Autumn has arrived and, with it, a lessening of energy. As the need for increased rest curtails my activities, I have found solace in writing, tucked up on the sofa with a cup of tea and Mme Pouqui for company, or sitting in the sun whenever it peeps from behind its veil of clouds.
The imposed isolation has driven me deeply into the silence.
It is a place
where time is stilled,
bathed in warmth,
In the stillness I reflected on the spiritual mentoring work I have undertaken over the years, a process defined as helping others, through dialogical encounter, to discover and build upon their own internal blueprint.
It has been intensely rewarding – a great privilege – but it came to me in deep meditation, that this way of words has now run its course. It is time for a different path, one which is new to me in this work but has been known for as long as humanity has sought self-transcendence. It is the way of silence.
In the early stages of the spiritual journey it is helpful to talk about what is and what is not. The ancient keynote of Vedic enquiry – Neti, neti (not this, not this) – helps us cast aside our preconceptions. The Vichara – Who am I/Who are You – peels away the layers of identity. Further discussion takes one deeper into the understanding of Self, but there we encounter treacherous waters. There is a natural tendency to enjoy discussing one’s inner journey but, all too often, this can become a substitute for the journey itself, just as talking about meditation but not actually meditating, provides the seeker with a sense of “being on the path”.
The journey into Knowing is one which others may help us to begin, yet soon there comes a time when there are simply no words, no ways of describing the deeper levels. It is purely experiential, completely ineffable – therefore, by definition, beyond the realm of language. It is the great teacher.
Denied the distraction of words,
we are compelled to enter
the realm of Silence:
in which nothing occurs
and everything occurs,
not a mere absence of speech
in which we indulge
but a silence of presence,
of immersion in Self
where souls dissolve
into the One.