The Power of Sacred Silence – A Way to Connect with Greater Depth of Your Heart
I’ve found myself increasingly being in silence and craving it more and more. This has led to more time spent in nature as well. And when not outdoors, I work in silence all day these days and even sometimes when I paint my soul has preferred to listen to the music of my universal heart instead. I’ve always been one to listen silently and not talk a lot when around people, unless of course I’m teaching a class.
Silence has an energy to it that is like no other source and it is from this stillness that you find everything you will ever need and all that you forgot you knew.
It’s important to go out of your way to cultivate silence in this modern world where it practically ceases to exist, as it is invaluable. When you create even 5 minutes of silence each day, it will change your experience and you will become aware of just how much the external stimuli is affecting you. All of this external noise creates internal noise, as our minds become more restless and active. Silence and inner stillness will lead to an experience of wholeness and happiness that comes from experiencing the divine inside you and conversely, also the divine inside everything and everyone else.
Silence is something that not only do I find balancing and recharging, as well as supportive to being more present, mindful, and aware of all the energetic subtleties and guiding messages, but I also find it a way in which I can go deeper into the watery abyss of my authenticity, hear my intuition, and exercise expansion of my heart.
I’m constantly in awe and in love with the limitless depths of the heart. We’ve come to understand the importance of exercising the body, but it is also important to continually exercise the heart in taking it to new levels that will access its expansive potentials to heal all and to create anything we dream.
Silence speaks volumes and is a way we can speak heart to heart and allow love’s stillness to envelope our souls.
Today my dear friend, Jenny Yemaya, (who is also the owner of The ARC and was my co-host in Bimini for our last retreat there in December, as well as for the upcoming June retreat) posted a video of a deeply moving “moment of silence” between two artists (Abramovic and Ulay) who shared an intense love and transformational, artistic working relationship between 1976 and 1988, parting with a spiritual journey that would end their relationship.
Each of them walked the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. As Abramović described it: “That walk became a complete personal drama. Ulay started from the Gobi Desert and I from the Yellow Sea. After each of us walked 2500 km, we met in the middle and said good-bye.”
She later described the process: “We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending … Because in the end you are really alone, whatever you do.”
The video below is from Marina Abramovic’s 2010 MoMa show where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing (after all of these years of separation) and this is what happened.
This is one of those moments that touches you in the deepest of places. The power of sacred silence in speaking volumes. No words, but the effects are still with me as the tone for this day ♥ I found myself in a deeper journey of the heart and in loving tears most of this morning due to this video and what it touched inside of me. I am grateful for these moments that exercise my heart and draw me deeper into the stillness within.
Below the video I have shared quotes on this theme of silence.
May you be inspired to embrace the power of sacred silence and the heart.
(For an addition to Abramovic and Ulay’s story, I’ve added a snippet below as well that Jenny also shared, to give you some background on them)
Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let me silent be,
For silence is the speech of love,
The music of the spheres above.
~Richard Henry Stoddard
Silence is more musical than any song. ~Christina Rossetti
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth. ~Mahatma Gandhi
We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm… As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence. ~André Kostelanetz
Silence is a source of great strength. ~Lao Tzu
True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~William Penn
He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. ~Elbert Hubbard
Silence allows you to watch your mind and become aware of the thoughts that you may be acting on unconsciously. When you see the thoughts, you can make a conscious choice to act on the thought or change your mind, instead of going along with the noise. I have seen people who don’t want to look at themselves keep going until something happens that makes them stop — a sickness or an accident — but it gives them that reflective, quiet space where they can face what is difficult in their mind. We each have a unique purpose to fulfill in this life and inklings can come in those quiet moments. ~Swami Radhananda
Let go into the clear light, trust it, merge with it, and enter the Silence, your true home. The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be. ~
A little more about Marina and Ulay:
In 1976, after moving to Amsterdam, Abramović met the West German performance artist Uwe Laysiepen, who went by the single name Ulay.
When Abramović and Ulay began their collaboration, the main concepts they explored were the ego and artistic identity. This was the beginning of a decade of influential collaborative work. Each performer was interested in the traditions of their cultural heritages and the individual’s desire for ritual. Consequently, they decided to form a collective being called “the other”, and spoke of themselves as parts of a “two-headed body”. They dressed and behaved like twins, and created a relationship of complete trust. As they defined this phantom identity, their individual identities became less accessible. In an analysis of phantom artistic identities, Charles Green has noted that this allowed a deeper understanding of the artist as performer, for it revealed a way of “having the artistic self made available for self-scrutiny.”
While some critics have explored the idea of a hermaphroditic state of being as a feminist statement, Abramović herself denies considering this as a conscious concept. Her body studies, she insists, have always been concerned primarily with the body as the unit of an individual, a tendency she traces to her parents’ military pasts. Rather than concern themselves with gender ideologies, Abramović/Ulay explored extreme states of consciousness and their relationship to architectural space. They devised a series of works in which their bodies created additional spaces for audience interaction. In “Relation in Space” (1976) they ran around the room – two bodies like two planets, mixing male and female energy into a third component called “that self.” “Relation in Movement” had the pair drive their car inside of a museum for 365 laps; a black liquid oozed from the car, forming a kind of sculpture, each lap representing a year. (After 365 laps they entered the New Millennium.)
In discussing this phase of her performance history, Abramović has said: “The main problem in this relationship was what to do with the two artists’ egos. I had to find out how to put my ego down, as did he, to create something like a hermaphroditic state of being that we called the death self.”
To create Breathing In/Breathing Out the two artists devised a piece in which they connected their mouths and took in each other’s exhaled breaths until they had used up all of the available oxygen. Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual’s ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it.
In Imponderabilia (1977, reenacted in 2010) two performers, both completely nude, stand in a doorway. The public must squeeze between them in order to pass, and in doing so choose which one of them to face.
In 1988, after several years of tense relations, Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual journey which would end their relationship. Each of them walked the Great Wall of China, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle. As Abramović described it: “That walk became a complete personal drama. Ulay started from the Gobi Desert and I from the Yellow Sea. After each of us walked 2500 km, we met in the middle and said good-bye.”
Abramović conceived this walk in a dream, and it provided what she thought was an appropriate, romantic ending to a relationship full of mysticism, energy and attraction. She later described the process: “We needed a certain form of ending, after this huge distance walking towards each other. It is very human. It is in a way more dramatic, more like a film ending … Because in the end you are really alone, whatever you do.”
Abramović reported that during her walk she was reinterpreting her connection to the physical world and to nature. She felt that the metals in the ground influenced her mood and state of being; she also pondered the Chinese myths in which the great wall has been described as a “dragon of energy.”