The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

– Ram Dass

It’s a simple enough quote right? But what does it really mean?  Of course there is the literal meaning: When you are quiet you can hear others talk; like when my beautiful wife tells me to shut up so she can get a word in edgewise (just kidding  …. not really).

But is there a deeper meaning? What was meditation and Buddhist guru Ram Dass really implying?

The general goal of mindfulness and self-discovery is to quiet the endless parade of thoughts that march through our minds almost incessantly. Have you ever just stopped what you are doing and focused on the mind and its endless procession of thoughts? Try it sometime, there is a lot going on up there! This is how the mind works, but there is a drawback to this natural process. Most of our errant thoughts are rooted in the past and future – thoughts of fear, fantasy, frustration, envy and regret. Rarely are we completely rooted in the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says – “The Power of Now”.

During mindfulness and meditation, when we are capable of slowing our thoughts down to more of a trickle instead of a river of chaos; there is something unique and special found within the gaps of thoughts. That’s right, within the gaps of thoughts. Pay close, special attention to your thoughts. Focus on the start of one thought and look for the gap when one thought ends and drifts off and another materializes. At first it is almost instantaneous with little or no gap. With the right mindfulness and concentration there is a distinguishable gap between thoughts.

What is the big deal? Well, that is where the magic lies. There in the quiet little reprises between our ego driven thought processes sits the answers to life’s biggest quandaries.  It is there in the silence between thoughts that our True Nature wells. There within the gaps of thoughts sits silence – a level of acute clarity, awareness and responsiveness. As Eckhart Tolle has famously said – “Stillness Speaks”, and it is there in the silence between thoughts that your true heart wish emanates. It is there in the silence that wisdom and energy arises – healing, intuitive and blissful.

So, the more quiet you become, the more you can hear. It is there in the gaps of thoughts that we find our true-self; sans of ego and the pressures and control patterns of societal immersion. It is there in the silence that we find this beautiful connection to the Responsive Universe.

What if we could stretch those gaps within thoughts? What if we could live within them? There lies the goal of Self-Discovery. The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

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