Friday, March 29, 2019


Dear All of Us,

 It's free and it's freeing.
"The Sounds of Silence."
        It's Golden.

In silence we are freed 
to more fully hear
     the birds singing, 
     the winds whisper,
     the baby gurgling,
     the music's spaciousness,
     the engine purring,
     the poem's expanse,
     the lover's heart,
     the Spirit's lead. 

The deeper the silence
the fuller we hear.
In silence we can actually 
hear ourselves think
and another speak.

At its deeper ranges
we can hear our 
    True Self
  speaking us. 
As Rob Bell says,
   the truth of 
   who we are 
   is always 
   uttering itself
   to us in silence.
           You Listening to You
(really worth a listen, 
 in silence of course!)

Parker Palmer echoes with
                  Let Your Life Speak.

In the vastness of 
Deepest Silence,
we can hear past 
thinking, image 
and feeling.
In the expanse of it,
we hear in 
a wholly new 
and divine range.
In the silence 
of utter nothingness
we begin to hear
some of
paradoxical for sure,
partial, at least for now. 

How do we tone down 
the decibels of distraction?
How do we empty out
for fullness?
How do we quiet up to 

The Desert Fathers 
and Mothers 
practiced meditation.
They began with 
silence of the heart.
It was the repetition 
of a simple prayer phrase,
often conjoined with 
the rhythms 
of one's breathing.
The goal was to calm
heart and mind.

Eastern religions often use 
a repetitive word or two
uttered in slow silence,
paced by deep, slow breathing .
It's called a mantra in Sanskrit.

Centering Prayer 
is fairly much the same
as these two.

Yoga calms and 
empties the mind 
by concentrating on
slow rhythmic movements
and controlled breathing
while one is focused on
a word, an object,
or a sound like "Om". 

In Zen Buddhism 
meditation is called 
   (sitting still)
and being focused 
on the rhythm 
of one's breathing
as the mind
is stilled in silence.

The Sufi mystics
danced themselves 
into soul silence.

"In the meditation 
 of the great religions
 one makes progress 
 by going beyond thought, 
 beyond concepts,
 beyond images,
 beyond reasoning,
 thus entering
 a deeper state 
 of consciousness
 or enhanced awareness
 that is characterized 
 by profound silence." 
    William Johnson,
                 Silent Music: 
         The Science of Meditation

"Contemplation is essentially
 a listening in silence."
       Thomas Merton, 
               Contemplative Prayer

 In his cave of desperation
Elijah discovered that God
is not in the wind 
or the earthquake 
or in the fire
but in the silence 
of a gentle breeze:
"What are you doing here?"
In that sheer silence
he heard his True Self
and direction.
He got up and on.
                     1 Kings 19:1-18

"Nothing is more like God 
 than silence." 
                      Meister Eckhart

It takes conviction
to be silent in our 
noisy, bombastic,
surround sound culture.
Our consciousness 
is dulled to near death
as we are fire hosed 
with noise, gossip,
sound bites and sight popups, 
the incessant media trivia of 
"Way Too Much Ado About 
 Not Much At All."

Jesus spent a hunk 
of time and attention 
in the desert.
In that silence he heard 
the lie of temptation
and the truth of himself.
Thereafter he regularly 
went off alone 
into silent seclusion.
There he heard his truth
in oneness with Abba.
Jesus tells us to go 
to our inner room,
shut the door,
close out everything else 
as we pray.
                          Matthew 6:6

Buddha tried a lot of things
and finally sat in silence 
under the Bodhi Tree.
In that silence
he come to enlightenment. 

Albert Nolan speaks silence:
" today's world 
of incessant noise 
we need silence.
We need to find a way
of sometimes disconnecting
from the relentless 
flow of words, sounds,
and images that bombard us
day and night.
More important still,
we need an inner silence 
that switches off
the inner stream of
thoughts, images, 
and feelings.
Without this, 
authentic spirituality and
spiritual transformation
would not be possible."
                       Jesus Today
                     A Spirituality of
                     Radical Freedom 

"My core truth about Jesus
isn't rooted in  mainstream 
Christian tradition.
It's rooted in Jesus essence.
It's about the deep stillness 
of silent prayer
and a theology 
big enough to give 
that blessed stillness words."
                          Amos Smith, 
                   Healing the Divide:
      Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots,
       Resource Publications: 2013, p223

In Deepest Silence we hear 
as we are silently enfolded 
          into that 

It's free and freeing.
"The Sounds of Silence."
        It's Golden.

Thanks for this time together.
Let's head off now to 
our inner rooms and 
The Sounds of Silence.

Holding us all in the
Deep Silence 
of God's Love,

John Frank


A favor, please:
It would be much appreciated 
if you would tell family, 
friends and associates about 
   frankly speaking,
in person and by way of 
your use of social media.
It's the main way folks
connect here.

