Listen to the Silence Underneath the Sounds

When I was close to publishing my second book - The Wisdom of Listening - I scoured the internet for a watercolor artist with a piece that might be adaptable. I found her on Deviant Art. The piece was titled, "Listen to the silence underneath the sounds" by Vilas-bubble (she had a different user name back then), and it was perfect. After purchasing the limited rights to have it adapted to a book cover, I sent it off to a trusted graphic designer I had worked with before and VOILA - it was perfect.

While I truly love this artwork, the title has also resonated for me over the years.  I think this is what I always hope to find when I meditate - a place of silence and stillness within that I can sink into.  With an ADD mind that races, quieting to that depth is never an easy process.  It takes practice and I struggle being consistent in my efforts.  

I sometimes find it easier to reach that inner place of silence when out walking in nature.  Each step forward more thoughts pour out until, if I walk long enough, my minds is finished talking.  It is empty. With nothing left to say, my soul embraces the solitude.

I joined Masterclass this year and have been listening to the poetry workshop by American Poet Laureate, musician, playwright, and author Joy Harjo. She speaks about silence in an even deeper way. Although different, I didn't find it a contradiction, I found it an addition to the original concept.  

"Hear what is beneath the silence, and beneath, and beneath. What connects everything?"


In the past I had a vision of me starting in the noisy world with my mind racing from point to point as it always does.  Next I sink slowly inward through meditation or walking, whatever works in that moment, until the noises of the outside world fade.  Then noises in my mind that have been clamoring for attention start to quiet. As I sink further inward I reach that beautiful place of silence where I just exist in that moment. Until recently, that's where my vision ended.

Now I realize there is another layer as I go even deeper.  When I finally find myself centered in a totally quiet space, I begin to hear what has been awaiting me beneath the silence. Ideas, thoughts, feelings, truths, visions that come from unbidden - unexpected gifts and unique every time. I have even found myself in that space when beginning to wake some mornings. Some might say it is our inner soul speaking to us, or the universe, or our soul guides.  I truly don't know. As a writer I love to think of it as my inner muse whispering in my ear. 


Honestly, I have no reason or desire to fully understand this process, to define it accurately, or even to have any expectations as to when this gift will appear.  Diving deeply to reach that space of total silence is hard enough in this noisy demanding world. Most days if I can settle into a place of inner silence, I am grateful. 

The times I do manage to sink below the silence and hear my muse whisper are special.  They come when they do, in a timing all their own. And when they do, I simply embrace the experience fully without expectation - only joy and gratitude.