On Silence: “… Silence is the absence of oneself  …” ~ Jean Klein

on silence mazury lake klein

The gift of silence is at best ineffable … and yet “wisdom” luminaries – both realized masters and poets – have said much about it, which is a paradox in itself 🙂 … as we shared in one of our posts about Rumi and silence and Thomas Merton …

Regardless of the paradox or ineffability or maybe because of it 🙂 … silence has to be explored directly, particularly by those on the journey of self discovery:

“… every experience happens against a background of silence …” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

“… The radiance of consciousness-bliss, in the form of one awareness shining equally within and without, is the supreme and blissful primal reality. Its form is silence …” ~ Ramana Maharshi

“… Rumi says silence brings a chance to taste the core of our being …” ~ Coleman Barks

Turns out, the practice of observing – especially as it is deepened or refined – lends itself to silence.

the book of listening jean kleinAnd, observing is the basis for Jean Klein’s key teaching of Listening … which is the focus of this multi part series … where we offer an in-depth preview of The Book of Listening … via chapter excerpts …

… in Part 1 (excerpts from Volume I), we explored the topic of our real nature, which touched on awareness, body, observing, stillness, quietness, reality, presence, and more … all in a Q&A format …

So, today, in part 2 of this series, we offer Jean’s remarks on silence via a chapter excerpt from Volume 3 titled On Silence

{All italicized text below including Jean’s opening quote is from Jean’s book and is published here with the publisher New Sarum Press’ generous permission. Scroll to the bottom for a free downloadable Table of Contents.}

On Silence

Jean Klein: Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it simply is.

hunts mesa on silence klein

In silence all objects have their home ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence.

Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects. It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without restriction or centre. It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary.

Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty. It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates. Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence is the absence of absence.

NGC 4258 NASA IMage

Sound which comes from silence is music. All activity is creative when it comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning. Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art. Silence is the home ground of all creative activity. What is truly creative is the word, is Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth.

The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love.

And, stay tuned for more in this series … on Jean Klein’s teachings of Listening ...


All italicized text above (except otherwise noted) is from The Book Of Listening by Jean Klein and is published here with the publisher  New Sarum Press generous permission.

And click here for a FREE downloadable copy of the Table of Contents, graciously and generously made available by the publisher New Sarum Press.

As we do the “listening” deeper and deeper, one of the natural emerging behaviors is to appreciate the oneness of us all … and in that spirit let us minimize (& hopefully dissolve) the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine … by helping in whatever way we can … and to that end here are some options:

1) NPR: Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help

2) Washington PostHere’s how Americans can donate to help people in Ukraine.

3) Go Fund Me: How to Help: Donate to Ukraine Relief Efforts.

4) USA Today: Want to support the people of Ukraine? These apps and websites can help you send money.

— — — —

We are all facing financial challenges but IF your situation allows you to donate and help then please do so …


And, may you embrace Jean’s listening … and …

May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these unsettling times.

Nissargadata Maharaj from I AM The complete ‘I am’ quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj by Pardeep Apte, Ramana Maharshi from his Wikiquote page, and Coleman’s quote from The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems, by Coleman Barks.
Images (edited & Logo added): 1 & Featured) Beautiful long exposure landscape of lake in mazury lake district (krzywe lake near olsztyn) by miloszg, 2) The Book of Listening cover image from New Sarum Press, 3) Hunts Mesa navajo tribal majesty place near Monument Valley, Ari by Bill45, 4) NGC 4258: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA. 1 purchased from 123rtf and 3-4 from depositphotos. All are for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post),


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