A quite and sincere welcome 
to those joining us 
for the first time.
We are grateful for you.
To get the context and sense
of what we are about here,
please pause and pray over




      (right column).

frankly speaking
spirituality for the street 

* is posted online each Friday at
        ( easy to bookmark )
* is available by free and
   automatic email  each Saturday 
   - sign up right column  
* past postings are available 
    by scrolling down or at
           Blog Achieve 
         ( right column )






Friday, March 22, 2019


Dear All Of Us,

Our local supermarket carries
the FOXY line of produce.
They also get pretty "foxy"
in their marketing of
all their other produce.

Now as you already know,
I am severely challenged
when it comes to math.
But even I figured my way free
of the "foxy"sign over
the bell peppers yesterday:

      TEN FOR $10.00

They actually are $1.00 each
whether you buy ten or not.
The sign suggests to
the hurried and harried consumer
that you get a savings
if you buy ten and that is not true.
What is true is that
they get "foxy" with the truth
in hopes of getting the shopper
to buy larger amounts that enlarge
their volume and profits.


Well, enough about
a numerically challenged senior citizen
and the perils of produce shopping
(and NO, I do not collect coupons
and keep other shoppers
on line for a full lunch hour
while I dole out those coupons
in multiples of many
at the checkout line.
How could anyone
think such a thing??!!).

OK, OK, please pardon the play
( but I did enjoy it!!).

Much more important is the way
all sorts today play with the truth,
get fraudulently "foxy" with it.
That undermines
the perception of reality
and all we base on that perception
is jeopardized.
That negatively impacts everything
from our spiritual life
to the integrity and stability
of  our civilization.

Think of that new high rise
in San Francisco, the one
that is starting to tip over
because it has a faulty base.
A solid base is essential
for way more than buildings.
Truth is just that for us
individually and collectively -
a solid base.
Without it we collapse.
Finance, law, commerce, politics,
governance, religion, education,
environmental concerns, mental health,
getting along with your mother-in-law,
our very spiritual lives
and just about everything else stand or fall
depending on whether or not
they are based on


    Truth is simply what actually is 

                   and is so.

It is reality.
Fudge it and we falter and then fall.
And such we are today as so many
in social media, hate groups, advertisers,
politicians, church and governmental leaders,
adversarial nations,
financial and commercial chiefs,
twist and tweet the truth into falsehood.
They fracture the truth into
"alternate facts" that are not at all factual
but do seek to alter the actual facts,
to alter truth itself,
rendering it baseless.
Such simply pulls the rug of reality out 
from underneath our living,
individually and collectively.

It is in this context today that we seek
to live an authentic spiritual life
as individuals and as a people.
That calls for heaping portions  of
clarity, honesty and courage
in truth seeking and saying.
It means being counter cultural,
and that costs in more than just money.
But what a return.

     * "The truth will make you free."

                                            (John 8:32)

      * "That which is false troubles the heart,
           but truth brings joyous tranquility."
                                             (Sufi Mystic)

      *  "Truth: the body of...
                real things, events and facts:

          ( Truth is what is Real and Actual )




                WHAT A RETURN

A trajectory to the fullness of Truth
is mapped for us by
Bernard of Clairvaux,
medieval monk, mystic,
cartographer of the soul.
It is entitled

    "The Three Steps of Truth."

So, as truth sojourners and seekers,
let's pray and ponder over it.
Let's see how we can experience it
out here on the street
of everyday living.

  * how will this movement,
       these steps to truth, 
     be operative at home and at work,

  * what lifestyle does it indicate,

  * what earth care does it involve,

  * how do we truly companion
     all with whom we share
       the road of daily life,

  * how do we gather in
       for real, actual community,

  * what spiritual attitudes and practices
       highlight the way forward in truth,

  * what kind of
       "clarity, honesty and courage"
      will it take to be counter cultural
        and open the way til we all merge in
                Honest Oneness






                   Bernard of Clairvaux

These are the three steps of truth.
We climb to the first step by the toil of humility,
to the second by the deep feelings of compassion,
and to the third by the ecstasy of contemplation.

On the first step we experience the severity of truth,
on the second its tenderness,
on the third its purity.

Reason brings us to the first as we judge ourselves;
compassion brings us to the second
when we have mercy on others;
on the third the purity of truth sweeps us up
to the sight of things invisible."

                                             edited by M. Basil Pennington

What a masterful way to Truth.
May we all step up to it
and out fox the "foxys,"
those trying to trip up the truth.
We'll have great company
along the way with Jesus.
He knows all about

"...the way, the truth and the life."

              ( John 14:6 ).

   Holding All In
  God's Dear Love,
       Truly So

   John Frank


Many of us continue to share

    "frankly speaking"

with others by word of mouth 
and through social media.
It is a big help and 
truly appreciated.

We are fortunate to have 
new participants
joining us each week.
This week we are pleased 
to have first time participation 
from Nicaragua.
Your company is appreciated 
and you are most welcome.
To get our drift here,
please do take a bit of time on




          right column 


     "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street

* is posted each Friday at
   ( bookmark for ease of access )

* is available automatically
    each Saturday by email -
                 sign up
            right column 

* past postings available at
            Blog Archive
           right column 

           Thank You