November 2006 (Vol. XIX, No. 10)
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard? "
BLESSINGS OF THE SILENCE, dear friends! Silence is the deepest, clearest prayer we can offer our noisy, wounded planet today. Stilling the mind and basking in the silence of the heart is a healing balm for ourselves and radiates an active energy of peace out to the world. Our silence opens the door for creative potential to flourish and bloom and links us to the universe: a Oneness with which we come to appreciate. Be still and listen . . . Be open and know: Love and peace and understanding await us in the Silence along with blessings of the Mystery. Silent be and see!
|November 2006 (Vol. XIX, No. 10)||996.95 KB|
in spiritual nourishment gradually creates within us a permanent state of silence. The soul discovers in such silence unsuspected possibilities. It realizes that life can be lived at different levels. Daily silence experienced in humility and fervor as an indispensable exercise.
When we make a place for silence, we make room for ourselves. By making room for silence, we resist the forces of the world which tell us to live an advertised life of surface appearances, instead of a discovered life — a life lived in contact with our senses, our feelings, our deepest thoughts and values.
At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm
At the heart of each of us,
whatever our imperfections,
there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm,
a complex form of wave forms and resonances,
which is absolutely individual and unique,
and yet which connects us
to everything in the universe.
We are familiar with the space in meditation and prayer where we sit in deep silence, attentive and awake, listening within the darkness. Yet we can also live in this state of deep receptivity, relying on what we hear inside our hearts in all aspects of our lives. This is what is needed of us now: to allow the divine to flow into the world and awaken us all within the oneness and joy of That which is at once both infinite within the silence of our own hearts, and visible in the sparkling moments of light and love that are creation.
I sit on the front porch of our cabin and "listen" to the complete silence. It's so quiet that when a bird flies past, I can hear the air passing beneath its wings. Gradually I become one with the silence and my heart opens to the joy of life. During the winter, when we don't live at the cabin, I visualize sitting on that porch as a way to "stop" the hustle and bustle of my day-to-day world.
There is a tender sense of silence, without prayer to or from. In the moments of our own silence we are welcomed, as both stranger and friend. We need to allow this presence to be with us, not in defined moments, but as a flow. The river is here, not hidden behind the bank or crossing the horizon. In the tranquility of the moment there is no moment, nothing defined or captured. This world is seeped with the other, soaked with the dew of timelessness.
Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the silence of the monastery would be shattered. This would upset the monks; not the Master who seemed just as content with the noise as with the silence. To those protesting he said one day, "Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self. "
sunrise pours slantwise
into clear water
through the blue spruce,
the deep tangle of pine
and purled woodsmoke.
and the earth hushed.
While I leaned into silence
a morning too vast to fathom
filled with light.
I have long imagined that at some point in the process of creation there must have come a point of stillness and silence after all the chaotic churning and gurgling of lava and rain. In my visioning eye I see this first moment of silence, almost as if I had been there, and the spirit of the mist is there, hovering.
Our being is silent, but our existence is noisy. Yet when our noisy actions stop, there is a ground of silence always there. Contemplatives must be in contact with that ground and communicate from that level to keep silence alive for other people.
In order to listen to God's silence we must escape the din of distractions that normally deafen us to it
In order to listen to God's silence we must escape the din of distractions that normally deafen us to it. Being deafened to the silence within as well as the silence without is corrosive to God-hearing. To be silent is to so empty oneself of the din of transitory distractions that one becomes fully receptive to the silence that always and everywhere underlies them. Silence is that state of spiritual sensitivity in which seekers make themselves available to the silence of God's voice.
One way of moving beyond words in meditative journaling is by becoming attentive to the silence before, beneath, and between our words, both as we write and as we read back to ourselves what we have written. This allows us to become more attentive to the silence into which our silence sometimes leads us. Where we feel our writing taking us into the Silence, we simply go there and allow ourselves to be in the Silence, "letting the words flow to silence... "As we become aware of something stirring in the silence, we record it, "letting the silence speak to the word..."
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