October 2016 (Vol. XXIX, No. 9)
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Dear Friends ~ As I write, the wind stirs leaves barely tinged with autumn color as a steady rain soaks into the earth so recently parched by summer’s sun. On the cusp of seasonal change, the land seems poised between fecundity and hibernation. So we too live our lives poised between action and contemplation, in that silent space of longing, expectation, and hope. Wisdom is both a mystic’s way of being in that sacred space and a gift of the spirit that we seek to cultivate. According to psychologists, wisdom "involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life...and it confers a sense of balance." -- from "All About Wisdom" at Psychology Today.com
"We are knee-deep in a river, searching for water," writes Kabir Helminski, a contemporary Wisdom teacher in the Sufi lineage, using a vivid image to capture the irony of our contemporary plight. The sacred road maps of wholeness still exist in the cosmos...But to read the clues it is first necessary to bring the heart and mind and body into balance, to awaken. Then the One can be known—not in a flash of mystical vision but in the clarity of unitive seeing.
~ Cynthia Bourgeault in THE WISDOM WAY OF KNOWING
Wisdom abides in deep recesses of the heart;
who is at home to receive Her?
~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill
Wisdom without love is like having lungs
but no air to breathe. Do not seek wisdom in order
to acquire knowledge but in order to
live and love more fully.
~ from MY SECRET IS SILENCE: Poetry and Sayings of Adyashanti
I believe we are all called by many names, and that the names we are called are directly related to our destiny... The discovery of our destiny is our unique contribution to wisdom. When we achieve a sense of wisdom, we will reflect it and shine as both image and likeness.
~ from CALLED BY MANY NAMES by Margaret A. Renner
What does it mean to be made in the image of God?... In part, it is to say that wisdom is deep within us, deeper than the ignorance of what we may have done or become... When we lose touch with the wisdom that is within us, we live out of ignorance... Grace is given not to implant in us a foreign wisdom but to make us alive to the wisdom that was born in us.
~ from CHRIST OF THE CELTS by J. Philip Newell
Mystical wisdom derives from an ardent desire to abandon normal intellectual functions so that divine insight may enlighten this ardor and add to it another fire, much stronger, which lifts the burning soul towards an even deeper wisdom.
~ Hugh of Balma in LISTENING TO SILENCE, compiled by Robin B. Lockhart
A holy and disciplined mind turns
from ignorance and falsehood,
ignoring their myriad distractions,
while the soul stands firm, allowing
Wisdom to have her way.
~ from WALKING WITH WISDOM by Nan Merrill
Only in the oasis of silence can we drink deeply from our inner cup of wisdom.
~ Sue Patton Thoele
Wisdom teaches us that arriving at the Truth is experiencing the graciousness and loving kindness of God.
~ John Main
Along the way to knowledge,
Many things are accumulated...
Along the way to wisdom,
Many things are discarded.
Wisdom is the Oneness of Mind that guides and permeates all things.
Who is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.
~ from STILLNESS SPEAKS by Eckhart Tolle
A Note about our Anniversary and "Peace Planet: Light for our World"
Amazingly, the 30th Anniversary year for Friends of Silence is upon us! It begins next month (November) and will culminate in exactly one year from this October issue, with an event at Still Point on October 21, 2017. The year ahead will be rich with celebration of Nan’s life and legacy, as we noted in our May issue. Many of you have responded with enthusiasm and gratitude, sharing Nan’s correspondence and stories of your relationships with her.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you, the far-flung and deep community of Friends of Silence, and to once again invite you to help us continue to celebrate Nan’s life and legacy throughout this year.
On this occasion, we are highlighting one of our favorite pieces of Nan’s work, the small booklet called "Peace Planet: Light for our World." Written and compiled in 2006, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, this lovely book arose out of Nan’s anguish over the festering wounds of human tragedy and her deep conviction that only prayer on a scale both intimate and global can begin to heal us and our planet. With Barbara Taylor and Anne Strader, Nan created "Peace Planet." Page by page it contains a prayer for every nation on Earth, illustrated with beautiful photographs, in a spiral bound format that can be cradled easily in one’s hand or pocket.
While supplies last, we are offering a copy of "Peace Planet" with gratitude to all who donate $30 or more to honor Nan’s vision and continue her work for the next 30 years and beyond.
Let the prayer, hope, and celebration begin!