Friday, March 16, 2018


Hi There !

So, how do you do your dishes?

Hope it's with Joy -

not necessarily the detergent, Joy,

but certainly with the spirit of joy.

Joy is to the spirit

as health is to the body,

as happiness is to the emotions -

the result of being right and real.

Things are right as they are meant to be,

properly in place,

harmonized in foundational reality.

When they are not,

the body experiences dis-ease,

the emotions un-happiness,

the spirit dis-stressed dis-quiet.

Conversely, when things are right and real,

the body is healthy,

the emotions are happy,

the spirit is serene.

Happiness and joy are not the same thing.

Happiness is how we feel emotionally.

Joy is how we are at our core

when we really are there,

rooted real and right in God.

Actually, we can be unhappy

and yet joyful at the same time.

Please permit a personal example

of what on the surface

seems to be different than it is.

As a young man

I went through a period

of vocational confusion

and left the seminary.

Back in those so different days,

the 1950's,

that was just this side of a mortal sin.

I was socially suspect,

a failed soul.

On the train home

I was not a happy camper,

yet there was a steadiness of soul,

a rightness down deep,

a joy of spirit.

As emotionally and socially uncomfortable

as things were,

at my core they were real and right,

rooted in God.

They were what they needed to be

at that moment in my evolving spirit.

That was quite a grace and learning.

Joy is a serene steadiness and strength of spirit.

Joy is a zest and exuberance of spirit.

Joy flows from being rooted right and real in

Being Itself, in Reality Itself, in Existence Itself,

in the Limitless Life and Love Energy

that is God.

"Joy is the infallible sign of God's presence,"

( Leon Bloy in a letter to Jacques Maritain ),

and our presence

rooted real and right in God.

Like all else in the spiritual life,

it comes down to being

as and who and where

we actually and really are -

a being in Being,

a spirit centered in The Source,

endlessly evolving

in The Mystery of God,

in The Mystery of Love/Life.

Our spiritual lives are

a waking up to that,

embracing that,

living that,

and no matter how things are

with the body and emotions,

being exuberantly joyful.

We may or may not like doing the dishes,

but we can always do them

and everything else in life with



     After Thought

Metaphor is the only way

to stammer about the divine.

Here's a simple, plain metaphor

for our spirituality out here

on the street of everyday life.

Consider an engine -

told you the metaphor was

plain and simple!!

When all the parts and processes

of an engine

are arranged right and real,

rooted in the reality

of what an engine

is all about,

the engine hums and purses.

Joy is like the hummimg and purring

of an engine.

(Not sure that even Charles Wesley

 could work that one into a hymn!!).


               HOLY WEEK

Next week 's posting here will be both an








Materials, considerations,

and meditation prompts

will be presented

for a daily time of solitude,

prayer and reflection,

for the entire week.

The posting is not crafted

for a quick or one time exposure.

In other words, it will be

an extensive presentation to be used

part by part for the seven days of Holy Week.


Thanks for the blessing of your company.

See you next week.

Oh yes !

If you have time and interest,

there are all sorts of prompts

for prayer and reflection

in this season of lent

offered the Meditation Markers that follow.

Holding each and all in

God's Dear Love,

    John Frank




  - find a time and place

    where you can  separate

    from the clamor and stimulation of noise

    around you and within you

    "Be still and know that I am God."

     (Psalm 46:10)

   - breath slowly, gently, deeply

   - just be still in The Still Point.

   - in a leisurely manner

     start with the first

     Meditation Marker.

   - if it connects,

     say it to yourself

     a time or two.

   - just sit with it,

     let it speak its truth to your spirit.

  - if that does not happen,

    just move on to the next few

   until one does connect.

 - consider one or two a day

 - do your best not to feel rushed,

    or compelled to

    "cover them all."


- "The joy of the Lord is your strength."

                                  Nehemiah 8:10

-  In joy we

       - live simply
       - behave humbly

       - dress modestly

       - pray freely

       - think wisely

       - worship  communally

       - act kindly

       - smile honestly

       - speak trustfully

       - love sincerely

       - champion justice

       - cherish nature

       - companion the needful

            Adaptation of a piece

            from an unknown author

- " is a key indicator of a healthy spirituality.

  Joy, in the classic sense, is not a synonym for

  happiness, but instead refers to a zest for life.

  You can have an underlying zest for life

  whether you are happy or whether you are sad.

