The Forever Hug

The last post, From Silence, Return was stitched together from a series of private journal entries written over the course of about four months. I went through and sifted each line, maybe two or three from chunks of thoughts whirling around the topic of silence. The relationship with silence is the fruit of a perpetual unraveling of old beliefs and notions about the world I experience, and so that journal, whose name is the same as the post, includes not only odes to silence, but to magic, wonder, flow and mystery as well

What's significant is that one of the first journals I ever had, I pressed into it with a dull pencil, "I hate myself," over and over. To go from that, being eight at the time, to an adult with an inexplicable love affair with silence is remarkable. To go from suicidal depression to feeling the fullness of life is a gift, and that gift is in silence

Which is weird

Because at the surface, there isn't anything there. If you were to take a moment, sit in a room and listen, quietly, at first approach, there doesn't seem to be anything worth paying attention to. That's how it started at first, and so I would sit in my apartment and instead of attempting to listen to emptiness, I'd listen to cars driving by outside, or kids playing, or birds, or the rattling of keys as my neighbor entered their unit below. Then slowly, silence would fill the air once again. And then it happened that I started listening to thoughts, and kids outside, or cars, or other tenants moving about. Then too, silence crept in between the thoughts and filled the gaps of ideas with an apparent emptiness that was, alive 

I've come to see silence as the only living reality. If I could go back in time, not too far, just a few years at some heavy moments, I'd offer one piece of advice. Listen to the silence. I'd experience everything again, second by second, tear by tear, fracture by fracture, but I'd do it again listening to silence. Why?

Silence is the only living reality. Everything else shows up and disappears, today, tomorrow, in distant years. I've lived long enough to lose, but what hasn't been lost is listening. Silence is always listening. That flips things, and it's a call back to one moment, sitting in my apartment, quietly listening where silence not only crept in between thoughts but snatched away the last thought. There was only silence, and ever since, there has only been silence. Of course there have been thoughts. Plenty. Emotions too, and the entire range of human experience, imagined or otherwise. But silence grows, greedy, loving

So this is what I've come to understand as the intimacy of experience, which is a mouthful way of saying spirituality. There doesn't seem to be an end to that intimacy, or even a beginning really, but there does seem to be a tangibility, like a hug that can't run out of squeeze. It just gets tighter, richer, fuller and more bearable

From Silence, Return

Your way in is to listen. There is no substitute for listening to Silence.

Silence is before the goal. Not attained. Realized.

Silence is not a model of the world. It is the platform on which the whole world moves. It is the context for every story. No matter how grand or complex, no matter how small or simplistic, Silence is the foundation for it all. Any thought, feeling or experience, no matter how convincing, always fades back to Silence. You cannot begin any experience or be shocked by any fantasy without Silence being there first. Silence is primary.

The value of Silence is simplicity. Focus, clarity, peace - all of that is available in Silence. Everything is easier in Silence. Difficulty might arise, but it finds root in Silence. The practice of Silence is relationship with Silence - falling into it, loving it, being it.

The penetrating depth of Silence is inexhaustible. It is the mouth of Being. No matter where you go in thought, imagination or experience, Silence stands in the background, ready to swallow.

Silence is where the flow of the universe begins. Noticing Silence is all that is needed. You dissolve as an isolated focal point of attention and become All. All is freedom.

All is in motion, in constant flux and change, Silence is what remains the same. Silence is stability. Silence is the only living reality.

Noticing Silence is the only habit needed to fall into harmony. When Silence is noticed, life rearranges to accommodate that shift in perspective. Harmony becomes natural. Flow becomes obvious. 

Letting go is noticing Silence. Whatever disturbs you finds root in Silence. Noticing Silence behind every experience releases tension.

The first tension of any experience is identity. There is a central character named I-Me-My in a story. When Silence is noticed as the context for that story, the tension of the character dissolves. Whatever happens in the story happens by itself, without there being a character to identify with.

What is found in Silence is availability. Anything can happen. Anything does happen, and that demonstrates direct communion with unconditional acceptance, which is Love.

The treasure of Silence is that it is not created, but noticed.

Whatever is noticed is noticed from Silence.

Practical spirituality is noticing Silence.

Notice Silence and you're free.