Continuing to Explore “The Sound of Silence” this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl

January 19, 2024

Continuing to Explore “The Sound of Silence” this Sunday with Benjamin Hohl

Dear Community,

Sunday 10am Community Practice & Discussion

This Sunday, Benjamin Hohl will lead a continued exploration of “The Sound of Silence,” a practice regularly taught by Ajahn Sumedho. This theme was originally introduced in our group Sunday, December 17. No problem if you missed that week; the topic will be re-introduced this Sunday and you can optionally read about the introductory sources we explored earlier here.

Here is an excerpt from Ajahn Sumedho’s book Intuitive Awareness (freely available here):

[With the sound of silence, the] mind is in a very wide, expansive state of awareness: inclusive, open, and receptive rather than closed and controlled. So notice and contemplate this experience, and then just concentrate your attention on the sound of silence. (p. 68 PDF version)

I encourage you to rest and relax into this awareness that comes when you recognize the sound of silence. Just rest in this state of openness and receptivity. Don’t attach to the idea of it. You can attach to the idea of the sound of silence and of attaining something with it, and keep creating some false illusions around it.

That’s not it—it’s not a matter of trying to make anything out of it, but of fully opening to this present moment in a way that is unattached. This recognition of non-attachment is something you know through your awareness rather than through a description. All one can say about it is something like “don’t attach to anything” and “let go of everything.” But then people do attach and say, “We shouldn’t be attached to anything”—and so they attach to the idea of non-attachment! We are so committed to thinking and trying to figure everything out in terms of ideas, theories, techniques, the party line, the Theravada approach and on and on like this. We bind ourselves to these conditions, even though the teaching is about letting go or non-attachment. This is why I really encourage you to observe attachment. Trust yourself in this awareness. And, rather than holding to the views that one shouldn’t be attached, recognize attachment is like this. (pp. 128 - 129 PDF version)

Please join us for this exploration! All meditation experience levels and welcome. Registration and Zoom information available here.

With metta,
Minneapolis Insight