November 1999 (Vol. XII, No. 10)

May the BLESSINGS OF PEACE AND SERENITY be yours in times of silence, prayer, and meditation, dear friends: pauses where we come to know ourselves, others, the osmos, the Heart of all hearts as One inter-related Whole: unity in diversity.

Meditation is a fasting of the heart

MEDITATION does not itself accomplish the tasks of life but provides spaciousness, bringing the great background near, so that whatever we do, rising in the quiet, has force and beauty. In meditation, we take time, sit down, watch, while the silence accumulates -- which is how the spirit gathers to a vessel the soul has prepared ... then, spiritual silence can appear in the midst of any concentrated activity. Meditation is a fasting of the heart in which, for a time, we do not go with our wanting and fear. We cease to attach so strongly to the things of our lives. When the heart fasts and we don't pursue the world, the world begins to come to us.

~ from THE LIGHT INSIDE THE DARK by John Tarrant

The silent mind

The silent mind, cultivated in many different forms of meditation, is the matrix of intuition. When you are in touch with the stillpoint at the center of your being there is no need to use imagery or verbal exercises to activate intuition. It flows by itself, unimpeded by fears or preoccupations.

~ from AWAKENING INTUITION by Frances Vaughan
Awakening Intuition
By Frances E. Vaughan

Meditation makes more sense to the broken or humbled parts of us

From the brokenness of our humanity we can learn the healing and transcendent wisdom of self-acceptance and the non-judgmental acceptance of others. Meditation makes more sense to the broken or humbled parts of us than to the well-defended, successful or public poses that form the more assertive parts of our identity. Simple and pure awareness, without judgment or evaluation, such as we practice in meditation, is always compassionate.

~ from WEB OF SILENCE by Laurence Freeman

Awakening to the Sacred in the world of everyday

The modality of my prayer has changed radically. In place of discursive meditation, I have begun the practice of sitting in silence, making myself a capacity for an outpouring of God's love. ... It is my experience that our awakening to the Sacred in the world of everyday is fed and nurtured by our silent journey to that "space" within where all things are ONE.

~ Moira Toomey Putnam
The Girl from Ballyneety
By Moira Toomey Putnam

Mindfulness is meditation in action

Mindfulness is meditation in action and involves a "be here now" approach that allows life to unfold without the limitation of prejudgment. It means being open to an awareness of the moment as it is and to what the moment could hold. It is a relaxed state of attentiveness to both the inner world of thoughts and feelings and the outer world of actions and perceptions.

~ from MINDING THE BODY, MENDING THE MIND by Joan Borysenko

Our task in meditation is to allow our unity to be restored

Our task in meditation is to allow our unity to be restored and for our scattered parts to move back into their proper harmonious alignment to the center of our being. To do this we must not scatter ourselves further. We concentrate to move towards our center. When our consciousness truly awakens to that center, in silence, then a power is released which is the power of life, the power of the Spirit. In that power we are reformed, reunited, re-created.

~ from WORD INTO SILENCE by John Main
Word into Silence
By John Main

There are no activities outside of meditation

"The mountains, the rivers, the whole earth, the entire array of phenomena are all oneself." If you can absorb the essence of this message, there are no activities outside of meditation: you dress in meditation and eat in meditation; you walk, stand, sit, and lie down in meditation; you experience joy, anger, sadness, and happiness in meditation.

~ from ROARING STREAM by Muso Soseki

The work of entering the silence of our own true nature

Meditation is the work of entering the silence of our own true nature and the silence of God's true nature.
~ Laurence Freeman

I believe in the influence of silent and radiant people

I believe in the influence of silent and radiant people and I say to myself that such people are rare. They, nevertheless, give savor to the world. ...Nothing will be lost here so long as such people continue to exist. Let us wish that out of our meditation we might see in ourselves the beginnings of contemplation, which introduces us to the very heart of creation.

~ Marius Grout

Contemplative life is the putting together of vision and action

Contemplative life is the putting together of vision and action. Vision alone, meditation alone, is not true contemplation. We must put vision into action. Not just monks, but all of us are called to contemplation in this full sense. If we want to live healthy lives, we have to build into our daily life moments of vision, and let our actions be formed by that vision.

~ 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

Meditation is basically the practice of quieting the mind

Meditation is basically the practice of quieting the mind on deeper and deeper levels until we reach the underlying, subtle consciousness that is the root of all things. But a quiet mind does not mean the absence of thoughts. It means a mind that does not interfere with or distort the natural flow of sensations, feelings, perceptions, images, and thoughts through the open field of our consciousness. A quiet mind is a clear space, a mirror for the entire experience of inner and outer life.

~ from THE SUBTLE SELF by Judith Blackstone

Meditation consists in learning to focus the mind

Meditation consists in learning to focus and to control the mind. When the mind is stilled, then the light of the intellect begins to shine. The mind is ordinarily scattered and dissipated, but gather the mind into one and then the pure light shines in the mirror which is oneself. Speech is the movement by which we go out of ourselves to communicate with another. Meditation takes us within ourselves. It is a process of inward withdrawal, a centering in the place of inner detachment, a staying of the mind upon God.

~ Bede Griffith

The inner world of contemplation

If we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture, we must be willing to go down into the recreating silence, into the inner world of contemplation.

~ Richard Foster

Bringing ourselves back is the essence of meditation

To live a surrendered life is to be present moment to moment with our experience, to accept our experience without judging it. Or if we judge it, to forgive ourselves for defending, for pushing away. To be with our experience does not mean that we do not space out, detach, disappear emotionally. It means that we become increasingly aware of when we dissociate and gently bring ourselves back. This "bringing ourselves back" is the essence of meditation. To meditate, it is not necessary to stop thinking. But it is necessary to become aware of the thoughts as they happen, to see how they take us out of the silence. To see how they prevent us from being wholly present.

~ from THE SILENCE OF THE HEART by Paul Ferrini

In deepest meditation

In deepest meditation
the mind now utterly still
Truth reveals itself...

~ Nan Merrill