  The opposite of joy is not sorrow,

  the opposite of joy is apathy.

   01-14-11  (

                       David Backes

- "Let your joy be in your journey -

  not in some distant goal."

                        Tim Cook

- "If you  carry joy in your heart,

  you can heal any moment."

                         Carlos Santana

- "I define joy as a sustained sense

   of well being and internal peace -

   a connection to what matters"

                          Oprah Winfrey

- " The prospect of the righteous is joy..."

                           Proverbs 10:28

- "These things I have spoken to you,

   that my joy may be in you,

   and that your joy may be full."


                       ( John 15:11 )

- "You make known to me the path of life;

   in your presence there is fullness of joy."

                              Psalm 16:11

- "For the Kingdom of God

    is not a matter of eating and drinking,

    but of righteousness, peace,

    and joy in the Holy Spirit."

                                 Romans 14:17






Friday, March 9, 2018


Hi There!

Come on!

Let's lighten up!

Enough already with the dreary dark of winter.

Let's get into The Spring Thing -

more light and less dark every day,

break out lighter clothing.

diet off winter weight,

lighten up for "Springing."

That sure was the deal last Sunday

during a wonderful high school visit.

It was a bright sunny day outside,

and in a wonderful way

as well inside the beautiful school theater.

In that darkened space the lights paradoxically

went "up" and so did we all.

It was brilliant.

Sixty plus teens upped the amperage

of soul and psyche with their ensemble,

their singing, dancing, acting and stage management,

as they portrayed  the victory of light over dark.

It was a masterful production of

Beauty and the Beast.

They made it so easy to

"Lighten Up!"

My favorite character in that so biblical-like story is

Lumiere, the Beast's kindhearted, independent,

quirkie maitre'd. He and his prince and

the whole household  have come under

an evil spell making the prince a Beast and

the maitre'd a candelabra. Only love will break the spell.

Lumiere, true to his name, works to shed light

for the Beast to see that, to warm wide  his heart

for that love with  beautiful Belle.

Yes, love wins, freeing the Beast and his household

 for human life renewed through love.

Pardon the pastor in me, but what a Christ parallel.

My "hands up" favorite actor in Sunday's

de-"light"-full performance was

a wonderful young man who played,

well of course, Lumiere.

He brought to his role a just right balance of sparkle,

impishness, and an ever so exquisite

and delightful  touch of camp.

What wattage!!

His subtle, focused intensity,

his lightsome manner and twinkle,

was not only an act, it was actual.

It was graced me with an  intense connect to

the Christ experience.

That young man was a true Lumiere,

a luminous gift,

in his role and in himself.

He made Love Light incarnate, present and felt.

In a unique and theatrical setting,

he captured the spirit of Jesus,

Jesus,who defies the dark,

radiating a liberating lightness

("I am the light of the world.

  Whosoever follows me

  will never walk in darkness,

  but will have the light of life."

  John 8:12).

                           The light of life.

            That's what filled my mind and heart

                               Sun Day

     thanks to the young Lumiere at the high school.

Sad to say and see there's a lot of darkness out here

on the street of everyday living.

Happy to say and see Jesus lightens things up

right here where we live in people

 like the young thespian, you and hopefully me,

each a unique Lumiere.

A few radiances of Lightsome Living:

          - being who and how we actually are

            down deep, at our most real

            and beautiful selves

          - encouraging and embracing the same in others

          - relishing diversity in unity

         - being patrons of the truth

         - using our talent and resources

           for  balanced and generous living

        - "lightening" the burden of the poor and overwhelmed

        - championing social and environmental justice

        - welcoming outsiders in

        - respecting and celebrating the various gender blessings

          the Creator delights in evolving

        - supporting school sports and the arts

        -  after all, we are invited to be

          "...children of the light and children of the day.

              We do not belong to the night or the darkness."

                                                      ( 1 Thessalonians 5:5 ).

Lent is well under way

Like Beauty and the Beast,

Lent focuses on living in the light,

overcoming dreadful dark.

This season of enlightenment will culminate

with the Christ Candle on Holy Saturday Night.

It will be carried into the totally dark church

and pierce that darkness.

Its light will be spread to all present,

reminding us to spread it lavishly

out here on the street of every day living.

Holding the Christ Candle high,

he deacon will intone

"Lumen Christi,"

 our call to

                   "Lighten up!!"

A heartfelt welcome to our newest participants

from Indonesia and Egypt.

