Healing Silence – 7 quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book – Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise 

by Mark Votava

download (17)1. Learn more about yourself

“So each of us has a choice. You have a choice. Your thoughts can make you and the world around you suffer more or suffer less. If you want to create a more collegial, harmonious atmosphere in your… community, don’t start by trying to change other people. Your first priority should be to find your own quiet space inside so you can learn more about yourself. This includes getting to know and understand your own suffering. When your practice is solid and you’ve already harvested some of the sweet fruits of getting to know yourself, you can consider ways you can make more room to bring silence, deep looking, understanding, and compassion into your… community.”

2. The practice of mindfulness

“The surest way to give ourselves something really new – a feeling of being refreshed, of being happy, of being at ease – is by opening up the space within us for the practice of mindfulness.”

3. Having the space to listen with compassion

“Having the space to listen with compassion is essential to being a true friend…”

4. To manifest our true nature

“To manifest our true nature, we need to bring a stop to the constant internal conversation that takes up all the space in us…”

5. The suffering we have been hiding from

“The more often we’re able to practice coming home to ourselves, and the more time we spend in mindfulness, the more we are going to become aware of our own suffering. Even though mindful breathing and quiet do put us in touch with joy, they are also likely to bring us in contact with pain (especially at first) as we become more conscious of the suffering we have been hiding from.”

6. Healing silence

“We can’t find the peace of silence without stopping. Running faster and faster, pushing ourselves harder, will never bring it within our reach. We won’t find it anywhere but here. The moment we’re able to really stop, both the movement and the internal noise, we begin to find a healing silence. Silence is not a deprivation, an empty void. The more space we make for stillness and silence, the more we have to give both to ourselves and to others.”

7. Deep listening and mindful response

“Most of the time, our head is so full of thoughts that we have no space to listen to ourselves or anyone else. We have learned from our parents or in school that we have to remember lots of things, we have to retain a lot of words, notions, and concepts; and we think that this mental stockpile is useful for our life. But then when we try to have a genuine conversation with someone, we find it difficult to hear and understand the other person. Silence allows for deep listening and mindful response…”

Which quote do you like the best?

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