Just yesterday I finished my annual 3 week practice of silence and I wanted to share an entry from my diary which gives a hint why one would want to enter into silence:
Just this morning I went rowing for the second time. There was no rain, there were few clouds and almost no wind, so the lake was very calm and you could clearly see the reflection of the trees in the water. I enjoyed just staring over and into the water very much.
I came to understand the analogy of the mind with a lake a lot better because I suddenly had the idea to make a small experiment.
I held the boat still on a spot where I could clearly see the reflection of the top of the trees. I kept my eyes fixed on where I saw the reflection and in that place I started stirring the water with a paddle. When, because of the moving water, I wasn’t able to see the reflection anymore I stopped using the paddle and kept looking at that point. Suddenly, as the water started calming down, the reflection emerged and became clearer and clearer, until it was once again a very clear and accurate reflection of the tree top. I was amazed by seeing this, it was like a magic trick!
This little experiment helps my understanding that when the mind becomes perfectly calm, we can see things as they are. (And according to my understanding, seeing things as they are is the goal of the spiritual processes.)