Many people have some ambivalence about silence; they fear it, or don’t value it. Because we only know ourselves through thinking and speaking and acting. But once the mind gets silent, the range of what’s possible is immeasurable. So first you taste the silence. Then you realize that it’s not a vacuum or dead space. It’s not an absence of the real stuff; it’s not that the real stuff is the doing, the talking, and all that. You get comfortable in it and you learn that it’s highly charged with life. It’s a very refined and subtle kind of energy. And when you come out of it, somehow you’re kinder, more intelligent. It’s not something that you manufacture—it’s an integral part of being alive. And it’s vast. We’ve enclosed ourselves in a relatively small space by thinking. It binds us in, and we’re not aware that we’re living in a tiny, cluttered room. With practice, it’s as if the walls of this room were torn down, and you realize there’s a sky out there.
Larry Rosenberg, The Art of Doing Nothing (Spring 1998)