“Let the words you speak be worthy of the silence they break”
This phrase was spoken into the silence of a circle I was a part of over a decade ago and they have stayed with me ever since.
As a reminder of the sort of deep presence that I seek to cultivate on a daily basis.
How do you feel about silence?
Can you sit in quietude and simply be without feeling the compulsion to speak?
Can you allow yourself to simply hold space in a conversation with others, noticing what is being said and what is not being said?
Deeply uncomfortable for most.
Yet silence is the place where all wisdom resides.
I often feel that as humans we are some of the noisiest beings on Earth.
We never stop thinking and our thoughts ring loudly in the ethers of time and space.
Do your thoughts create beauty of ugliness?
Do you create harmonies with your feelings or cacophonies?
How do you know which is which?
And who is listening to you?
These are all questions that come naturally when we can still our noisy minds and listen.
Deep listening begins with listening to our own inner music (no matter what form that takes). Once we are familiar with our own frequencies and vibrations, we can create the space to listen to how we interact with others.
One of my favourite things is to go outside and listen to a Nature being. Perhaps this is a tree, a flower or a stone person. They each have a language that is all their own.
Many indigenous societies have practices and initiations designed cultivate stillness and silence. Our ability to learn how to listen deeply to the voices of elders around us (elder humans as well as elder Nature beings) and only speak once we have found and developed an ability to listen.
An old saying goes “prayer is asking creation for the things we want; meditation is listening to creation to find out what we need.”
Whilst prayer is powerful it often doesn’t take us beyond the realms of our existing story lens and worldview. Meditation cultivates an ability to listen and expand. To place ourselves in service of a story that is yet to come into being and one that we can only just start to sense into when we are quiet.
So perhaps we all need to start to listen more. To speak less. To know that when we do speak, it honours the silence into which we are breaking.
Deep listening creates music instead of noise.
Let’s return to rest in the place of wisdom and speak from there.