Longing for Silence

With our backs against the dark wooden wall, which has warmed up in the midday sun, we sit side by side, listening to our breath and the gentle dripping from the roof into the wooden rain gutter – the snow is slowly melting off the roof. Otherwise it is silent. And silence spreads through me as well. I am safe, I know I will be taken care of in the monastery and our group is relaxed in dealing with each other. It's so quiet here in the mountains that even the purring cat seems loud. But the silence is more than an acoustic phenomenon. The security in the group as well as in the house contributes significantly to the fact that the longing to come to rest is satisfied. In meditation, a lot can move internally. In value-free perception, thoughts pass by like branches on a stone lying in a stream. I perceive them, not holding on to anything.

I visited Zen temples in Tokyo and Leh. In our culture there are monasteries for meditation and silence. What they all have in common is the withdrawal from everyday life. And often they are natural houses. Navid Kermani writes in his new book Everyone should come a step closer from where they are: "Religions were not created at a desk." Hm, I think while reading, is sitting in nature and observing quietly religious? I don't know, let go of the thought and just keep breathing. After the course in the monastery, all participants traveled to their places. We said goodbye and now we carry the memory of how quiet and secure it was.

I would love to spread peace and share this silence. Only thing I could do for the moment: I donated my fee for this seminar to an Ukraine help organization.