We are blessed  to be joined with you!

Every goodness be yours.

See you next week.

Holding you in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank

    For those new to "frankly speaking":

    if you wish, you can sign on for "frankly speaking"

    to come to you automatically by email each week

    Sign Up is at the top right of the online version.

    Online postings are regularly on Friday.

    The email version usually reaches folks on Saturday.

Friday, March 2, 2018


Hi There !

So how do we keep our balance 

when so many and so much 

are flipping out all around us:

   - 25 school shootings since Columbine 

     (Shepard Smith, Fox News, 02-15-18 ) 

    - 64,000 drug death in 2016 

      (The latest yearly total now available -

      National Institute on 

      Drug Abuse and the CDC) -

      more deaths in that one year from drugs than

      all the deaths of American military during

      the entire Vietnam War of 58,220 

      (National Archive, Military Records)

      The entire current issue of Time magazine

       (March 5, 2018) is a report on 

       this worst addiction crisis in US history

    - a stock market that threatens to

       "bubble burst"

      (pick your economist)

     - unthinking extremism left and right 

    - "America's boys are broken. And it's killing us"

      (see "The Boys Are Not Alright ", 

      Michael Ian Black, The New York Times,

      02-21-18) on our lost generation of boys

    - hate and fake news outlets

    - expanding fascism and neo-nazism,

      nationally and internationally

    - sinful lying and histrionics across social media 

    - international cooperation unraveling -

      a cold war heating up - 

      check Putin's new nuclear rattling

    - way too many politicians, media and

      financial moguls, lacking 

              clarity, character, moral courage

    - artificial intelligence close to directing 

      much of our living

    - family life fraying

    - a social media that has yet to grow up

    - nuclear threats and brinkmanship

      (make that "brinkboyship") 

    - hacking that steals our privacy and imperils 

      our democratic election process

    - education that doesn't -

      teaching to the test that gets an "F."

It goes on and on.

It's pretty chaotic, quite frightening, 

terribly difficult to keep our balance 

out here on the street of everyday living.

How many will be left standing,

and how long?

Most of us are middle and 

upper middle class people,

and we are having 

the patina of order and safety

ripped off our way of life.

It exposes terrifying flaws and fissures 

in our situation, as well as 

a questionable future. 

We now know and feel that 

we are endangered,

and that on many fronts,

as indeed the poor and marginalized 

among us, and most of the world,

have been for every so painfully long.

A metaphor for our moment

might be that we are like a couple 

that worked hard,

mortgaged themselves to the hilt,

and finally got their own pricey house 

in a pricey place only to find 

it sits on a toxic dump.

A poignant, telling icon of our plight was 

a father sharing

with his pastor friend over lunch

that he dreaded putting his son

on the school bus each morning

and wondering if he would ever see him again 

(Sermon of Rev. Rob Myallis, St. Paul's Church,

Lititz, PA, 02-25-18 ).

So, yes, how do we live out our spiritual life,

keep our balance, 

in this fearsome time out here on the street 

of everyday living?

What do we say 

to that fearful father, and to all of us 

who have had our middle class patina 

of order and safety so perilously pealed away? 

The troubles aren't going away nor can we.

The only way ahead is through and that's 

 going to be a rougher and rougher road.

So, how do we  go ahead and get through

on that rough road ahead?

Buddha and Jesus have been down that road.

They got through and can guide us through.

The Buddha had the patina of privilege ripped off  

his plush, princely life as he encountered 

the harshness of illness, old age and death.

He walked away from the illusions

of comfort and indulgence - literally.

He set out to find enlightenment.

It was a long, painful journey,

but it brought him to a life of compassion:

    - "A generous heart, kind speech and a life

       of service and compassion are 

       the things which renew humanity."

    - "Our sorrows and wounds are healed

       only when we touch them

       with compassion." 

Jesus, the poor man of Nazareth, rich in love,

spent it all in a life of compassion:

    - "Jesus went through all the towns and villages,

       teaching in their synagogues,

       proclaiming the good news of the kingdom

       and healing every disease and sickness.

       When he saw the crowds, 

       he had compassion on them, 

       because they were harassed and helpless,

       like sheep without a shepherd."

       (Matthew 9:35-36)

"Harassed and helpless, 

like sheep without a shepherd."

Try that shoe on the foot of today's walking

out here on the street of everyday living.

Spot on!!!

