When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a different dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them.
"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
A blessed New Year, dear fiends! Winter is a natural season for seizing moments, if not hours or days, of solitude seasoned with silence. Here we come closer to eternal truths as we keep company with our indwelling Divine Guest. Here, we hear Love welcoming us home.
Vocation to solitude: To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, to entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor in meditation in the everning when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars. This is a true and special vocation. There are few who an belong completely to silence, let it soak into their bones, breathe nothing but silence, feed on silence, and turn the very substance of their life into a living and vigilant silence. [Yet each of us is blessed when we offer our silence to the world as we can.]
A state of being alone, of inwardly directed consciousness, solitude is not necessarily physical isolation. In solitude, a person claims value for one's self as a free being. The value found in turning inward is the value of self-determination and responsibility. We find self-worth in solitude, in the core of our freedom. Solitude is necessary for spiritual and professional growth; solitude gives us the ability to face ourselves, others, and God.
If you are truly called to a solitary lifestye, eventually celibacy must follow. Solitude invites the presence of God, a presence which so consumes the soul, there is no lover energy available for an intense human commitment to intimacy. The deeper one goes into spiritual solitude, the lighter one travels. But it is not for us to divest ourselves -- at our own willed choosing -- of the things that are necessary for life within society. It is for God to strip us, often painfully, of them at a time when God knows -- if we do not -- that we must go more lightly into this Heart of Love.
In desert spirituality, the desert is considered a place of solitude, silence, simplicity, and peace; a place of blessing. It is where the focus is on God -- where we meet Goad and God meets us and disarms our hearts, a place that promises transformation and strengthening; a testing ground that requires us to make choices.
When I retreat at home, I am alone in silence. And I am also with thousands of others around the world, sitting quietly, all of us bonded together in our effort, our solitude, and our prayers. Each moment of the day, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, are sitting in strong concentration, deepening awareness not only for themselves but for everyone. We are opening our hearts, alone but all-one, joining others throughout the centuries in timeless realms. We dwell in unknown realities singing a song of the revelation of the divine.
from SILENCE, SIMPLICITY, AND SOLITUDE by David A. Cooper
A person must learn to be alone in solitude, to listen in one's hert to the worldless speech of the Spirit, and to discover the truth bout oneself and God. Then their word to others will be a word of power, because it is a word of silence.