Noble Silence, Noble Solitude

Noble Silence

Silence gives one the space
to notice one’s own thoughts.

Silence puts one in touch
with the reality of the heart,
whatever it might be.

Silence makes it easier
to watch one’s actions.

Silence protects one
from oneself.

Silence of the human kind
allows other living things
to have a voice again
– the birds, the air, the insects . . .
even silence itself.

Posted by Marguerite Manteau-Rao on the blog Mind Deep



The Garchen Institute hosts numerous long term retreatants who enter into silence to allow their practice to deepen sans distraction. The silence ranges from a few days ( such as the author’s brief 10 day stay) to over three years, often accompanied by a vow to keep silent for the duration.

Silence is practiced with noble solitude: not directly looking or unnecessarily making contact with others by eye, hand gestures or  body language.

Together, these may sound odd and isolating.

Experience shows just the opposite.

Silence and solitude relieve one from social obligations.

No pronouns required, no stories, no spoken self-references.

Stepping outside of social context frees the mind from much reflexive self-referencing.

[ No use for the bathroom mirror those 10 days, either. ]

When all the little self references are pulled out, what is left ?

Immediate experience simplifies, settles into the quiet, expands.

What a precious condition for practice, for introspection, for fostering simple awareness.

Voluntary silence and solitude open the door to an expansiveness, a lightness, an openness to experience and an open-hearted way of being.

But don’t take my word for it.

Silence and solitude are too valuable not to invite into practice.

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Margeruite Monteau-Rao’s Poem on Silence:

The main site for Garchen Buddhist Institute is

The photo of sand writing is from here:

A Silent Vow:

Lama Surya Das on Noble Silence:

A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland :

About dominic724

A former seeker starts blogging.
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