The following is what Yoga insructor April Ritchey said today about inner peace and quiet. I responded, that by saying that the best silence I found was the one that my heart felt in the presence of a song. I don't think peace does not come by staying quiet (Guru Nanak's poem). It comes by adhering to the laws of the universe. And the law of the universe is to sing!
All of our great traditions, religious, contemplative and artistic, say that you must a learn how to be alone—and have a relationship with silence. It is difficult, but it can start with just the tiniest quiet moment.
Being quiet in the midst of a frenetic life is like picking up a new instrument. If you've never played the violin and you try to play it for the first time, every muscle in your body hurts. Your neck hurts, you don't know how to hold that awkward wavy thing called a bow, you can't get your knuckles round to touch the strings, you can't even find where the notes are, you are just trying to get your stance right. Then you come back to it again, and again, and suddenly you can make a single buzzy note. The time after that, you can make a clearer note. No one, not even you, wants to listen to you at first. But one day, there is a beautiful succession of notes and, yes, you have played a brief, gifted, much appreciated passage of music.
This is also true for the silence inside you; you may not want to confront it at first. But a long way down the road, when you inhabit a space fully, you no longer feel awkward and lonely. Silence turns, in effect, into its opposite, so it becomes not only a place to be alone but also a place that's an invitation to others to join you, to want to know who's there, in the quiet.
An interpretation of Guru Nanak's poem:
For other interpretations click here.
On the path of purity
I did not become clean
On the path of silence
I did not gain peace
On the path of riches
I did not gain wealth
On the path of intelligence
I did not gain wisdom
Walking the path of acceptance
I found the noble truth.
June 24, 2011