Quotations about Silence

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.  ~William Penn

Silence is the true friend that never betrays.  ~Confucius

An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.  ~Walter Bagehot

Silence is a source of great strength.  ~Lao Tzu

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence.  ~John Lahr

The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom:  Silence.  ~Walter Bauer

Soon silence will have passed into legend.  Man has turned his back on silence.  Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.  His anxiety subsides.  His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.  ~Jean Arp

I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes.  ~Richard Steele

Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation.  ~James Thurber

Now all my teachers are dead except silence.  ~W.S. Merwin

The silence depressed me.  It wasn't the silence of silence.  It was my own silence.  ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for—sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm... As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all—and to me it is a sound—is utter, complete silence.  ~Andr√© Kostelanetz

All noise is waste.  So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low.  Wait for attention and then you low words will be charged with dynamite.  ~Elbert Hubbard

unplug iPod
music stops abruptly
cricket song instead
~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in an clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.  Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

God's poet is silence!  His song is unspoken
And yet so profound, and so loud, and so far,
That it thrills you and fills you in measures unbroken—
The unceasing song of the first morning star....
~Joaquin Miller, from "The True Poet," In Classic Shades, And Other Poems, 1890  (see also "Isles of the Amazons," 1872, "as far as a star...")

Silence is a fence around wisdom.  ~German Proverb

The silent man is the best to listen to.  ~Japanese Proverb

Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time.  ~Thomas Carlyle

You hesitate to stab me with a word, and know not - silence is the sharper sword.  ~Samuel Johnson

Silence is medication for sorrow.  ~Arab Proverb

To silence another, first be silent yourself.  ~Latin Proverb

Silence was never written down.  ~Italian Proverb

Silence is exhilarating at first - as noise is - but there is a sweetness to silence outlasting exhilaration, akin to the sweetness of listening and the velvet of sleep.  ~Edward Hoagland

You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind.  ~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Not merely an absence of noise, Real Silence begins when a reasonable being withdraws from the noise in order to find peace and order in his inner sanctuary.  ~Peter Minard

Silence is a text easy to misread.  ~A.A. Attanasio

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.  ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Our greatest gift is the thunder of Silence.  ~Joel Goldsmith

Silence is more musical than any song.  ~Christina Rossetti

Nothing is more useful than silence.  ~Menander of Athens

Good as is discourse, silence is better and shames it.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Circles"

He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.  ~Elbert Hubbard

All my days have I grown up among the Sages and I have found naught better for a man than silence. ~Rabban Gamaliel

Silence is a sounding thing, to one who listens hungrily.  ~Gwendolyn Bennett

Silence is the mother of truth.  ~Benjamin Disraeli

What shall I say to you?  What can I say
Better than silence is?  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The deepest rivers make least din, the silent soule doth most abound in care.  ~William Alexander

Honk if you hate noise pollution.  ~Author unknown, as seen on a bumper sticker

Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of.  ~D.M. Thomas

We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence.  ~Proverb

All was silent as before -
All silent save the dripping rain.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Noise:  a stench in the ear.  ~Ambrose Bierce

If he who does not know kept silent, discord would cease. ~Socrates

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace.  You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.  ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.  ~Josh Billings

Keep watch over your mouth, lest it bring you to grief.  ~Ahiqar the Assyrian

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.  ~Leroy Brownlow

If you can't get quiet enough to hear yourself, your life is too loud. ~Terri Guillemets

Silences make the real conversations between friends.  Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Let me silent be,
For silence is the speech of love,
The music of the spheres above.
~Richard Henry Stoddard

The best answer to anger is silence.  ~Author Unknown

The primary virtue is: hold your tongue;
who knows how to keep quiet is close to God.
~Cato, translated from Latin

Some days, we just need to turn the quiet up.  ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The truth is, I borrowed that phrase ["invisible strength"] from my mother, who used to say something like it to me whenever I was whining out loud.  She'd say, "Fang pi bu-cho, cho pi bu-fang," which is commonly uttered by Chinese parents, and which translates approximately to: "There's more power in silence."  What my mother intended that I understand, however, was precisely this: "No one wants to hear you make a big stink over nothing, so shut up."  The strict linguist might want to note that the literal translation of that Chinese phrase runs along these noble lines: "Loud farts don't smell, the really smelly ones are deadly silent."  ~Amy Tan, The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life, 2004, published by Penguin Group

Silence is also speech.  ~Proverb

Words can make a deeper scar than silence can heal.  ~Author Unknown

Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.  ~Author Unknown

Silence allows you to watch your mind and become aware of the thoughts that you may be acting on unconsciously. When you see the thoughts, you can make a conscious choice to act on the thought or change your mind, instead of going along with the noise. I have seen people who don't want to look at themselves keep going until something happens that makes them stop — a sickness or an accident — but it gives them that reflective, quiet space where they can face what is difficult in their mind. We each have a unique purpose to fulfill in this life and inklings can come in those quiet moments. ~Swami Radhananda

When all the noise is gone there is only God.  ~Author Unknown

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls.  ~Mother Teresa
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