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When there is silence one finds peace

When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within himself

This is a saying that brings me comfort, but after several years of meditation, I can testify to the fact that silence can be anything but peaceful, at times it can be feel like it is driving you crazy!

I’ve restarted my study of the Tao Te Ching. I was separated from my text for a while, while floating around southern California. The above passage is Jonathan Star’s translation. Stephen Mitchell’s version gives a different take:

When there is no desire

All things are at peace

So perhaps it is not silence itself that is peaceful but inner silence. With inner silence “one finds the anchor of the universe within himself.” Or perhaps another interpretation is that silence really is peaceful, even when it feels unpeaceful, if only we “had eyes to see,” as Jesus put it. In any event, what so many spiritual traditions point to is that the path to inner peace travels through periods of silence and solitude.

Note on photograph: Taken in a park in Santa Monica, CA that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, during my stay in the winter of 2012.

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