Jesus' way ahead was through disorder and pain 

and that meant active embrace and support 

as he taught, encouraged, helped and healed

the hurt and needful.

That kind of active compassion

for the the masses brought him

into the crosshairs of the power elite

and they went gunning for him.

Eventually they nailed him - literally.

It broke him, broke him wide open

and let flow a current of reality and power

(aka Grace)

that lifts from deadly entombment,

that soars beyond the shy,

uniting all in the pulsating realness

of love and life without limit. 

What a "Springing" is Resurrection.

Compassion and community.

The Latin root of the word compassion

tell the tale.

"Compati" means "to suffer/feel with."

A life of compassion gets us right and tight

with our true selves,

with every being in creation as it evolves,

with every frightened parent,

with war ravaged Syrians,

with every molecule of every tree,

with every hurt,

with every beauty,

with every potentiality,

with every enemy, 

whether they realize it or not,

with ALL,

so much so that we are one with them.

Yes, that's such a "lift" 

it sure does mean resurrection.

That's what compassion does.

The "lift" of compassion elevates us into unity,

into community with All.

Again, the Latin roots help.

"Cum" meaning "with" and

"Unio" meaning "one" -

Community - one with.

Community means 

        "Other is me otherwise,"

us united and me wise enough 

to embrace and be embraced 

by every other form of

who we are - Love.

A spirituality of compassion and community

means things like:

    - caring about every other driver 

      on the road during rush, 

      and rushed, hour

    - clearing space for a life of 

      lived and actual community 

      with our nuclear and extended families,

      and with our neighbors

    - caring and sharing in 

      our religious or ethical circles,

      really mixing it up into a vibrant 

      community of compassion - truly a 

      Holy Communion

    - in that community, a welcome nurture 

      for the left outs of our sphere:

           - lonely old people

           - overwhelmed single parents 

             and their children

           - querkie oddballs

           - the unemployed

           - the homeless

           - gay children and teens

           - inner city, suburban, rural poor

      one way or fifty to get in close and tight,

      to touch, to more and more find ways

      as a compassionate community 

      to throw block buster parties of

      care, support and unity

    - for fathers to learn how to raise a son

    - for men to mentor boys adrift in their

      fog of nowhere, walking with them 

      into a healthy manhood.  

     - to refocus, reconfigure our life styles

       to be Gospel compatible -

       chemicals aren't the only addiction

       drugging us into soul stupor.

       For those of us in the 

       Christian Tradition and Life,

       Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

       We delight to accept him loving us to life,

       a life of compassion in community,

       one that makes that life and love of Jesus

       present and personal for others through us. 

       We model ourselves and our living on him.

       Of all our current difficulties, this one

       is perhaps the most frightening as many of us 

       in the middle/upper middle classes

       have quiet some miles to go 

       from comfortable religion 

       to catching up with the real Jesus

    - to eschew every vestige of violence,

      violence of thought, attitude, word, 

      action, reaction,e.g. a bumper sticker:

             "Get behind our troops, 

              or get in front of them."

      - as we would never allow liars, predators,

        perverts, the im or amoral, 

        the characterless, valueless deal makers

        to influence our children,

        to do the same for ourselves

        as we carefully discern

              the media we select

              the groups we join

              the leaders we follow in







                   life style.

These are days for some really deep meditation

and prayer.Without them we will loose balance, 

fall and fail, careen into ever more chaos.

With them we will be clarified and strengthened

to go "through" the perils and pains

of our vulnerable now and the nows ahead,  

and that by The Source and Center of All. 

That will lead us to compassion and community.

They will give balance.

A few Mediation Markers follow this.

Please use them and the considerations 

offered in above in this posting,

or anything else/other that helps you

over the course of the next lenten week.

Inertia and inaction will take us down 

when so many and much are flipping out

all around us.

Please know this posting has been difficult 

to compose and fashion.

What is offered here is not pleasant or easy,

and let's be honest:

             We want pleasant and easy.

It's not going to be pleasant or easy ahead.

Too much unrealness for too many years

in too many ways has brought us to the edge.

That unrealness has corrupted into the breakdowns 

all around  and underneath.

Our social structures will continue to cave.

Some will stay on top of the pile for a while,

have "nice' a bit longer,

and that may seduce too many into 

more comlpacency and slide.

The hard fact is that 

a lot is falling apart, and more will.

Sit still and we will fall through.

