Power of Silence

     I remember the first time I experienced total silence. Perhaps I had experienced it as a child, but as a conscious adult, this was my first time. I was visiting a friend in Southern California, in a home where I would soon be living. When I went to bed, I realized I had not brought my fan. I sleep with fans. Always have. The fan blocks out any noise that keeps me awake or occupied – i.e., loud neighbors, house settling, whatever. Well, not only did I not hear the sound of my fan, I heard nothing.
     NOTHING – as in SILENCE.
     It was a loud buzzing in my ear. Suddenly I was wide awake. The silence was everywhere. How did it make me feel? Scared. Uncomfortable. I thought of the song by Simon and Garfunkel:
Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.
    Was I ready for a vision from the silence? I don't remember a vision. I don't remember what I did. I just remember the silence and a realization that silence is powerful. Many years have passed and I have learned a lot about silence since then.
     The most basic lesson around silence is learning to not speak. So often we feel a need to say something when really the most powerful response is silence. It took quite a few times of wishing I'd remained quiet to learn this. In the silence of a conversation, many powerful things can be felt and communicated.
     During my training for regression certification after completing my hypnosis training, the instructor regressed a student to when he was still in the womb. The student described hearing his parents argue as well as feeling a moment when his father kicked his mother. His father did not want a child. In the womb, the student experienced his mother’s feelings of powerlessness and sadness. When he entered the birth canal, he began to panic and started crying - not because of sound, but because of the silence. He thought that he had killed his mother. Yet, out of that silence, came his birth.
     Much of the healing that takes place in sound healing sessions takes place in the silence. When using bowls, voice or music, a field is created that stretches long past the sound and it is important for that field to be experienced in the healing process. When you are at a live concert, notice how at the end of a performance, the emotions permeate and if we didn’t clap, we could experience a continuation of the field created by the music. Clapping is our way of breaking the “spell”. Performers of healing music often request the audience to not clap for that reason.
     Today, I call silence the Void. From the Void comes my unrealized dreams and my unconquered demons. In my studies with a Lakota Medicine Woman, I have visited the Void many times. I have been rebirthed over and over. It still scares me at times. I wonder how many times I can be reborn in one lifetime. I wonder when I will become as comfortable with my creations as I am with my failings.
     As this was my next blog, I decided to attend a silent sitting with a Swami. I met her last week and realized it was no coincidence. It was comfortable, sitting in silence with others. I realized that I had come a long way in making friends with the sound of silence.
     I'll end with the saying on her website::
Silence is the final and ultimate teaching
and the final and ultimate teacher.
~ Adyashanti