Today we ask that you learn to enjoy silence.

Many people have a very troubled relationship with silence.

They can’t bear it.  That is why they leave the TV on all the time, even when they are not watching.  The constant noise is soothing.  Silence makes them very nervous.

Likewise, a constant stream of email, texts, and internet activity is soothing.

If the power shut off and they were plunged into quiet darkness, they would go crazy.

Silence makes people crazy.  If someone does not respond to you, if someone does not answer an email or text and tell you what you need to hear, this feels awful.

Many people would prefer negative attention to silence.  They would rather be yelled at, or criticized, than given the “silent treatment.”  Nothing is worse than silence.

And yet what is “peace and quiet,” if not silence?

Silence, stillness, is in fact a balm for overstimulated minds.  It is a great healer.  So why do humans abhor it so?

It is because silence dissolves the False Self.

The False Self is your ego identity.  It is who you think you are.  Your name, your age, your race, your sex, your job, your relationships, your religion or non-religion, your likes and dislikes — all of these, taken together, make up the persona, the ego identity.

Beneath this ego identity is your True Self, which transcends your limited ego.

Ego identity is transient.  Your Five Year Old ego identity is very different from your Fifty Year Old ego identity.

But the True Self is a through line.  It is the ground of your being.  It is there in the 5 Year Old You, and the 50 Year Old You.  It was there before you were born, and will be there after you die.

Silence opens up space for your True Self to emerge.

When this happens, your False Self dissolves.  This is actually a very good thing.  It is the path to lasting peace, and liberation.  But the ego identity abhors and dreads this process, which it sees as annihilating.

It can be very uncomfortable, it is true.

But is it not annihilating.  It is just the opposite.

That is why it is very good to learn to sit with silence.  To sit even with the fear and discomfort that arises in the silence.  To not compulsively react and reach for stimuli, but to really sit with silence.

That is, in a nutshell, the purpose of meditative practices.

Don’t you, deep down, crave more peace and calm?

Silence is your friend, and ally.  Learn to embrace it.

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