Let The Source draw us into intimacy

through prayer and meditation.

With the clarity and strength that comes 

from that embrace, community and compassion

will germinate and flower.

In small groups of 

genuine community and compassion

we will balance out and help 

our society regain its balance.

I am an old man who loves you

and all of God's Creation rather passionately!!.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you.

Looking forward to seeing you all next week.

Committing all to All, 

holding you and all in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank


                            MEDITATION MARKERS

As we pray and ponder over the above and the following, 

let's be sure to ask what does that look like

in the practically of our right now, right here?


- "In compassion lies the world's true strength."


-"Therefore, as God's chosen people, 

   holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves

   with compassion, kindness, humility, 

   gentleness and patience." 

                                            Colossians 3:12

- " They will neither hunger nor thirst,

     nor will the desert heat or the sun

     beat down on them. 

     He who has compassion on them

     will guide them and lead them

     springs of water."

                                          Isaiah 49:10

- "Conquer anger wit non-anger.

   Conquer badness with goodness.

   Conquer meanness with generosity.

   Conquer dishonesty with truth."


- "As you know, we count as blessed

   those who have persevered.

   You have heard of Job's perseverance 

   and have seen what the Lord 

   finally brought about. 

   The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

                                                James 5:11

"In the beginning compassion is like the seed

    without which we cannot have any fruits;

    in the middle compassion is like water

    to nourish the seed you have planted.

    In the end compassion is like the warmth

   the sun that brings the fruit to ripening.


- " This we know, all things are connected.

     Like the blood which unites one family,

     all things are connected.

     Our God is the same God,

     whose compassion is the same to all."

                                         Chief Seattle 

- "What sort of religion can it be 

   without compassion?

   You need to show compassion to all living beings.

   Compassion is the root of all religious faith."


                                      Basavanna, Vachana 247

- "In everything, do to others as you would have them

    do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.:


                                                      Matthew 7:12

- "In this earth,

   in this immaculate field,

  we shall not plant any seeds

  except for compassion,

  except for love."


                       Sufi Mystic 

- "Radiate boundless love towards the entire world -

   above , below, and across - unhindered,

   without ill will, without enmity."


- " Praise be to the God and Father 

    of our Lord Jesus Christ,

    the Father of compassion 

    and God of all comfort,

    who comforts us in all our troubles,

    so that we can comfort those

    in any trouble with the comfort

    we ourselves receive from God."

                      2 Corinthians 1:3-4







Friday, February 23, 2018


Hi There!

Spring wants to spring!

Around here you can almost hear it saying,

          "Enough already with weary winter.

           Let's lighten up, warm up, pop up."

All this in February right here

in  Mid-Atlantic, USA!!

One night it's a freezing fifteen degrees.

The next day it's sweater weather

for us old timers,

and tee shirts for the teens

at seventy two degrees.

It snows vigorously for a few hours and

two days later crocuses are popping up.

Some of the farm fields hereabouts

evidence a hopeful blush of green.

Spring wants to spring.

So do our spirits.

You can almost hear them saying,

            " Enough already with

               weary soul winter.

               Let's lighten up,

               warm up, pop up."

Corporately we call

this Spirit Springing,


It's very name, Lent,

derives from the word "lengthen."

The days lengthen in light,

springing forth from

the dreary dark of winter.

Our spirits want to "spring " as well.

They long for an enlightenment

that thaws through to

 a wonderful warming of soul,

and all sorts of new aliveness

popping up within us.

In church circles,

Lent is a time for


Now there is a word that will put

a winter chill right back into

 most people!!

We'd like to take a pass

on repentance just now, thank you!!

Well, let's give it another look.

Pardon, not my French,

but my Latin.

"Re" means


"Pendere" means

                "to arrange,"

                "to hang."

So, in it's purity

"re - pendere,"


 is a Spring Thing.

It means we do some Spring Cleaning,

indeed clearing.

Repentance is a joyful,

creative, experience actually.

We note disorder and delight

in reordering,

"re - arranging "

for a refreshed living spirit space,

a new season of grace growth.

It's like rehanging ("re-pendere")

pictures, drapes and mirrors

that are off center,

righting things.

It's like rearranging


furniture and fixtures

that clutter -

clearing for a

new spaciousness.

