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Silence Is More Powerful Than Words

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?

12 Comments

  1. Francene Stanley Francene Stanley August 11, 2014

    Great meaning in your blog today. So, I won’t say another thing. Take what you will from my silence.

  2. Mary RT Mary RT August 11, 2014

    I love silence. As an introvert it’s the “place” I go to recharge and meet with my Maker. As one of your readers also said, it’s the crucial key to hear what my children have to tell me. And it’s so necessary to good health.
    Thanks for this reminder, Corinne. Have a great week ahead!
    Cheers,
    Mary

  3. Beloo Mehra Beloo Mehra August 11, 2014

    Love the story ๐Ÿ™‚ I wish I could be more silent. Looking back, I can think of times/situations when my silence would have been a much better response than my words. But then I suppose, that’s how we learn best – by making mistakes! And some of us need to make many mistakes before the lesson is truly imbibed ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Corinne for this thought-provoking post.

  4. Damien Damien August 11, 2014

    I work with kids and have come to see the immense value in “wait time.” When I ask a question, it’s tough to wait and be silent. Your post reminds me of this. Thank you.

  5. Laurel Regan Laurel Regan August 11, 2014

    I find silence a challenge. But worth working on.

  6. Carol Graham Carol Graham August 10, 2014

    And……the first rule of closing a sale:

    First one who speaks, loses. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury August 10, 2014

    Silence is golden. My Grandmother was a great example and I am grateful to her for teaching me never to speak in anger. Yes, silence is my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Carol Cassara Carol Cassara August 10, 2014

    Yes, there is great power in just being with someone. Or oneself. I love silence. At the same time, silence can also kill. It must be used judiciously. Thank you for this morning’s thought, corrinne!

  9. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson August 10, 2014

    So very true!
    You can learn a lot by being silent.
    Some of the people that are considered great conversationalists are the ones that are silent 80% of the time. Ask a meaningful question and then be silent until it is answered. You don’t need to give your own personal examples of the conversation. Silence is golden and I just love the silence and being alone with my thoughts.

    Mary

  10. nabanita nabanita August 10, 2014

    I find solace in silence…I can keep quiet for hours altogether…but when S & I have fights n he keeps silent , I keep blabbering till he gives me a smile… ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. usha menon usha menon August 10, 2014

    Interesting story. Even though silence is more powerful than an empty talk, it is difficult to remain silent for a long time.

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