This simple quote by Rumi has a lot of powerful wisdom hidden in it. Let’s explore the deeper meaning of this quote in detail.
Quote meaning in a nutshell
In short, Rumi here is urging you to quiet down your ‘mind noise’. In other words, to quiet down the thoughts in your mind. When the thoughts subside, you become quiet in the truest sense and in this state of silence, you get access to your inner intelligence also known as intuition.
Quote explanation in details
Now let us look into this in a little more detail.
Your mind is habituated to thinking. Just like your heart beats on its own, your mind thinks on its own.
Research indicates that we think over 60,000 thoughts everyday, most of which are repetitive in nature.
It is important to note here that the thing that fuels these thoughts is your unconscious attention on them.
For example, when your mind produces a thought, your focus (attention) on that thought is what sustains the thought and creates more similar thoughts. So your attention is like energy (fuel) to these thoughts. Your thoughts feed on your attention.
Quieting the mind noise
Because your thoughts feed on your attention, the only way to quiet these thoughts is to remove your attention from them. When your attention moves away, the thoughts begin to slow down in momentum and your mind noise begins to settle down. And when the mind noise settles down, clarity ensues.
Here’s an analogy: Imagine a team of horses running on a dusty ground. As they run, they are bound to stir up the dust, hindering vision. But if these horses stop running, the dust will eventually settle down and everything becomes clear again.
This is exactly what happens when your thoughts settle down, even if only for a few seconds. You experience silence in the truest sense and in this silence, you can now listen to your deeper intelligence (intuition).
Being conscious and in the present moment
So now the question arises, as to how can you remove attention from your thoughts so as to quiet down your mind noise? The answer is – meditation, mindfulness or any practice that allows you to stay conscious in the present moment.
When you are meditating, you are no longer engaged in thinking in an unconscious manner. Instead, you consciously focus your attention on to your breathing (or anything else depending on the type of meditation). As your attention is on your breath, thoughts will still run in the background but will eventually subside owing to a lack of attention to fuel them.
Also Read: In-depth beginner’s guide to meditation.
Your inner intelligence
Intelligence exists not only in your mind but also within your body.
In-fact, the intelligence in your mind is the one you acquired (from the outside) through learning and observation. But intelligence on the inside, which is present in every single cell in your body is universal. It is ageless and hence extremely powerful. This is the intelligence that built your body and it is what runs your body on a daily basis.
You can also call this intelligence, your intuition or your inner voice. And listening to this voice is what Rumi is referring to in his quote.
The only way to get access to this intelligence is to get in touch with your body. And you can do that by consciously feeling your body (also known as body awareness). Once the mind noise settles down, you can use your freed up attention to consciously feel your body. Learn more about feeling your body, in this article.
More quotes by Rumi on the power of silence
“Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.”
“There is a way between voice and presence, where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens; with wandering talk it closes.”
“Speak Little. Learn the words of eternity. Go beyond your tangled thoughts and
find the splendor of paradise.”
“Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river. When the ocean is searching for you, don’t walk into the river. Listen to the ocean.”
“Why are you so afraid of silence, silence is the root of everything. If you spiral into its void, a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear.”