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Birthing the Heart: The Quiet Heart

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-08-26
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



The most direct route into the heart is through silence that ultimately ends in stillness. Quiet essentially neutralizes mental chatter such as our persistent inward narrative and allows the heart’s full expression. But our relationship with silence is often conflictual, and we find ourselves both approaching and avoiding it. Becoming comfortable in silence is an ongoing spiritual practice that requires risking our self-image. Like all spiritual practices working with silence will threaten our comfort level. Silence is like a small hole in the balloon of self that we have to keep filling with noise to maintain ego inflation. Without the input of noise we quickly feel deflated. If we do not get caught in that feeling of despair, we will discover that awareness is there to catch our fall, but this life within awareness can never be known unless we risk a life of quiet.


What is your relationship to silence? Do you find the need to fill quiet with noise, like turning on the TV or car radio when you are alone? How do you understand the spiritual journey in relationship to silence? When are you comfortable being quiet and when are you not? Use this homework to explore silence. For example when you do not have anything meaningful to add to a conversation, decide you will be quiet and listen instead. Push back the edges of your noise filled world and dwell more in quiet and get used to the feeling of being quiet. Be willing to feel the awkwardness of saying nothing. This also applies to your inward noise. How much of your thinking is really worth your attention? Be quiet with your thinking.


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