The mind must come to a state of silence, completely empty of fear, longing and all images. This cannot be brought about by suppression, but by observing every feeling and though without qualification, condemnation, judgement, or comparison. If unmotivated alertness is to operate the censor must disappear. There must simply be a quiet looking at what composes the mind. In discovering the facts just as they are, agitation is eliminated, the movement of thoughts becomes slow and we can watch each thought, its cause and content as it occurs. We become aware of every thought in its completeness and in this totality there can be no conflict. Then only alertness remains, only silence in which there is neither observer nor observed. So do not force your mind. Just watch its various movements as you would look at flying birds. In this uncluttered looking all your experiences surface and unfold. For unmotivated seeing not only generates tremendous energy but frees all tension, all the various layers of inhibitions. You see the whole of yourself.
Observing everything with full attention becomes a way of life, a return to your original and natural meditative being.
— Jean Klein – The Ease of Being (p. 28)
You know, in the case of most of us, the mind is noisy, everlastingly chattering to itself , soliloquizing or chattering about something, or trying to talk to itself, to convince itself of something; it is always moving, noisy. And from that noise, we act. Any action born of noise produces more noise, more confusion. But if you have observed and learnt what it means to communicate, the difficulty of communication, the non-verbalization of the mind – that is, that communicates and receives communication – , then, as life is a movement, you will, in your action, move on naturally, freely, easily, without any effort, to that state of communion. And in that state of communion, if you enquire more deeply, you will find that you are not only in communion with nature, with the world, with everything about you, but also in communion with yourself.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Varanasi 2nd Public Talk 22nd November 1964
The silence before the words were spoken,
is it different from the silence
that came after?
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – p. 359
The whole of the Orient is mesmerized by the word meditation, and in the Occident, the word prayer is of tremendous importance. It is essential to find out whether the mind – which is so very complex, and then caught in a system of what is called meditation, or in a repetition of words, however ancient, however meaningful as prayer – whether the mind can actually know what meditation is, or what lies beyond the word prayer, and discover an actual state that is really silent. It is only when the mind is silent that we can understand anything. If I want to understand somebody, my mind must be quiet, not chattering, not prejudiced, not having innumerable opinions and experiences, for they prevent the observation and the understanding. One can see directly that it is only when the mind is very quiet that there is a possibility of clarity; and the whole purpose of meditation in the East is to bring about such a state of mind. That purpose is the controlling of thought – which is the same purpose in constantly repeating a prayer – so that in that quiet state one may hope to understand one’s problems. One has to understand these problems, one has to be free of the anxieties and fears which they entail, otherwise one cannot really be a human being, one is a tortured entity, and the tortured entity obviously cannot see anything serious very clearly. Unless one lays the foundation – which is to be free from fear, free from sorrow, anxiety, and all the traps that consciously or unconsciously one lays for oneself – I do not see how it is possible for a mind to be actually quiet. This is one of the most difficult things to communicate, or even to talk about.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – Collected Works Volume 4
(see also “Silence”)
A bare impersonal hush is now my mind,
A world of sight clear and inimitable,
A volume of silence by a Godhead signed,
A greatness pure, virgin of will.
Once on its pages Ignorance could write
In a scribble of intellect the blind guess of Time
And cast gleam-messages of ephemeral light,
A food for souls that wander on Nature’s rim.
But now I listen to a greater Word
Born from the mute unseen omniscient Ray:
The Voice that only Silence’ ear has heard
Leaps missioned from an eternal glory of Day.
All turns from a wideness and unbroken peace
To a tumult of joy in a sea of wide release.
— Sri Aurobindo – Last Poems – The Word of the Silence
I have thrown from me the whirling dance of mind
And stand now in the spirit’s silence free,
Timeless and deathless beyond creature-kind,
The centre of my own eternity.
I have escaped and the small self is dead;
I am immortal, alone, ineffable;
I have gone out from the universe I made,
And have grown nameless and immeasurable.
My mind is hushed in a wide and endless light,
My heart a solitude of delight and peace,
My sense unsnared by touch and sound and sight,
My body a point in white infinities.
I am the one Being’s sole immobile Bliss:
No one I am, I who am all that is.
— Sri Aurobindo – Last Poems – Liberation
From each, Love demands a mystic silence.
What do all seek so earnestly? Tis Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
In Love no longer “Thou” and “I” exist,
For self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul
Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds
Will find that the secret of them both is Love.
— Attar (Essential Sufism)
Die in this love!
If you die in this love
your soul will be renewed
Don’t fear the death
of that which is known
If you die to the temporal
you will become timeless
Cut off those chains
that hold you prisoner
to the world of attachment
Die to the deathless
and you will be eternal
and come out of this cloud
When you leave the cloud
you will be in the effulgent moon
Die to the din and the noise
of mundane concerns
In the silence of love
you will find the spark of life
— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi) – Love Poems of Rumi (edited by Deepak Chopra)
When you do not need anyone around
And even if you are sick,
You are still happy.
To be wrapped in silence
By a mind unattached,
Sinking deep into a foundation of stability.
A clear understanding that
All of us, everything
Are just mental creations, conditioned.
To have abandoned the “I am” conceit,
And is free.
— Venerable Sujiva – Wind in the Forest – Solitude
“Meditation is to find out whether the brain, with all the activities, all its experiences, can be absolutely quiet. Not forced, because the moment you force, there is duality. The entity that says, ‘I would like to have marvelous experiences, therefore I must force my brain to be quiet,’ will never do it. But if you begin to inquire, observe, listen to all the movements of thought, its conditioning, its pursuits, its fears, its pleasures, watch how the brain operates, then you will see that the brain becomes extraordinarily quiet; that quietness is not sleep but is tremendously active and therefore quiet. A big dynamo that is working perfectly hardly makes a sound; it is only when there is friction that there is noise.”
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Impossible Question – page 72