Silence and Dialogue | October 21, 2009

Among the Silsilah Dialogue Movement’s pillars of dialogue, the central one is the dialogue with God. As we reach out in dialogue with God, we become imbued with his spirit and his grace, and we are better able to dialogue with others and with creation. It is the grace we receive from God that makes us better able to live in such a manner that approximates the kind of life that God would want us to live. Without dialogue with God, it is difficult to conceive that we can reach out to dialogue with the self, with others and with creation. Among the Silsilah Dialogue Movement’s pillars of dialogue, the central one is the dialogue with God. As we reach out in dialogue with God, we become imbued with his spirit and his grace, and we are better able to dialogue with others and with creation. It is the grace we receive from God that makes us better able to live in such a manner that approximates the kind of life that God would want us to live. Without dialogue with God, it is difficult to conceive that we can reach out to dialogue with the self, with others and with creation.
Dialogue with God is not pre-conditioned by dogmas or tenets. A follower of any religion can dialogue with his/her God in accordance with the practices of the religion one follows. One practice might be the body position while in prayer. One might take the lotus position, or kneel on one’s knees, or bow so that the upper half of the body is parallel to the floor. Even within one religion the body position may differ from one person to the next.
What might be considered a constant in all religions is that while in dialogue, or in prayer to put it another way, one has to focus one’s mind on God. And to do this best, there is a need for silence.
Silence is of two kinds. There is first of all the need for inner silence. We have to empty ourselves of our worldly concerns and anxieties, or try to, as much as we can. Thus we can truly focus our thoughts on God. However, it is in our dialogue with God that we can bring before him and entrust to him what our concerns and anxieties are.

In some traditions it is not even necessary to present to God our concerns and anxieties. Does not God know all of them and will take care of them even before we ask him to?In some traditions it is not even necessary to present to God our concerns and anxieties. Does not God know all of them and will take care of them even before we ask him to?
The second type of silence is that of the absence of noises. For ordinary people it is not easy to focus one’s thoughts on an idea or a thought – whether this be the God with whom we are communing   or simply an idea connected with daily living – when we are pelted with noise. Loud music. Loud talk. Banging sounds. The whirring of engines. All these impinge on the tranquility of our mind and keep us from focusing our thoughts on God with whom we are in dialogue at the moment.
One type of environmental pollution is noise. It has been shown that noise not only affects our psychological state but our physical state as well. But our modern lifestyles contribute much to the sound level of our environment. Music types preferred by the young are all metal and brass, and at ear-splitting decibels. We rev our engines even at times when politeness would normally require us to respect the sleeping time of people. Our TV sets are on a good part of the day and most of the programs are those about shooting and shouting or raucous laughter.
Let us cultivate an environment where the sound level is one that promotes internal and external quiet, the better to engage in dialogue.

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