

    The Silent Mind, by Bernadette Roberts
    I wish I understood the mechanism of self-consciousness, or how it is possible for the mind to bend back on itself, for if I did, I could more easily convey a better understanding of no-self and its most noticeable effect — the silent mind. But whatever this mechanism is, the state of no-self is the breaking up of a self-conscious system whereby the mind can no longer see itself as an object; and at the same time it loses the ability to find any other object to take its place, because when there is no self there is also no other.
    I might add that the mind has never had the ability to see itself as a subject — this would be as impossible as the eye seeing itself; yet I think this very impossibility may be the clue to the type of consciousness that remains when consciousness without a knowable subject or object becomes the whole of it. This type of consciousness is not available to our ordinary way of knowing, and because it cannot be experienced or understood by the relative mind, it falls squarely into the realm of the unknown and the unknowable.
    I used to believe that in order to know of the self’s existence, it was not necessary for the mind to reflect back on itself — to make itself an object or to be self-conscious, that is; instead, I believed that the basic awareness of thoughts and feelings went right on, and was present whether I reflected on them or not. Now, however, I see this is not the way it works. I see this is an error, but an error it is only possible to realize once self-consciousness had come to an end. It seems that on an unconscious level this reflexive mechanism goes on so continuously, it makes no difference if we are aware of this mechanism on a conscious level or not. In turn, this means that when the mechanism is cut off, we not only lose awareness of the self — or the agent of consciousness on a conscious level — but we lose awareness of the self on an unconscious level as well. Stated more simply: when we can no longer verify or check back (reflect) on the subject of awareness, we lose consciousness of there being any subject of awareness at all. To one who remains self-conscious, of course, this seems impossible. To such a one, the subject of consciousness is so self-evident and logical, it needs no proof. But to the unself-conscious mind, no proof is possible.
    The first question to be asked is whether or not self-consciousness is necessary for thinking, or if thinking goes right on without a thinker. My answer is that thinking can only arise in a self-conscious mind, which is obviously why the infant mentality cannot survive in an adult world. But once the mind is patterned and conditioned or brought to its full potential as a functioning mechanism, thinking goes right on without any need for a self-conscious mechanism. At the same time, however, it will be a different kind of thinking. Where before, thought had been a product of a reflecting introspective, objectifying mechanism — ever colored with personal feelings and biases — now thought arises spontaneously off the top of the head, and what is more, it arises in the now-moment which is concerned with the immediate present, making it invariably practical. This is undoubtedly a restrictive state of mind, but it is a blessed restrictiveness since the continual movement inward and outward, backward and forward in time, and in the service of feelings, personal projections, and all the rest, is an exhausting state that consumes an untold amount of energy that is otherwise left free.
    What this means is that thinking goes right on even when there is no self, no thinker, and no self-consciousness; thus, there is no such thing as a totally silent mind — unless, of course, the mind or brain (which I view as synonymous) is physically dead. Certainly something remains when the mind dies, but this “something” has nothing to do with our notions or experiences of a mind, or of thought, or of ordinary awareness.
    What I call a “silent mind,” therefore, is a purely relative experience belonging to a self-conscious state wherein silence is relative to its absence, its opposite, or to some degree of mental quietude. But in a fully established non-relative state — which is non-experiential by ordinary standards — there are no longer the variations, degrees, or fluctuations that could be known as the silent mind. This does not mean we cannot pass beyond the mind to “that” which remains when the self-consciousness falls away, but it does mean that whatever lies beyond the mind has no such tool for its description.
    From The Experience of No-Self: A Contemplative Journey.

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  24. Bob OHearn says:

    Ramana Maharshi said to me,
    “The only spiritual life you need is not to react.”
    To be calm is the greatest asset in the world.
    It’s the greatest siddhi, the greatest power you can have.
    If you can only learn to be calm you will solve every problem.
    This is something you must remember.
    When you are perfectly calm, time stops.
    There is no time, karma stops, samskaras stop.
    Everything becomes null and void.
    For when you are calm you are one with the entire energy of the universe
    and everything will go well with you.
    To be calm means you are in control.
    You’re not worried about the situation, the outcome.
    What is going to happen tomorrow.
    To be calm means everything is alright.
    There is nothing to worry about, nothing to fret over.
    This is also the meaning of the biblical saying,
    “Be still and know that I am God.”
    To be calm is to be still.

    ~Robert Adams

  25. Bob OHearn says:

    Enjoy your life as much as you can and when you have enjoyed everything you will know that there must be something else beyond the transitory enjoyments of the world. All those enjoyments need bones and leather, but there is a happiness which does not depend on them. When you find this happiness you will sit Quiet and you will not go back to the cemetery which is filled with only bones. Most people stay in the cemetery everyday. Once you know this you will be attracted to the bliss which will continually pull you deeper and deeper into it. Don’t worry. Simply stay Quiet here and don’t let your mind go back to the previous disturbances. Whenever the mind goes out pounce on it so that it doesn’t go back to the previous disturbances. Be a lion.

    ~ Papaji

  26. Bob OHearn says:

    When a thought moves, simply recognise the thinker. The thinking then dissolves. No matter what the thought is about, the thinking and the thinker are empty. A thought in itself is not made of any concrete substance; it is simply an empty thought movement. By recognising the empty essence in a thought, it vanishes like a bubble in water. That is how to deal with any particular present thought at hand. Once you know how to let the present thought dissolve, any subsequent thought can be dealt with in exactly the same way, as simply another present thought. But if we get involved in the thought, thinking of what is being thought of, and continue it, then there is no end.

    ~Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    When you meditate, do not try to have good thoughts, do not try to keep away bad thoughts, do not try to stop thoughts, and do not try to go after them. Rather, rest in a state of being aware of the thoughts as they arise.

    ~ Kalu Rinpoche

  28. Bob OHearn says:

    “The practice of silence is better attained when your own mind is mastered.

    By understanding your own thoughts through reflection and introspection silence is better achieved, because your thoughts seek less acknowledgement, and tend to more easily be transmuted into a state of feeling – into a state of knowing. The state of knowing is an awareness which permeates through your whole cellular state and not does require thought engagement, only a means of expression.

    When in introspection examine your mental responses to issues arising where problems occur in your life. Identify the belief systems you hold and the attitudes you perceive, where they originated from, and whether they serve your best interest for your highest intention or not. Try to perceive other ways of doing things, other perspectives, which could open other doors for you.

    Reflection and introspection is not a means to dwell on the past, but to identify truth, wisdom and process gained knowledge to decide better choices for aspired outcomes.

    When the thought, the memory, and the introspection has served its purpose let it go and return to the silence, in that you may then experience the truth of that wisdom – lived.

    You cannot experience the truth of it if you are busy thinking and contemplating it.”


  29. jamiem333 says:

    “By first recognizing, and then releasing, the chronic contraction which spawns mind’s neurotic activity, we can “fall into” the prior silence of our true nature, our natural “default position”. It is always a matter of clear seeing, or being aware of being aware, and then relaxing into this primordial nature: letting go, relinquishing the struggle, surrender.”
    “And every task we undertake becomes a piece of cake” lol
    So simple is the default position. So obvious. And yet hidden skillfully in full view. Thank you. Thank you thank you. There’s no place like home. 🙂

  30. Pingback: Sitting In Silence Can Completely Transform Your Life - Plunge Into

  31. Pingback: Sự Im Lặng Có Thể Giải Quyết Vấn Đề Điều Mà Ngôn Từ Không Thể - MẸO SỐNG

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