“Be still. Listen to the stones of the wall. Be silent, as they try to speak your Name.” (Thomas Merton, In Silence)
Thomas Merton was a Christian who valued the depth and the mysticism of religions such as Buddhism as well as other Eastern religions. In my Buddhist practice, a meditative practice, I don’t turn to doctrine in an attempt to supplant my own cultural roots in Christianity. Rather, I allow myself to listen to the silence and to experiences of Buddhists who attempt to put into words, their engagement with silence and dharma. I allow silent ripples to wash over me and to inform me and to change me. And that change is only an outer change.
As I change, layers of ego, layers of confusion and fear are washed away much in the same way that one peels off one’s clothing to find a core self, a natural self. But, one must go even beneath that surface to find the centres of energy that resonate with the earth, the heavens, and the impulse to life. There, one meets a larger self, one that is beyond the poor limits of ego.