What is silence? The absence of sound? The absence of words? The absence of thoughts? The absence of self? The absence of movement? Where does silence begin and the words and thoughts end? If I don't speak or move, am I really silent? If I don't speak or move do the birds stop singing or does my belly stop grumbling? Is there silence in death? When my flesh and bones turn to dust and ash, will I have achieved silence, nirvana, samadhi, fana, or heaven? When my heart stops beating and my breath stops moving and my brain stops thinking and my neurons stop firing and communicating is there silence there? In the vast cosmos of space and time and even in quantum states, electrons, neutrons, protons, quarks, neutrinos, matter and dark matter, particles and waves, does stillness or silence ever occur. Expectations of silence are not silent. Attachment to the notion of silence is not silent. A friend posited to me, that a "silent retreat is not about silence or about retreat". If I live in a vacuum, is there silence of motion or thought? If I live in a state of absolute zero, frozen in time and space, will I finally live in silence? There is no silence in achieving or achievement, attainment or non-attainment, action or inaction. Is enlightenment silence? If I have no thought, no being, no non-being, no body, no form, no emptiness or non-emptiness, no feelings? What then? If I live in a cave or in and isolation chamber, separated beyond all outward distractions and noise in complete seclusion, will I have silence? Perhaps silence is the container for everything and nothing? The placental membrane of the womb of all, embraces without attachment. The container-less container. Perhaps silence is neither here nor there, nor when nor why, nor how, nor who? Perhaps silence is only NOW, and NOW is not a when. Separation is noise. Attachment is suffering. There is no SEPARATE SILENCE. There is no SEPARATE ENLIGHTENMENT. Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.