Silence is more powerful than words. Yes, when the silence is meaningful. Silence is meaningful when we are reflecting or when we are listening to another. It is often the most empathetic response. It can also be the best course to take when an argument is spiraling out of control.


silence is more powerful than words

A meaningful silence is always better than meaningless words.

silence is more powerful than words

silence is more powerful than words



However, we seem to find silence uncomfortable most times. This story illustrates it well:

The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence.

On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: “Fix those lamps.”

The second student was surprised to hear the first one talk. “We are not supposed to say a word,” he remarked.

“You two are stupid. Why did you talk?” asked the third.

“I am the only one who has not talked,” concluded the fourth.
~ From Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings

Are you comfortable with silence?