Listening to the silence

What if we were to spend an entire day listening

Rather than filling the silence with our own thoughts and words

Adding to the cacophony of sound that never stops

What if we were to extend our concentration deeply sideways through the portals of our ears and simply


Have you ever been waiting for the approach of something – a vehicle, a person, a noise, waiting on a phone call, sitting on the age of your seat


Have you ever been held in thrall by the sound of your own heartbeat as it knocked along in the dark, hands to heart


Waiting for the silence to fill with just one sound?

Listening to the silence is mind curlingly profound

What we focus on grows

We can listen to the sound

Or listen to what lies behind it

And what lies behind it, is life itself unfolding, dissolving

A gigantic invisible machine suddenly made visible

Because we paid attention to it

The elephant in the room, startled, sheepish

Awake and wondering

How the hell it got here

*meditation – a moving experience. It moves us deeper into the plane beneath/above? This one. If we could only shut up, and listen. I couldn’t – as usual, because my mind sung this poem to me but I am going to try today, just to listen.

Header photo – Mine, Coolum New Years morning came across this tableau two chairs sharing an intimate moment. The emptiness, the beauty, the blessing that is silence.

18 thoughts on “Listening to the silence

  1. A few years ago I spent 24 hours on a boat with my son’s 7th grade class observing but not speaking. It was extremely challenging to not add anything to the conversations, but also profoundly life changing. “Listening to the silence is mind curlingly profound” – indeed. I ty and be silent when I can, even though it’s still a struggle for me.

    • That sounds like an amazing experiment – how did the kids do? It must have been so relaxing for them. When we have no choice – we have to relax – I would love to try a silent retreat one day, I think it would be deeply transformative – we are so geared and wired for sound and communication that it is difficult to untangle those instincts

      • The kids were allowed to talk, just the adults were silent as they had to navigate how to do the tasks on the boat as a team. We could speak only if we felt someone was in danger. It really brought the kids together and allowed them some freedom to feel into their own problem solving skills.
        A fully silent retreat would be so interesting!

      • I love the element of working together as a team in silence – that’s powerful. I often watch all my dogs play, I have three (thanks to adopting my sons pig dogs) and they watch me – they are so sensitive and smart and the quieter I get, the more they listen and watch, so it would be powerful team building and a great skill to have.

  2. Loved this post. Sometimes when I go on walks I make sure to not use my headphones or talk on the phone, or sometimes even bring my phone. I feel like there are so many distractions in life and being able to drown them out is very important!

    • Modern life is so loud, distracting and imposing. We are of nature even if we have forgotten it. I love the “drown them out” theory – wish we could spread a
      big silent blanket over it all. I’ve never been to the snow, perhaps it is a little like that, first thing in the morning before and foot tracks have been across it –
      The beach can be that way too.

    • Also, I was just on your blog, loved your writing and subscribed by email , as I couldn’t find a follow button. Couldn’t comment either which was frustrating as loved the two posts I read on rushing and change. Maybe it’s because I’m on my phone, anyway just wanted to let you know 😊

  3. Wow! This rings so true and poignant! I love the visual of the two chairs by the sea. To me, although there is sound from waves, wind, birds etc… the silence of the sea is beautiful.

  4. Very good. Listening is good too. We should make more time to listen. We may end up hearing something ☺️

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