Thursday, January 30, 2020
Dear All of us,
"Silence is golden"
and we are decidedly off the gold standard.
When I was young there was a high valuation on silence.
Silent zones refreshed the landscape of daily life:
library, hospital, church, classroom, museum, doctor's office, symphony hall.
We had silent retreats and quiet hours.
There was the Great Silence in monasteries and seminaries dusk to dawn.
That silence allowed us to hear and honor
the goodness of the moment and place.
Those silent zones bespoke a specialness, even a sacredness,
that would be missed without the expanse and settledness of silence.
Silence was a "focus fast" - foregoing lesser goods to feast on a greater one.
Silence is a lot more than a matter of decibels.
Silence is a sine qua non of our spiritual living.
It stills our soul allowing us to be centered in the infinite plentitude that is God.
It distills awareness, purifying, extracting the essential meaning of things,
rendering that essence to its concentrate and allowing our concentration.
It diminishes distraction much as the night sky highlights celestial brilliance.
It frees from surface static.
That static interrupts a deep hearing of the divine.
That static can be auditory, mental, emotional, social,
occupational, even religious.
It can be a "surround sound" of deafening activity and frenetic rushing
that blunts depth and fullness, 24/7 news reports
that agitate to disquietude, as not so well as obsessive texting, tweeting,
and social media that is not at all social as it isolates and muffles
a true hearing between us and of God.
Buddha, the Sufi and Hindu mystics, native religious leaders, Jesus,
all counsel by example and word to go off by ourselves
and be still being in Being.
We can do that by going to our man cave, studio, bedrooms, back yard,
front porch, a church, the park, beach, mountains, woods or farm fields.
There we close off to open up.
We get into comfortable position, limber up body and mind,
focus on slow, deep breathing in and out.
We surrender our immediacies and controls to the Fullness.
We let God be God God's way.
We don't fashion the experience.
We experience what God fashions.
At times gently, slowly repeating a sacred word or phrase
is a help to get started, e.g."God is Love."
At times peacefully pondering a scripture verse or line of poetry,
gazing at a work of art, or chanting can be ushers to silence.
If we are outdoors we quiet our monkey minds
to hear the wisdom of the wind,
the divine babble of the brook,
the Holy Spirit's squeals of joy from the playground.
Sometimes it's best to just sit in a park or walk through the neighborhood
and be lost in being with Being.
Throughout the day it is good every once in a while to just "chill still"
and be at home in what is.
To support our venture into Divine Silence,
a bundle of encouragement follows here.
Considering a bit each day
will help quiet us into the "whollyness" of
Action and vigor are part of our encounter with God.
So are silence and stillness.
"Be still and know that I am God"
Thanks for this chance to hear together
The Sounds of Silence.
Over time we choose one of the sharings offered here.
No rush, no hurry.
We quiet in a still setting of body and spirit.
Sometimes The Spirit speaks through the sharing.
Sometimes we gently reflect on what is the wisdom
at its core?
Sometimes we ponder on just what this sharing means
applied to our unique spiritual lives.
Sometimes we are simply in for a surprise.
"God is presence and the grace of silence takes us there."
"God is the Stillpoint. Silence stills us to that point.'
"Listen to silence. It has so much to say."
"It is better to have a heart without words
than words without a heart."
The closer you are to the truth,
the more silent you will become."
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him."
"Silence is true wisdom's best reply."
"I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother..."
"Silence sure is golden. High yield.
Don't miss the investment opportunity"
"Silence isn't empty. It's full of answers."
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him. He only is my rock
and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be shaken."
Psalm 62: 5-6
"The quieter you become the more you will hear."
"All men's miseries derive from not being able
to sit in a quiet room alone."
"But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him."
"Now therefore stand still and see the great things
that the Lord will do before your eyes."
I Samuel 12;16
This past week a significant number of first time participants joined us.
Many came from many lands. We are blessed! To you we say
spirituality for the street
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SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!!
at 5:26 PM