Silence is the Frequency of Invention
A SILENCE MANIFESTO
In anticipation of a Silence Speaks Retreat I hosted somewhere in a Dutch forest, I deep-dived into my experience of silence and wrote this essay to convey my findings. I hope it will inspire you to either climb a mountain alone or shut up for a few days yourself.
“Tomorrow and plans for tomorrow can have no significance at all unless you are in full contact with the reality of the present, since it is in the present and only in the present that you live. There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly.”
― Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity
EXPERIENCE THE GIFT OF SILENCE
We all live in our own worlds. Bubbles of creation that we choose to expand in the absence of the key to liberation. Every second we can make the choice to step out, to overcome our fears and take the risk. To jump off the cliff and dive deep into the waters of the unknown, on a hunt to exploring the mystery that we know resides within us. In our quest to transcend the limited bubbles of our lives, we have to turn inward to connect the dimensions of our physical bodies: time, space, matter, to the unbounded possibilities of the non-physical, of pure consciousness. Thereby we escape the limited loop that our minds and bodies operate in and fall into a wider quantum web of reality that can communicate with the non-physical and download it into the spheres of our understanding. We bring our minds in tune with our hopes, our dreams our deepest desires. To then, transport our felt imagination into the present, into the habits, relationships and other pieces of art that we have already experienced alive, in our minds.
“Silence is the frequency of invention” — Gene Key #24 Richard Rudd
As what could life bring us if were unwilling to go deep?
Only in the deep, under the surface of the ocean, can we peak under the veil of our deepest fears and liberate ourselves from their headlock.
Only in the deep, scratching the densest of rocks tearing open our tender skin, can we be relieved from the bloody struggles of the day and be touched by a life lived in tune with the tides of life.
Only in the deep, we can learn from beings with expandable senses that reach with means beyond the graspable into the ungraspable.
Only in the deep, it counts to be real and simple, to be humble and trust the forces of nature. And we know that is the only game we long to play.
When we dive deep and then rise up again, gasping for breath, our eyes will cross perspective with those who have just pursued their daily goings-on. They may smile at us, wondering what we have found down there. Intuitively they know that no possible play of wisdom can claim to give more than a surrender to nature. They know we have found something that they don’t know much about, and now they want to see the catch.
What is our catch of being silent?
Of raising ourselves from the waters to the skies?
Is it the pearl that we found on the bottom of the ocean floor?
That pearl is a gift from creation to creation. One that is formed with the sighs of the tides and waves floating softly over its spiralling shell. Only in full surrender to the seasons, the directions, the temperature, all that nature brings forth, the pearl becomes the beautiful master piece that it can be, for us to catch, when we are ready to dive in.
I believe that everyone in their true essence is as much a chaser as a creator of this pearl. At the end of the path to becoming in line with one’s true nature, there is nothing to be found, only the awareness it takes to open the shell and enjoy the gift.
Only if we become aware of ourselves, we can be truly empathetic with others…
And we become aware of ourselves when we are still
There’s a word that I fell in love with some time ago: sonder
Sonder n. is the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness — an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Sonder heightened my awareness of myself in relationship to other people. I realized, that only if I know myself, I can experience sonder, I can be truly empathetic with other people, because I am emotionally balanced within the borders of who I believe I am.
And that all started with being still.
Three years ago I went on a Vipassana meditation retreat in Belgium. I wrote about my lessons here. Then, I had just stumbled upon a big hurdle because I had given up on my startup company. I felt naked and had lost track of who I was and what my story was.
I believe in the power of stories. As a creative entrepreneur, I was used to crafting my reality through the stories I told about myself, and about the goals I pursued professionally.
During that Vipassana retreat I lost my personal narrative in the stillness of my meditation. How could I believe I could define myself by my startup and its mission? I could not even define myself by mirroring myself to my friends, my family, everything I had acquired to be someone. No, after this retreat, when I started talking again, I mirrored myself more to my trust, my vulnerability, my authenticity and my open heart.
Meditation calms the mind, opens the heart and reveals the playful nature of our limitless being. The practice heals the illusory split between mind and body, the conscious and unconscious mind. It grounds us back into the present moment and into our relationship with the intelligence of nature.
To be silent proved to be a very humbling practice, that gave me the gift of stopping to keep up pretentions and allow myself to reveal my irreverent truth in my relationships with others. I learned that if I embody myself from the inside-out I don’t need much confirmation from others of who I am, and that allows me simultaneously to be entirely in awe of other people’s journeys. I can experience sonder without becoming self-conscious or insecure.
