By Ruth Lera
Does anyone else know themselves to be an introverted extrovert?
Or perhaps an extroverted introvert? Basically, someone who is energized by being around people loving to chat and connect, but also needs a lot of alone time, too.
This is me.
Lately, I have been getting a lot of alone time I need, and it is amazing.
What is really incredible is the silence.
The silence that isn’t really silence. Do you know what I mean?
Sometimes when we imagine silence, we imagine nothing; black nothingness with nothing happening.
The silence I experience is rich with texture, color and impermanence. It is thick and thin, layered with sparkles and patterns, moving and changing as it reaches out for my heart and pulls me deeper into epiphany, insight and purification. It cleanses me of my habitual knowing and worrying, it drags me down into a nothingness that is more true in reality than all the noise I have ever experienced.
The silence is so far from boring, it makes choosing to be superficially entertained by busy chatter seem ridiculous, although I do it all the time.
I wonder about the monks and nuns who choose to make the silence their main companion. Does it feel like a forest they could wander in forever, and still not see all the trees?
There is so much complexity in even just a few moments of silence that it makes many of us run to the hills—or back to our busy thought filled minds, at least.
Our cognitive, intellectual minds can’t understand the silence. It doesn’t know what to make out of an experience so wordlessly complex that it is impossible to share with others what we really experience in the silence.
This is fine. This is actually great.
The silence is a personal experience; it is meant just for us.
How would our lives change if we let the silence be our best friend, our lover, our teacher and a daily companion?
The perspectives silence brings to my life are so honest, raw and true that they can shake me to my core. Sometimes during meditation the silence is so blissful and fulfilling I open my eyes and run from my pillow. I just can’t allow it in.
But I come back, and I try again. Slowly the silence fills me up, showing me that this body, this mind and these thoughts are temporary.
What isn’t temporary is the silence.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak