“You will find the smile of silence
Inside your heart’s sleepless cry.
Cry is the night.
Inside the night is the day.
As the night holds the day,
So the cry holds the smile.”

– Sri Chinmoy

You can throw away all the books on meditation, avoid all the lectures, workshops, podcasts and retreats: this simple poem contains the entire secret and truth of meditation.

The “smile of silence” is the goal of our meditation. This is not the outer silence, the absence of sounds, noises and distractions. This is the inner silence, the silent mind and tranquil vital – which we discover in the absence of thoughts, disturbing emotions, desires and attachments. The “smile of silence” is our pure being. It is not that inner silence is sometimes smiling and sometimes not – our inner silence exudes, embodies and is the perennial source of happiness. Just as smile is happiness, and happiness is fulfillment, so is inner silence happiness. Inner silence, smile, happiness and fulfillment are one and the same – various aspects of the heart-home of our meditation.

And where do we find this smile of silence, this glowing happiness and flowing fulfillment, this haven of meditation? – “Inside your heart’s sleepless cry.”

Here is the ultimate paradox of life. We associate crying with sorrow, distress, suffering, helplessness; and we are aiming for peace, happiness, fulfillment. Yet our cry, our intense inner yearning, the focus and engine of our meditation, is parent of our silence-smile, its seed and source. When our cry is genuine, our “smile of silence” inevitably blossoms, as night follows day.

The action of meditation is cry; its being is smile. As silence is hidden inside sound, so:

“Inside the night is the day.
As the night holds the day,
So the cry holds the smile.”