It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.
— Jean Klein – I Am
(image souce: o-meditation.com)
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”)
Stillness, then silence, then random speech,
Then knowledge, intoxication, annihilation;
Earth, then fire, then light.
Coldness, then shade, then sunlight.
Thorny road, then a path, then the wilderness.
River, then ocean, then the shore;
Contentment, desire, then Love.
Closeness, union, intimacy;
Closing, then opening, then obliteration,
Separation, togetherness, then longing;
Signs for those of real understanding
Who find this world of little value.
— Al Husayn ibn Mansur al Hallaj – Stillness – (Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the early Mystics to Rumi…)
So much from God
That I can no longer
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of Itself
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.
— Hafiz – The Gift – I have learned so much
If you use your mind to try and understand reality.
you will understand neither your mind nor reality.
If you try and understand reality without using your mind.
you will understand both your mind and reality.
No Buddhist, no Christian, no Hindu.
Deeply religious people have no religion.
They belong to no seat, theirs is the religion of the heart!
— Yogaswami of Jaffna
The man whose acquaintance with the world does not lead him deeper than science leads him, will never understand what it is that the man with the spiritual vision finds in these natural phenomena. The water does not merely cleanse his limbs, but it purifies his heart; for it touches his soul. The earth does not merely hold his body, but it gladdens his mind; for its contact is more than a physical contact -it is a living presence. When a man does not realise his kinship with the world, he lives in a prison-house whose walls are alien to him. When he meets the eternal spirit in all objects, then is he emancipated, for then he discovers the fullest significance of the world into which he is born; then he finds himself in perfect truth, and his harmony with the all is established.
— Rabindranath Tagore – Sadhana – The Relation of the Individual to the Universe