During my first stillness retreat I learned that when I want to lead by example I first have to come in full tune with myself. I have to be clear on my personal values and ethics before I can apply this to any business, system or path. This I have done for more than a year now. While I was working on a long-term and abstract book project I lived a hermit life. Close to friends and family and committed to one thing: digging deep.
But after every inner cycle we crave to touch base and share our fruits with others.
And I want to share with you the gift of silence
But what is silence, really?
SILENCE is a place to TUNE into our SENSES
It is a manifestation of awareness. It is a cancelling out the noise in our heads, to see what is otherwise blurred from our vision, obstructed from our hearing and our sense of smell, tucked away from our touch and our tongues. It is in this state that we receive clarity. Clarity to launch the capacities of our subtle senses. Through which we can see and hear things that were previously hidden from us.
SILENTIO is to MAKE SPACE
It is saying Yes to letting go and No to what hinders us. It is to receive our resistance to change in the light of our awareness. We learn to be honest with ourselves and get spiritually and mentally naked. It is only in this place of vulnerability that the onion that is our ego can be peeled off and let down for us to see how shiny and slimy is it’s core. There, No thing can attach to besides truth, our own truth, seen from a higher perspective.
To be QUIET is to AWAKEN our INTUITION
It is to hear the voice of our inner teacher and let her speak up and let us hear the perfection of it all. It is to awaken our intuition from her long winter rest. As a healthy response to the accelerated pace of city lives, the urban restlessness and the buzzing in the bee hives of our filter bubbles, where we keep getting busier and deal with higher levels of complexity, our wellbeing and health are compromised at the expense of our daily schedules, and our intuition surrenders to the opposing force of willpower and five-year plans. To be quiet is to switch her back on and feel her power.
To be STILL is to REVEAL our IRREVERENT TRUTH
It is to shed our tears, to wash away the pain of your soul’s separation from home. To cry together is to realize that we all share this pain. We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. This perspective changes our relationship with death and rebirth, which is essentially is a process of letting go of the old to let the new flourish. Only past the expression of the hatred, the anger, the pain, the disease or frustration is the space for the shadow to stand up and raise its head to the light, to climb out the dungeon and let us feel the sadness that was once held in that contraction.
To be SILENT is to ENTER FLOW and experience deep INTER-CONNECTION
It is to create space within to re-enter the state of flow in which everything is possible as we are in full resonance with the driving force of transformation. This force has an intricate desire to unify opposites, to balance complementary aspects of the whole. Depending on the balance between the feminine and the masculine forces within us, we journey through space-time faster or slower. Once we all start to say YES to ourselves and NO to all these parts that are draining our energy and are keeping us from living up to our potential, these cycles of awareness and creation can be accelerated and bring us in tune with ourselves and our futures.
Silence lets us embody our future, to move there smoothly without too many obstacles on the way.
To be in NOTHINGNESS is to realize EVERYTHING CAN BE TRANSFORMED
It is to trust that all the drama can be transformed, all opposite polarities can vanish when we look through the lens of our All seeing eye. It is to take the time to tune out of our bubble and grow up, really.
“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honour their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”
― Maya Angelou
And maybe most importantly:
In SILENCE, we learn
Embracing our IMPERMANENCE through MOVEMENT
As the universe is in constant flux, we too are impermanent. As the Buddha says, considering the natural law that everything is constantly changing and nothing stands still (“Anica”), it makes no sense to cling to things that pass away, have an aversion towards anything, or be somehow dependent on any type of craving. Our past is anchored in our bodies. Through practicing our yoga asanas we prepare our bodies for Savasana, or, death pose. Here, the real work is done as we transmute, release the old and prepare for the new to enter our system.
“The earth is our origin and destination. We were once enwombed in the earth and the silence of the body remembers that dark, inner longing. We carry the memory of the earth. Ancient, forgotten things stir within our hearts, memories from the time before the mind was born. The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows.”
~ JOHN O’ DONOHUE, ON BEAUTY: THE INVISIBLE EMBRACE
If you want to know more about the details and practicalities of these regular retreats. Please reach out through my website: www.lisannebuik.com/silence-speaks-retreats
For sources of these beautiful pieces of art and their creators check out my Pinterest https://nl.pinterest.com/elbelli/