silence is our real nature

This morning, a beautiful offering from Jean Klein – Silence. It’s another gem from my mother’s folder. You may be familiar with it – it’s somewhat of a classic, but if you’re like me you’ll never tire of its wisdom-blessing.

Since every line is a meditation, I have taken some liberty with the formatting.


Rajasthan, India - Tantric painting


Silence is our real nature.  What we are, fundamentally, is only silence.

Silence is free from beginning and end.  It was before the beginning of all things.

It is causeless.  Its greatness lies in the fact that it simply is.

In silence all objects have their home ground.

It is the light that gives objects their shape and form.

All movement, all activity is harmonized by silence.

Silence has no opposite in noise.

It is beyond positive and negative.

Silence dissolves all objects.

It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to the mind.  Silence has nothing to do with mind.

It cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because it is our nearness.

Silence is freedom without restriction or center.

It is our wholeness, neither inside nor outside the body.

Silence is joyful, not pleasurable.  It is not psychological.  It is feeling without a feeler.

Silence needs no intermediary.

Silence is holy.  It is healing.

There is no fear in silence.

Silence is autonomous like love and beauty.  It is untouched by time.

Silence is meditation, free from any intention, free from anyone who meditates.

Silence is the absence of oneself.  Or rather, silence is the absence of absence.

Sound which comes from silence is music.  All activity is creative when it comes from silence.  It is constantly a new beginning.

Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all art.

Silence is the home ground of all creative activity.  What is truly creative is the word, is Truth.

Silence is the Word.  Silence is Truth.

The one established in silence lives in constant offering, in prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual love.

– Jean Klein

This short biography of Dr Jean Klein by Andrew Rawlinson is an excellent introduction to an extraordinary sage. [pdf]

Image – anonymous Hindu Tantric painting, Rajasthan, India.
Made using tempera, gouache, and watercolor on salvaged papers, these paintings from Rajasthan form a distinct lexicon dating back to the 17th century.  They were/are used to awaken heightened states of consciousness. They are not produced for commercial purposes, but simply pinned up on the wall for use in private meditation.

See Franck André Jamme’s stunning book: Tantra Song: Tantric Painting from Rajasthan

when you know yourself

silence stillness simplicity serenity solitude

keep far away


words from my treasured teacher 1

I wanted to write, “words from my perfect master” – recalling the film by that title.  But Krishnamurti would have balked at the “master” moniker, and thrown out the notion of perfection as well.  Still, there’s no arguing that K was a hugely significant mindshifter for me, and that the years spent working at the schools he founded around the world were the highlight of my career as an educator in art and design.  They are also remembered as incomparably rich, in terms of inquiry into the mechanism of thought and the construct of the “self”, in the company of some of the most brilliant minds on the planet.

We have, if we are lucky, more than one great teacher as we dance along the days of our lives.  Krishnamurti was what Buddhists would call my “root” teacher; he meticulously prepared the ground for the understanding that would come later – the eye-popping brain-bending Knowing that would revisit his words, and smile.  Yes.  Just so.

J Krishnamurti at his desk

August 4, 1961

Woke up very early in the morning; it was still dark but dawn would soon come; towards the east there was in the distance a pale light.  The sky was very clear and the shape of the mountains and hills were just visible.  It was very quiet.

Out of this vast silence suddenly, as one sat up in bed, when thought was quiet and far away, when there wasn’t even a whisper of feeling, there came that which was now the solid inexhaustible being.  It was solid, without weight, without measure; it was there and besides it, there existed nothing.  It was there without another.  The words solid, immovable, imperishable do not in any way convey that quality of timeless stability.  None of these or any other word could communicate that which was there.  It was totally itself and nothing else; it was the totality of all things, the essence.

The purity remained, leaving one without thought, without action.  It’s not possible to be one with it; it is not possible to be one with a swiftly flowing river.  You can never be one with that which has no form, no measure, no quality.  It is; that is all.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti’s Notebook

silver singing silence

It’s three weeks since we ended six weeks of Noble Silence and still this brain struggles to emerge, to re-enter the great noise called World. I confess it willingly – I am utterly addicted to this silver singing silence, this heavenly quiet mind.

Retreat is such a blessed gift to oneself and the world. Radical withdrawal from mental habitude, a halt in the rut-laying wheels of thought and, perhaps, a fresh unfettered flow of neuronal activity – new insights, deeper, vaster, clearer perception, creative ecstasy. A five-star spa treatment for the mind.

I speak personally; I’m aware that for some retreatants keeping silent is as much fun as having teeth drilled, and the possibility of sinking into its embrace seems remote. I say “seems” for this isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. It’s just one that requires perseverance and patience – and healthy doses of kindness towards oneself. A mind that has run amok for decades will never respond meekly to quietude! (She who writes has intimate knowledge of this!)

Silver singing silence … so sweet. Beyond bliss. Why do I write “silver”? Because there’s a sense that the background of silent Awareness is a glistening sparkling silvery shower of water – clumsy words these, for what I’m trying to describe is not an experience. It arises in the absence of an experiencer. In the same way “singing” is a word that comes up in an attempt to express the sense that a host of angelic voices are raised in an endless “Ah!” of praise, a chorus that resounds within and without the energy field called body. Why aren’t we told that this beyond-bliss lies on the other side of the frequency barrier called thought? Hmmmm. Actually, sages and saints have gone on record since time immemorial reporting such states. But we seek experiences and so remain trapped in the world of thought.


I met a Lama and made a friend. I confessed to him, poured out the secrets of my hidden inner life. He listened kindly. He knew. He never tried to adjust or re-word, but only to sharpen, clarify and deepen my understanding. He gave me an odd practice: “Blow the conch!” Release timidity and shyness, bellow the primordial Truth!

Have you ever tried to get sound out of a massive Tibetan conch? Day after day you huff and puff with nothing to show for it but your own hot air and giddy hyperventilation. Then, when you’ve exhausted all your clever lip-tricks and breath techniques, you just sit with the darned thing. You’re sure you’ll never get a sound out of it; you just breathe your OM and give in.

It was at that point when a rogue thought came up: What if I had to use this thing to save my life? What if it was my only tool of communication with the world? Goosebumps. Hair stood on end.

I blew. It boomed.

The shock of it!

And so I speak to save my life. I write these things on my little blog for the sake of Life, for the immense and incomprehensible Presence that powers the ‘I’ in all beings. I speak because I must, because this silver singing silence demands it.


– miriam louisa