posted on Dec, 11 2010 @ 07:02 PM
Years ago a friend and I hiked out to a Buddhist commune that had a very interesting temple. We rang the bell at the entrance, and after waiting a
while, a monk came out to greet us. He showed us around, and then we came to the temple.
We took off our shoes, and entered into the candle-lit room, smelling of incense. The monk actually left us there, alone, he said he had work to
finish, and so he kept his sandals on, turned around to leave, and over his shoulder said we should go to the center of the temple.
We went in, the big door shut behind us. Dead silence, except for my buddy's dumb giggle. But then we quieted down. It was way out in the country,
no city sounds to begin with, and in the temple, it really was SILENT.
EXCEPT for the sounds of our breathing, and socks against the floor. As we got to the center of the temple, the almost non-existent sounds of our
movement got louder, and we were shocked when we entered the circle, dead-center. An intense, spooky amplification of our own sounds was upon us, and
it was startling.
What we found out (later) was that the temple had been constructed as a parabolic dome, focusing on the center spot that we stood. What was happening
was that every tiny sound bounced off the parabolic surface, and it then came right back to us, highly focused.
If you've never had the experience, it is weird. I remember turning to my friend and saying something like "Holy sh*t!", and it sounded like a
hundred whispering voices had surrounded us, repeated the words in echo.
And then, we stopped, and got very quiet. In the dim light we looked at the framed photo of their founder, at the foot of Buddha. In the photo, the
monk was meditating in the lotus position, eyes closed. We closed our eyes, and tried to be as quiet as possible.
As we left, the thought came to mind, that moment was almost "beyond" silence. It was the opposite of what you would think, at a point where all
sounds echoed perfectly back to center. But if you were really quiet, completely still, and held your breath, it seems like we "heard" silence.
I don't remember if I heard my heart beat, but afterward, we caught up with the monk at the work shop, and he asked us about our experience. We said
something like, "Wow!" He asked if we had been able to "meditate" at all. Well, no, but we got quiet for a minute. He asked, "What did you
Then he said it: "If you are completely still, you will hear the sound that is beyond silence." Whoa...I had thought that same term, "beyond
silence"...Sort of gave me goosebumps.
I've never been back, moved out of the area, but this reminded me of that time, almost thirty years ago. I always meant to look up what that meant,
"beyond silence". Maybe it was just a coincidence, and that monk just expressed himself that way. Who knows?
Anyway, I would highly recommend finding a temple like that. It's a real trip.