#35 What Is Inner Silence?

Last Sunday we celebrated my inspiring, sparkling friend Joan’s 90th birthday. As we were taking leave, she told me to write another blog, that she found them useful. When Joan commands (very gently), I obey :))

In my last blog, I mentioned my urge to move forward into new vistas. I kept telling myself that I must find a way to get more quiet inside, so that I could be more receptive. Well, let me tell you how that unfolded.

I went to a wonderful retreat place, The Well of Mercy, with my friend Marion Z. With her help, I was able to be with the trees, touch them, lean against them. The golf cart made it possible to go down long beautiful trails and to walk into the stations off the trails. In Japan people are doing ‘tree bathing’ for the many good effects trees have on us. No news to most of us. But, I can’t find the words to express the feeling, the joy to be with the trees…not just look at them or walk by them.

While there, I also finally walked barefooted on grass a couple times. Having to move slowly, I did the Thich Nhat Hanh smiling, walking meditation. Such a high. For over a year I’ve yearned to do this….And then the six sided chapel in the woods, up in the trees, with windows all around, and sounding a large singing bowl. You can just imagine that sound and vibration…So much more, but you get the idea. When we left, I felt so peaceful and uplifted. But, I did not achieve the innner quiet I anticipated.

Pretty quickly I found myself in old familiar grooves of thinking and patterns of being. Reminding myself to pay exquisite attention, I stopped fighting my interest to read about and listen to the amazing new emerging information in science, health, consciousness research, quantum healing and more. These are the seeds being planted in the compost of my life to this point. I find that my mind needs regular feeding. Otherwise, it simply keeps churning around things way past the expiration date.

At the moment, it seems I’m to release my preconceived notion of what inner quiet is for me. Not being preoccupied with past, anything, is one requirement. It is calmly pursuing the new which comes to me, and there is plenty of that. I notice this is activating dormant, waiting to emerge, inner knowing, new ways of perceiving, interpreting. As you see, the words are not there yet to express my experience clearly. It will come, as this all continues to unfold.

Most important, I continue to find my strongest receptivity when meditating or sitting in silence with others. The Presence is almost palpable at those times and there is a very heightened sense of awareness.. Maybe that is actually the inner silence I’m seeking. It is all very fascinating. It never occurred to me that what I called inner silence is possibly experienced in some yet to be discovered way. So far it is clearly not emptiness.

OK friend Joan and all of you, what say you to all this?

In Light and Love, Hedi

10 thoughts on “#35 What Is Inner Silence?

  1. Well I say that you continue to inspire! I love the idea that there is more awakening to be experienced all the time and that curiosity may be a driver that puts us on a peace path. It seems you are describing something more that involves responsiveness, engaging with the beings around us, not so inner after all! Thank you for your teaching. XO

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  2. Ah, well I resonate with all of this. Have been longing for more silence myself and noticing that even when I have silence around me, there is plenty of chatter inwardly. Noticing like you that touching trees, touching earth is deeply nourishing. Also feeling that there are things wanting to emerge, and they will come in their own time. I appreciate the focus on what is here now and what is pulling one forward. Being and becoming. I also resonate with how powerful it is to sit in silence with others and can indeed feel Presence in those times. I wonder is it silence per se or Presence that is sought? Another mentor of mine reminds me that Presence is not something we need to seek, for we are Presence. It is remembering that matters! In reading your blog, I find myself remembering times when the dichotomy between “inner” and “outer” became meaningless, nonexistent. I find myself wondering about how we get attached to a preconceived notion of what something is supposed to look like and to a notion of seeking, when maybe it is already here if we could open our eyes and our hearts. Thank you for continuing to follow where you are called (rather than fight it!). It seems you are called to more learning, light, and life! 🙂 Aroha…..


    1. Jean, Yes. We are definitely more than we think we are. Knowing we are operating on expired programs and figuring out how to update and then dealing with all that is one way I think about it….not that I like the computer metaphor, but…..Essentially, accepting we have been programmed one way or another helps me to clear away layer after layer…so many more to go:)) Thanks for your always thoughtful response. Aroha…a New Zealand word?


  3. Yes, thanks to Joan for the request and to Hedi for the thought-provoking response. These thoughts seem very Quakerly to me, in that it is not just the experience of silence but the context in which the silence is experienced that is meaningful. For Quakers it can be the difference between sensing whether or not the Meeting is “gathered”. I’m so glad you enjoyed the walking barefoot in the grass experience, Hedi. I remember reading about that in Ode Magazine, which I mentioned to you recently. I immediately went out and tried it. Very nourishing…something we took for granted in childhood but when done mindfully is a whole different thing. Lastly, I’ll say that silence is good, but it is always nourishing when you speak or write and share your inner experience with us.

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  4. This question of exactly what is quieting thoughts is really on target with where I am. My own Thich Naht Hanh training is closer to the motion of letting go of intrusions into silent space as they enter. Their arrival is natural as is letting go, accepting impermanence. Loving these reflections.


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