silence

November 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 10)

Dear Friends, In the Christian tradition Advent is a time of waiting and a time of preparing. It is a season for contemplating who we are, how we fit into the world, and what we hope for its future. For many of us, November is also incredibly busy with the last flurry of activity before winter descends in earnest. Out where I live in the woods away from the noise and bustle of city and town, one does not need to ask if there is enough silence —there is plenty of silence. Yet paying attention to it, listening to it, and allowing it to penetrate beyond the chatter of mind and angst of heart —that is a whole different kind of waiting, a whole different kind of silence —the kind in which something else may perhaps be heard.

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Silence is an active waiting

Silence is an active waiting animated by faith and love.

~ Pierre Lacout
God is Silence
By Pierre Lacout

Silence has many dimensions

Silence has many dimensions. It can be a regression and an escape, a loss of self, or it can be presence, awareness, unification, self-discovery. Negative silence blurs and confuses our identity, and we lapse into daydreams or diffuse anxieties. Positive silence pulls us together and makes us realize who we are, who we might be, and the distance between the two. Hence, positive silence implies a choice, and what Paul Tillich called the "courage to be."

~ from LOVE AND LIVING by Thomas Merton
Love and Living
By Thomas Merton

The purpose of silence

The purpose of silence is a directed stillness.
~ S. Wendy Beckett

We encounter the Divine in the stillness at the center of our being

Every great activity and event, every true encounter with the Divine must begin by our turning off the mind and turning within to that place where true wisdom resides. Ideas are born in the quiet of the mind. Nature gives us the model for our spiritual endeavors, teaching us to silence outer confusion and noise so Spirit's soft voice can be heard. We encounter the Divine in the stillness at the center of our being.

~ Roger Juline

What we rediscover when we center ourselves in silence

We do not need to be experts or geniuses to remember that all of existence is precious. We do not need cathedrals to remind ourselves to experience the sacred. We need only to be deeply respectful of what is fundamentally true; and that is what we rediscover when we center ourselves in silence.

~ from INVITING SILENCE by Gunilla Norris

As the mind becomes silent

As the mind becomes silent the soul becomes eloquent.
~ Bhagirath Majmudar

There is a silence into which the world cannot intrude

There is a silence into which the world cannot intrude. There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.

~ from A COURSE IN MIRACLES, as quoted in 365 PRESCRIPTIONS FOR THE SOUL by Dr. Bernie S. Siegel

The essence of God's voice is silence

If the heart of prayer is listening, what is it we listen to when we pray? The obvious answer is God's voice, yet great care is needed lest we presume the divine voice is like an ordinary human one. The essence of God's voice is silence...To be silent is to empty oneself of the din of transitory distractions so that one becomes fully receptive to the silence that always and everywhere underlies them. The silence thus cultivated is not a void so much as an expectant readiness, a sensitive receptivity, to the stillness hidden in the noise of daily life.

~ from SPIRITUALTY OF THE HANDMAID by Kerry Walters
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