June 2001 (Vol. XIV, No. 6)

WELCOME to the myriad songs of summer, dear friends! May you awaken to the place of peace where you begin to hear Love's song -- the still, sacred space of Silence within your own welcomin gheart. Listen to your soul-song uniting in harmony with creation's song: the Universal Symphony!

Birds inspire and uplift us with their carols

Birds inspire and uplift us with their carols... In the muslc of both birds and humans, beauty is "the wine which overflows." When the last lark has fallen silent, something holy will have vanished from the world. The chorus of life will be muted. The cathedral of the earth will have lost its choir.

~ from THE SOULS OF ANIMALS by Gary Kowalski
The Souls of Animals
By Gary Kowalski

Music is a disciplined feeling

Music is a DISCIPLINED feeling, sound given form and pattern through number and rhythm – the single sound of the universe bringing consciousness through incarnation in music to the inner ear of the soul . As a woman, it is the masculine creative spirit within, who brings me the sound of the music of God – unlike man, who hears it through the numinous feminine within. God's music unites all.

~ from SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON by Helen Luke

The song nobody else can sing

Listen for the special music,
the song nobody else can sing
but you.

~ Denise Shekerjian

While the song I came to sing remains unsung

I have spent my days
stringing and unstringing
my instrument
While the song I came to sing
remains unsung.
~ by Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore, The Poetry Of
By Rabindranath Tagore

The loveliness of the music depended upon my saying "yes" to the silence

Once a visiting musician said to me in an empty auditorium, "Play, and listen to the silence between the notes. The silence between the notes is as important as the music itself." Enhanced by the emptiness, the sound of my flute soared over the space and sang back from the far wall. But the sílences where I paused to breathe were even more lovely and articulate, creating a wholeness I had not perceived before. The silence shaped itself to the voice of the flute. The loveliness of the music depended upon my saying "yes" to the silence between my notes.

~ from GRACE'S WINDOW bv Suzanne Guthrie

To listen to music has not practical purpose

To listen to music or to sing a chant is to do something that has no practical purpose; it is just celebration and praise; it is just tasting the joy and beauty of life, the glory of God. Listening to it, even in the midst of a very purposeful day, reminds us to add the other dimension to our experience, the dimension of meaning, that makes it all worthwhile.

~ from THE MUSIC OF SILENCE by David Steindl-Rast
Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey through the Hours of the Day
By Ph.D. Brother David Steindl-Rast, Sharon Lebell

What is the formless?

The formless, what is that? As a pianist, I can best begin to understand through the study of piano music: notes on a page, each one to be taken hold of by the fingers and made to sing. One learns to listen, to seek the composer's intention, to try to recapture the tempo; to give attention to every note, however small, and to love each silence... Music is a transmission from one person to another, a deepening of understanding, and an awakening to the sense of beauty and order which lives deep inside us.

~ Claire Sykes in "Parabola" - Summer 1996

Let it come through you like something that doesn't belong to you

When I used to compose music, I'd sit for ages squeezing it out of myself; I made a huge effort, drove myself. But there was nothing like that this time. It was like music pouring out by itself. It was like the desire to sing – and I sang, the desire to pray – and I prayed. Do you remember?

The abbot said: "Let it come through you like something that doesn't belong to you."

~ from PILGRIMAGE TO DZHVARI by Valeria Alfeyeva

There is a divine music

There is a divine music called the silence of the Spirit.

~ Kirsten Daiensai
LOVE; 365 Happy Meditations
By Richard Kirsten Daiensai

Erase the din of noise and hear the music

The rock vibrates, the air is riven
Like ripe fruit splayed on a summer's day
The bird's song is used to call a mate,
Warn of danger, find a nest...
If you listen you will hear our
Universal music on the street, in the air.
It is not the splitting of reeds,
The thrumming of strings,
The thrusting of air, or tambour of skins.
It is the passion and yearning to fully
become that which we already are.
To reach out and express...
to become connected and more whole.
Erase the din of noise and hear the music.
It is all around.

~ by James P. Behony

Silence is my music now

One of the things he liked most about the hermitage was the silence. "Silence is my music now." He could pick up the small sounds of insects and animals. Sometimes when the wind was strong, it blew the sound of the traffic to him. He liked to think of all the people going on with their lives and to think of himself as in a sense staying where he was for their sakes, "like a lighthouse keeper."

~ from "The Music of Silence" by Phyllis Rose in Atlantic Monthly" - Oct. 1997

Hearing him play, he knew there was a God

Nadia Boulanger once described a Menuhin recital: He gave a number of encores, and the last was the slow movement of Brahm's Sonata in D minor. What happened then was part of an indescribable completeness. The whole house found itself in the grip of the same mute emotion, which created silence of an extraordinary quality. Everyone understood, felt, participated in what he himself must have been feeling." Menuhin has always possessed this quality. Even as a child, his playing had an innate innocence (which is still intact) that made Einstein declare that, hearing him play, he knew there was a God.

~ from CONVERSATIONS WITH MENUHIN by David Dubal

The reason we are singing to one another

I think, to a poet, the human community is like the community of birds to a bird, singing to each other. Love is one of the reasons we are singing to one another, love of language itself, love of sound, love of singing itself, and love of the other birds.
~ by Sharon Olds

Become the music you long to sing

Become the music you long to sing: the beautiful song of your soul.

~ Anonymous

The mystery of the voice its its potent transformative sounds

My spiritual heritage included the weekly hymn by P. P. Bliss which continues to come to mind:

Sing them over again to me,
  Wonderful words of Life.
Let me more of their beauty see,
  Wonderful words of Life.
Words of Life and Beauty
  Teach me faith and duty:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
  Wonderful words of Life.

The mystery of the voice and its potent transformative sounds may be experienced int he wonderful words of life, the tuning and vibration of the sacred breath, and the roaring silence of internal thought. 

~ by Don G. Campbell