Many years ago, when I was in India at my meditation teacher, Swami Veda's, ashram, I phoned the USA to talk with my parents, and learned that my mom was in the hospital after falling and braking her hip. After getting off the phone, I told my dear friend, Bhagaban Dev, about the call, and he expressed such compassion and concern, simply by how he looked at me, that I felt completely soothed, validated and loved. All these years later, when I remember the look in his eyes, I still feel held and understood. And he hadn't say a word.
All too often there is a tendency to speak when silence would be more appropriate. I remember times when someone came to me expressing grief from a shocking loss, and I felt a compulsion to say something, while, at the same time, realizing words were insufficient for the purpose. In those situations, words felt inappropriate. It would have been better to be silent and simply hold the grieving friend in my heart.
The language of silence is not limited to tragedies. Though it may be pleasant to hear someone say they love us, it's even more heartening to see love in a glance, to feel it in a hug, to know it by deeds done. It's the same with many sentiments. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and often far more eloquently.