"Let us first turn to Buddha. Although this will be a rather cursory approach, I would like to zero in on only what I perceive to be perhaps Buddha's highest teachings that will have everlasting validity. As one of Buddha's disciples characterizes Buddha's teachings: 'The most noble truth is silence.' Buddhist tradition recalls the Buddha's love for silence, his concern for his own silence, and his recommendation of silence to his disciples. Noble silence is part and parcel of the Buddhist spirit. Silence is the ground, the core of reality, and all else relates to it and emanates from it. Silence suffuses the core of our being. Silence is the primal and necessary human atmosphere that gives birth to all that is precious in becoming human. The more profound and embracing the silence, the greater the human actualization.
"There are three types of silence: that of the body, that of the mouth, and that of the mind. The greatest silence, the silence that Buddha is referring to, is the silence of the mind. We live in an age in which we can no longer bear being alone, in which we can no longer stand the silence. Agitated individuals 'run after the crowd. They hope they can drown their terror by embracing the din, blare, uproar.' The silence that the Buddha offers is not only for the purpose of liberating us from the external din within and without, but also to calm us and to reconcile us with all the factors that displace us from our center of gravity. It is like a fasting of the mind that lets us taste everything as it really is once more. Silence turns out to be not only the absence of sound but a living, palpable presence in its own right, filled with boundless vitality. This silence is also seen in some quarters of the Western, Christian tradition as a privileged entry into the realm of God. Meister Eckhart called silence the 'nearest thing to God.' Thomas Merton viewed silence as the deepest manifestation of God's presence. We could almost define the essence of an authentic human inner life by one word: silence. From this perspective it could further be asserted that there is nothing in the world that resembles God as much as silence. That is why we may dare to assert that silence is God. In the Christian spiritual tradition there has been discovered an intrinsic connection between silence and love, as every lover knows. The upshot is that the silence of God and the silence of love are one and the same thing."