Dear Diary

I’ve been wondering whether this whole meditation thing is actually worth it. Do I really want this ? To be still and contemplative ? Why would I want to find deeper meaning in life when so many people seem to slide so easily along the surface ?

Then I read this …

from ‘Silence as Yoga’
Swami Paramananda

A seed in the womb of mother earth lies in silence absorbing nourishment and other natural blessings until its expanded soul bursts forth into blossom. The spirit of genius, nurtured in the bosom of quiet contemplation, awaits patiently its appointed hour of awakening.
Silence, the great unseen power, the miracle of life, works upon our character with strange contrast. At times it overwhelms us with its oppressive stillness, and again it falls upon our heart as a shower of refreshing raindrops on a sultry summer day. How often silence acts as a tonic, invigorating and reviving our dull spirit. Then at other times its effect upon us is like that of a narcotic, putting our life’s energies into a state of morbid sleep. All great forces of nature work in contrast.

In the world of religion and philosophy the practice of silence plays a most vital part. It creates an atmosphere and enables the seeker to find access to an inner sanctuary entirely hidden from the restless and turbulent material world. Whenever we are listening to fine music if someone speaks or makes a noise we are distracted, and jarred by it, and often we lose the subtle beauty of the music. Similarly in spiritual study if our attention is diverted we receive little or no benefit. That is the reason why the idea of complete silence before spiritual study is strongly advocated by many of the great schools of thought. We can easily see its technical reason, how it aids us in the act of concentration, but its more profound significance is in the unfoldment of our higher nature.
Even today, we find that many places of worship maintain silence in order to create an atmosphere so needful for spiritual devotion and prayer. We can never hear the language of the soul if our ears are filled with the loud noises of the world. One of the Sufi mystics expresses the import of this beautifully:
“Be silent that the Lord Who gave thee language may speak, for as He fashioned a door and lock,
He has also made a key . . . I am silent. Speak Thou, O Soul of Soul of Soul.”