Silence and Breath: Always There!

I remember first learning meditation practice, as a somewhat distracted and giggly student. The leader of the session said that “the great thing about your breathing is that it’s always with you, you even take it with you on the bus!” I was sorely challenged in my attempt to keep a straight face. It was funny but it was true, it was funny because it was true.

I remember first learning meditation practice, as a somewhat distracted and giggly student. The leader of the session said that “the great thing about your breathing is that it’s always with you, you even take it with you on the bus!” I was sorely challenged in my attempt to keep a straight face. It was funny but it was true, it was funny because it was true.

I have just read the post silence is always available on the Hardcore Zen blog, which is saying much the same thing. I was going to write that I stumbled on the post, as if I was just walking around with the internet unfurled beneath me like a road, which would mean that the information and connections we need, in internet form, are always available…maybe so! But the post was, specifically, about the 24/7 availability of silence.

Relatively speaking, our access to silence varies. Here, for example, in rural Poland, when I walk out of the door today the world is so full of snow that the silence takes my breath away. I could disappear in it. Living in a city, however, the cars go past all night, we are surrounded by the noisy presence of people. But this is relative silence and noise. Actually, there is always silence inside and underneath the noise. To quote from the post: “A lot of times people approach Zazen practice as if they have to forcibly generate silence into being”. We don’t, indeed we can’t: silence is the absence of force and the absence of noise. It comes first. “There is no need to try and create silence. It’s always there, always flowing through you…all you have to do is to allow it to be what it is.”

Just as when we drop the thoughts our breath ia always there, waiting underneath, for as long as we are alive, in any case. Even on the bus.

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