GREETINGS, dear friends, and BLESSINGS be yours. A CALL to silence, a meditation network for peace and healing of our world, invites people of all traditions, cultures and religions to participate in a week of reverencing the Silence -- May 7-11th. For, at the heart of silence there is peace, there is our essential being, there is the Holy One. This silence of love, trust, friendship and mutual respect bonds us together. Friends, in the Silence, may we offer ourselves as bearers of peace.

God longs for God
and uses us,
rises in us ...
becomes in us.
Let us rise simply.
a quiet dough.

~ from "The Second Rising" by Gunella Norris
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God is the friend of silence. See how Nature -- trees, flowers, and grass -- grow in stillness; how stars, moon, and sun run their course in silence. The more we receive through quiet prayer, the more we can give in the activity of our daily lives. In essence, it is not what WE say, but what GOD says in us and through us. All our words are useless if they do not come from within.

~ Mother Theresa
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What a strange power there is in silence. How many resolutions are formed, how many sublime conquests effected, during that pause when lips are closed and the soul secretly feels the eye of her Maker upon her.

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At the heart of ministry is the Silence... Contemplating words or images or imaginings is at least one step removed from the direct experience of God. For as Alan Watts liked to say, "If you find a thousand names for God you will not have God, you will only have a list of names." To contemplate God rather than images about God one can only go humbly, empty of thought and self, into the presence of God -- into the Silence. It is out of the Silence that we love, act, speak if we do so with true spiritual integrity.

~ Paul W. Mikels
Paul W. Mikels silence

Silence is the sea which best bears up our prayers. Silence creates possibility -- the possibility of hearing. What we learn to do in silence is to create within ourselves silence, to create within ourselves emptiness, to brush aside all words, all concepts, all feelings, all fantasies, all anxieties, all ambition -- gently to brush away all these things that seem so important -- to let them go and to empty ourselves so that if the word is spoken we may hear it, and if the song is sung, we may attend.

In silence we do not try to be anything or anyone ... we give up trying to be, and simply are -- we become being -- or, to put it another way, we must become nothing in order that we may once again become that which we truly are.

~ Carl Scovel with thanks to William Krusell
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Corbett sat there, looking up at me. His tears had dried and his quiet smile said everything words could not. Words? We had come for his gift of words. There was so much we wanted to hear, so much he could tell us. But words were something irrelevant now. A deeper communication was taking place. He had given us the blessing of his presence, and no greater gift can be imagined.

~ from WISDOMKEEPERS by Leon Shenandoah
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There is a powerful stage of spiritual growth where longing for the Friend, the Beloved, is a consuming passion, a burning. And there is another place where personal longing for God gets pushed over into a vast Silence.

~ Coleman Barks
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The power of silence should not be underestimated. Nor should the power of words. Language shapes silence; it give silence rhythm, pitch and texture. When words become embodied in beings, they become the ornaments and reminders of silence. Silence is the ground. Language and words bring "things" into "being" out of the emptiness. What carries the Word is breath. Words are Spirit transmuted into substance... Without holy speech, the boundaries of the world shrink, and humans are left in a wasteland outside the web of great nature. Without silence, we cannot hear the voices of all beings.

~ from THE FRUITFUL DARKNESS by Joan Halifax
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Many are avidly seeking but they alone find who remain in continual silence... Those who delight in a multitude of words, even though they say admirable things, are empty within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God... More than all things, love silence; it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence... If you only practice this, untold light will dawn on you in consequence. After a while a certain sweetness is born in the heart of this exercise and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence.

~ Isaac of Ninevah
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Genuine silence may proclaim that truth is not in the last analysis an idea or a proposition but a reality greater than any argument or matter of speech.

It was said that Abba Agathon lived for three years carrying a stone in his mouth until he had learned to keep silence.

Listen to the silence, for the silence is alive. It speaks through the darkness with a whisper.

~ Unknown
Unknown silence

Close your eyes and you will see clearly
Cease to listen and you will hear truth
Be silent and your heart will sing
Seek no contact and you will find union
Be still and you will move forward
on the tide of spirit.
Be gentle and you will need no strength
Be patient and you will achieve all things
Be humble and you will remain entire.

~ from THE BOOK OF RUNES with thanks to Anne Strader
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Silence which is accompanied by interior peace is indeed at the heart of some of our deepest encounters.

~ Unknown
Unknown silence