As we Spirit Spring,

in this Lenten season of


this time of rearranging,

let's consider:

       - What thought patterns,

         longings, fantasies do need

         some rearranging

       - how can we clear better space  for

         quiet and meditation

       - what activities and relationships

         are ready for a healthy touch up

       - how use the "light" of soul to join

         up with folks in moving society

         past the dark of dirty, depressing politics,

         of so misnamed "white" nationalism,

         of media manipulation and madness,

         of gun, nuclear, sexual and every other

         hideous monster of violence

       - how to happy up finding ways

         to renew religious groupings,

         family life, friendships,

         social gatherings -

         everything from soccer teams

         to neighborhood picnics

       - how to dust off and polish up

        commitment to

        environmental care

      - while holding on to our day job,

         cutting loose for the joys

         of free, creative frolic -

         go hiking and skinny dipping

         ( o k, wait a bit til the temperature

          warms more for the skinny dipping ),

        write some poetry,

        paint a picture,

        jam with some friends,

        read a really good novel or biography,

        cook a grand  meal

         ( complemented, of course,

         with a worthy wine )

        and have friends over

       - recommit to walking

         with a spiritual companion,

         more formally called

         a spiritual director

       - gather friends for

         a heaven of a good time

         giving a Saturday to

         Habitat for Humanity,

        or taking a bunch of needful kids

        for a day in the country

Please let's just use the above as prompts.

For sure we'll all evolve our own list

as  we delight in the light and freedom of

Spring Cleaning,

Spirit Springing.

This week our sharing here

at "frankly speaking"

widened to Peru.


See you next week.

Lenten On!!

Spirit Springing!!

Holding you in

God's Dear Love,

    John Frank





Friday, February 16, 2018


Hi There !

Back in seminary days,

eons and a very different church ago,

we observed "The Great Silence."

That meant complete silence

from Compline ( night prayer)

until after breakfast the next morning.

We ended our day and began the next in silence.

There was a settling to that stretch of stillness.

It was a counterpoint and complement

to the activity and talk of the day.

These days silence and stillness are suspect,

 socially unacceptable.

Silence is being silenced.

We are being "noised" and distracted to death

by surface static.

That deadening kills off free entry

to our Center, Our Still Point.

Our spirits are denied

the spaciousness of still silence,

where we hear more than words.

Still silence allows us to hear

"The Sounds of Silence,"

the deep down sounds of the sacred.

Back in those seminary days,

there were select periods of silence

throughout the day.

They fostered  recollection,

free space to "re"- collect

our often blunted,

at times fractured,

soul sense and attention.

Out here on the street of everyday living

we can have, and greatly need,

our own version and blessing of

The Great Silence,

respites of silent recollection,

an attitude of "whole-ly" quiet.

Here are a few suggested do's and dont's:

   - we do one thing at a time and that with attention -

     if we walk, we walk -  we do not text

     phone, or ear bud music, we walk 100%

     and let it be what it is - if we listen to music,

     we  listen to music, settle into it

     and get completely absorbed

              ( downright counter cultural,

                                   downright necessary )

   - other than when necessary at work,

     we check our emails, voicemails, texts,

     the ticker, news flashes,

     and all their digital cousins

     only after breakfast and then again

     once well before dinner

               ( down right counter cultural,

                                down right necessary )

   - we revisit our visits to Facebook,

     Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and their flood

     of words, images,

     and  too often an unhealthy serving

     of  dulling, distracting  trivia
     We screen screen time

                          ( yep, downright counter cultural,

                                   downright necessary as well to be well )

   - we connect with radio, TV, print selectively ,

     for a purpose, and with complete attention,

     not for distraction and

    a hazing over of our consciousness

    - we free ourselves from every form of

      "Surround Sound" - whatever deafens

      sensitivity of soul, psyche, spirit

   - with a reverence for quiet,

     we dedicate a definite and generous portion

     of time to periods of recollection,

     and our version of

    "The Great Silence":

           - ease into it by slowing

             our pace and intensity

           - that's what we did in the seminary

             as we left church after Compline

             and silently processed to our rooms

             through dimly lit corridors

           - perhaps a warm cup of tea, a slow shower

             would do the gentle slowing for you

           - find a comfortable place and position

           - settle in by paying  relaxed attention

             to your breathing

           - gently draw deep breaths,

             exhale slowly and gently

           - we start where we are: tired, happy,

             confused, depleted, angry, overjoyed

           - we see, feel, "hear" that

           - let it fade and fold into the calm and quiet of

              The Eternal Now.

