Silence as Language of the Heart

In his book, The Spiritual Practices of Rumi, Will Johnson writes the following:

"The Sufis have a beautiful word for the mystical communion that two openhearted practitioners can enter into when they come into each other's presence.

They call this communion and sharing sohbet...

The word has most often been thought of as an extended mystical conversation in which two seekers after God come together and speak openly to each other about mystical matters...

In the purest shohbet, words are not used as the medium of communication...The primary language of the heart is silence."

And these verses from Rumi:

"Be silent.
If someone tells you there is no speech possible
Without words or sounds,
Don't listen to him. It's not true.

Be silent.
Without the bread of God
And the wine of annihilation, that word and that
Alphabet are like two or three empty cups at best.

Be silent.
Speak the meaning without the alphabet.
If you can,
Say it without words, so the heart
Can take over the conversation."

"All our lives we've looked
Into each other's faces.
That was the case today too.
How do we keep our love a secret?
We speak from brow to brow
And hear with our eyes."

"Even 'friend' and 'beloved'
Are wrong words for this.
Even 'ahhhhh' retreats back into my mouth
Like the moon going behind a cloud.
A pure silent look is better."

"In the silence of our longing
We are together as one.
But as soon as we start talking,
We separate into two.
So be silent.
There is honor in silence.
For you and me."

"You have spent your whole life
With elegant speeches.
For some time you should
Walk alone in the gardens of silence."

"What would happen if you
Gave up thought for one moment,
Plunged into our sea like a fish,
And swallowed the waves there?

Give them up...
And turn into a holy light,
Silent, exempt from thought.
Why don't you become like this?"

And two more!

"Thought doesn't come to your mind
Until you become quiet.
Heart doesn't open its mouth
Until you close yours."

"Tell my secret with your eyes,
Without lips or tongues."


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