Silence is essential. We need silence,
just as much as we need air,
just as much as plants need light.
If our minds are crowded with
words and thoughts, there is
no space for us.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Most of matter is the space between matter. Most of matter is emptiness. But the bonds within atoms, amongst atoms and so on creates magic.

I might be stretching this a bit much but I need more silence. More silence between my tasks. Between doing daily things. Between days. When I lose it, I suddenly realise it is September. When I don't, each day is savoured and remembered and eventful.

While I talk lesser than the national average, whatever that may be, my inner chatterbox unfortunately more than makes up for it. But the rare moments of silence produces flashes of intelligence.

But perfect freedom is not found without some rules. People, especially young people, think that freedom is to do just what they want, that in Zen there is no need for rules. But it is absolutely necessary for us to have some rules. But this does not mean always to be under control. As long as you have rules, you have a chance for freedom. To try to obtain freedom without being aware of the rules means nothing. It is to acquire this perfect freedom that we practice zazen.

– Shunryu Suzuki

I like rules. Even though I detest quite a few of them, and have rebelled for the sake of it.

Even simple gully cricket needs rules.

Constraints help us expand. Without constraints, we tend to be rudderless.

Many books are hardly worth even skimming; some should be read quickly; and a few should be read at a rate, usually quite slow, that allows for complete comprehension. It is wasteful to read a book slowly that deserves only a fast reading;

– Mortimer Adler

Some books are filled with anecdotes and fun to read. From the obscure to the fascinating, I marvel at how authors dig up these stories. But most often, they are making 1-2 core points over 250 pages. And when I finally worked up the courage to start skimming books, skipping few pages at a stretch, and getting the core idea - it was freedom. Certain books are meant to be re-read with slowness, patience, pauses, with silence. Certain books are meant to be skimmed. Certain books are meant to be thrown away.

Finding the right way to read each book is important. I needed to let go of my guilt to do this.

Thanks for reading. As always, share your favourite quotes.