“What you need, what we all need, is silence “

In “How to be Alone”, the novelist Sara Maitland writes of living in a place in Scotland that is “one of the emptiest” in Europe, a place where “The nearest shop is ten miles away”, and “Often I do not see another person all day.”

At a certain time in her life, she “got fascinated by silence; by what happens to the human spirit, to identity and personality when the talking stops, when you press the off button, when you venture out into that enormous emptiness. I was interested in silence as….a thing of beauty and as a space that had been explored and used over and over again by different individuals, for different reasons….I began to use my own life as a sort of laboratory to test some ideas and to find out what it felt like. Almost to my surprise, I found I loved silence. It suited me. I got greedy for more. In my hunt for more silence, I found this valley and built a house here, on the ruins of an old shepherd’s cottage.”

Thich Nhat Hanh writes in “Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise”: “All the wonders of life are already here. They’re calling you. If you can listen to them, you will be able to stop running. What you need, what we all need, is silence. Stop the noise in your mind in order for the wondrous sounds of life to be heard. Then you can begin to live your life authentically and deeply.”

The late Pauline Oliveros, whose music evolved into a philosophy that weaved together deep listening, meditative awareness, healing, and inner transformation suggests in “Sonic Meditations”: “Take a walk at night. Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”

Peace 😊

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