            - for some, the slow repetition

              of a sacred word or phrase

              settles them into

              the stillness of soul silence.

            - sometimes we muse, ponder, meditate

             - very often we just "be" in Being,

               enfolded into the embrace of Divine Love

We quiet down to be lifted up.

Silence isn't golden.

It's platinum plus!

If you care to, over the next few days

please use the generous portion of

Meditation Markers

that follow to ever more  sensitize

to silence and its sacred spaciousness.

Pick and choose what

speaks silence to your spirit

It might be a helpful  Lent experience.

Lastly, I thank you for being part of

our weekly sharing here at "frankly speaking."

I also thank many of you for your referrals,

for introducing your friends and colleagues

to "frankly speaking."

As I have learned over the past year of this blog,

your introduction of it to others

is the primary way people find out about it

and is the main way our gathering here

is shared with others.

Our sharing here now includes

participants from my homeland

here in the USA

and thirty other countries around

our global community.

I do my best not to get caught up

in the numbers game,

but these numbers do encourage me.

They encourage me

to continue trying  to serve you

by supporting our mutual spiritual journey

out here on the street of everyday living

through "frankly speaking."

Thank you for the trust, company,

the referrals and the encouragement.

See you next week.

For sure, holding each and all in

God's Dear Love,

   John Frank


                 MEDITATION MARKERS

Suggested Approach:

                  In a quiet time and place,

                  outside and inward,

                  reflect on one of these prompts:
                             - what does it mean?

                             - what does that meaning hold for me?

                             - how can I embrace it, live it?


Highly Recommended:

"Endangered Habitat," Why the soul needs silence,

 by Stephanie Bennett is a masterful,

comprehensive study of  how silence

is endangered in our culture

and how silence is essential for

the health of person and society.


simply Google the article by title and author.


From the Sufi Tradition - Rumi

- "Let silence take you to the core of life."

-"Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
   Move out of the tangle of fear-thinking.
   Live in silence"

-"All is known in the sacredness of silence."

-"Last night
   I begged the Wise One to tell me
   the secret of the world.
   Gently, gently, he whispered,
   'Be quiet,
   the secret cannot be spoken.
   It is wrapped in silence.' "

- "Keep silent, because
   the world of silence
   is a vast fullness."

-The Silk Worm

 "I stood before a silk worm one day.
  And that night my heart said to me,
  'I can do things like that,
  I can spin skies.
  I can be woven into love
  that can bring warmth to people:
  I can be soft against a crying face,
  I can be wings that lift,
  and I can travel on my thousand feet
  throughout the earth,
  my sacs filled with the sacred."
  And I replied to my heart,
 'Dear, can you really do all those things?'
 And it just nodded 'Yes' in silence.
 So we began and will never cease."


 From the Buddhist Tradition - Buddha

-"Silence is an empty space,
   space is the home
   of the awakened mind."

-"Do not speak unless
  it improves on silence."

-"Bring your mind to noble silence.
   Unify your mind in noble silence.
   Concentrate your mind in noble silence...
   Enter into pure rapture and pleasure
   born of silence
   derived of concentration and awareness
   that is free from thought and fabrication."


From the Taoist Tradition - Lao Tzu

-"Returning to the source is stillness.
   It is returning to one's fate.
   returning to one's fate is eternal."

-"Attain utmost emptiness.
   Abide in steadfast stillness."

-"A multitude of words is tiresome,
   unlike remaining centered."


 From the Christian Tradition

-"But Jesus often withdrew
   to lonely places to pray."
           Luke 5: 16

-"Now during those days
   he (Jesus) went out
   to the mountain to pray;
   and he spent the night
   in prayer to God."
            Luke 6: 12


From the Hindu Tradition

-"Silence is the first door to spiritual eminence."
               Adi Shankaracharya

-"There is something beyond our mind
   which abides in silence
   within our mind.
   It is the Supreme Mystery
   beyond thought.
   Let one's mind and one's body
   rest upon that
   and not rest
   on anything else,"
               Maitri Upanishad


From the Jewish Tradition

-"Be still and know that I am God."
                Psalm 46:10

-"For thus said the Lord God,
   the Holy One of Israel,
  'In returning and rest
   shall you be saved;
   in quietness and trust
   shall be your strength.' "
                    Isaiah 30:15

-"Be still before the Lord,
   and wait patiently
   for him."
                     Psalm 37:7