Vol. XXV, No. 10
"Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?"
Greetings, dear Friends of Silence! As I write to you today, we’re receiving the blessing of gentle, much needed rain here in Texas; and the grateful earth is giving us a lovely, soft gray day in return. It feels natural and desirable on such a day to allow ourselves to be cradled in silence, to take a “time out” from our busy lives and sink into the warmth and comfort of quiet time spent in communion with the Divine Center we cherish deep within ourselves. May we all receive the gift of such days, when we can allow the Great Silence to wrap itself around us like a soft robe as candlelight warms our surroundings; and may these blessed days of silence leave us refreshed and strengthened to return to the world in tranquility and joy!
Talking about connecting to a higher power: Whether we think of that higher power as God, or whether we think of that higher power as just our own inner wisdom, silence is absolutely imperative to get there. . .
That is where we always find our deepest wisdom.
Our activities in the world are really important. Being active helps us to gain skills and helps us to gain knowledge and build relationships.
But wisdom always comes out of silence.
~ Catherine Torpey, New Morning Treasury, thanks to Liz Stewart
The waves of mind
demand so much of Silence.
But She does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.
~ from MY SECRET IS SILENCE: Poetry and Sayings of Adyashanti
Silence is the training ground for the art of listening. Engaging the silence may be one of the most important and productive things you can do for spiritual deepening.
I know for us compulsive, productive, extroverted types, this is a tall order. The bottom line is—it's worth it. But we have to believe that it really matters. In our culture, silence and stillness have been equated with wasting time, doing nothing, being lazy. NOT TRUE. Think of it this way—the silence of meditation is not the silence of a graveyard; it is the silence of a garden growing.
~ from OPENING YOURSELF TO THE GUIDANCE OF GOD by Linda Douty
Silence speaks, the contemplatives say. But really, I think, silence sorts. An ordering instinct sends people into the hush where the voice can be heard.
~ from VIRGIN TIME by Patricia Hampl
Silence before God has deep significance: in the quietness of the soul the individual sinks into the central fire of communion. In the circle of worship the most personal elemental chords of life receive their deepest stimulation… In the silent act of breathing and in the unspoken dialogue of the soul with God, solitary as these are, deep communion can be given.
~ Eberhard Arnold
All sound arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. All thought arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. The universe arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. Suffering arises out of Silence and dissolves into Silence. The unbounded spaciousness of Silence, filled with the clear light of Awareness, dissolves the roots of pain and sorrow. Take refuge in Silence and know unshakeable joy.
~ Kalidas (pen name of Lawrence Edwards)
Silence is a doorway
into the heart of reality;
to cultivate a silent heart
is to discover your deepest truth.
~ from LUMEN CHRISTI … HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill
In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.
~ Howard Thurman
Let me seek, then, the gift of silence, and poverty, and solitude, where everything I touch is turned into a prayer: where the sky is my prayer, the birds are my prayer, the wind in the trees is my prayer, for God is all in all.
~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton, thanks to Gary O’Guinn
But what is the point of silence? The point was, we learned, not mere silence, not silence to preserve some sort of order, but something much greater. In silence the idea was to recollect ourselves, to place ourselves more squarely in the presence of God than we would if people were talking to us all the time. We could pray, we could meditate, we could contemplate. . . . Silence was broken, of course, by people doing things they could not control—coughing, sneezing, short periods of recreation, the sounds of work being done . . . But all of this merely emphasized the silence rather than disturbing it.
Sounds could never absorb this silence; nothing could order it around. It concentrated itself, and from it all else flowed. Silence could never be silenced.
~ from THE TULIP AND THE POPE: A NUN’S STORY by Deborah Larsen
There are two silences. One silence I choose to keep when I need to hear a word that will heal, instruct, or console. The other silence comes when I have heard something so powerful, so real, that words, spoken or written, would only diminish its power.
~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE by Marv and Nancy Hiles
Silence is the tree that bears the fruit of peace.
~ Unknown, thanks to Susan Morrison
Now, standing by the shore, I am as filled with awe and thankfulness as on that January afternoon. In this moment, I am sustained by a sense of wonder and peace, humbled by life, and respectful of it, connected to the planet and her people, and to something much greater than myself, an invisible essence for which I have no language. I live in its mystery, content to let it be revealed. I do not have to name it. It is enough to know its truth.
This is where silence has brought me.
~ from LISTENING BELOW THE NOISE by Anne D. LeClaire