The Heart of Understanding gives us solid ground for making peace with ourselves, for transcending the fear of birth and death, the duality of this and that. In the light of emptiness, everything is everything else, we inter-are, everyone is responsible for everything that happens in life. When you produce peace and happiness in yourself, you begin to realize peace for the whole world. With the smile that you produce in yourself, with the conscious breathing you establish within yourself, you begin to work for peace in the world. To smile is not to smile only for yourself; the world will change because of your smile. When you sit in the silence, if you enjoy even one moment of sitting, if you establish serenity and happiness inside yourself, you provide the world with a solid base of peace. If you do not give yourself peace, how can you share it with others? If you do not begin your peace work with yourself, where will you go to begin it? To sit, to smile, to look at things and really see them, these are the basis of peace work, love and unity.
I find that a life of little whispered words of adoration, of praise, of prayer, of worship can be breathed all through the day. One can have a very busy day, outwardly speaking, and yet be steadily in the holy Presence ... It is a life unspeakable and full of glory, an inner world of splendor within which we may live.
The stilling of the intellect in the presence of the Divine leads to "the abstract God", "the God of awareness", or "the God of unknowing", which are all words to express the inexpressible. This silence of the mind is the supreme adoration before God; and the finding of Divine Love in the constant personal awareness of the world created around us and within us is the anonymous prayer which in the secret liturgy of the universe unites us to the source of all being with every breath we take and every word we utter in our daily surrender to life.
Be bent, and you will remain straight.
Be vacant, and you will remain full.
Be worn, and you will remain new.
Real knowledge comes from the unitive experience of God; the world's great saints and mystics have been given the key to that knowledge, and it is in turn their burden as well as their privilege to impart it to others. Once we 'set our minds on God's realm and God's justice before everything else, all the rest will come to us as well.' (Matthew 6:33) We begin to grasp the truth, that contemplative prayer -- that deep, inner loving look at God in silence -- is the way of the path, not acquisitive knowledge. And as we proceed, such amazing understanding of the fabric of the universe will be declared to us that we will scarcely be able to contain ourselves for joy that the creation is as it is. Once we are ready, God does not withhold anything from our grasp. And the measure of our readiness to receive real knowledge is our capacity to flow out in love to our neighbor.
The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God knowing that that goodness can reach right down to our lowest depths of need.
The pure sound
of the bell
summons us into
the present moment.
The timeless ring of
truth is expressed in
many different voices,
each one magnifying
The clarity of its song
resonates within us
and calls us away
from those things
which often distract us --
that which was,
that which might be --
to that which is.
Prayer doesn't place us in the presence of God; rather it is a time when we are especially attentive to the presence of God which is there all the time ... The voice of God is a still, small voice on the breath of a gentle breeze, but because so much of our life is spent in the noisy haste of activity, we fail to recognize the most profoundly beautiful experience in all of creation -- the presence of God that permeates everything. We need to be still, silent and listen ...
In the waiting hour of twilight, my grandfather taught me about silence. We fished in a small rowboat on the lake until after the moon rose glistening in the water. He explained the rules of fishing, "Bait your own hook, sit still, and don't talk or you will disturb the fish." Each trip was the same. We left behind the cottage and, as we detached ourselves farther and farther from shore a new peace came to us. One time his voice entered the silence saying, "If you listen really hard, God will tell you stories." I listened, and he was right. My mind envisioned new and exciting "somedays" and I came close to tears in the face of the starry night's beauty.
I weave a silence on my lips
I weave a silence into my mind
I weave a silence within my heart
I close my ears to distractions
I close my eyes to attractions
I close my heart to temptations
Calm me O Lord as you stilled the storm
Still me O Lord, keep me from harm
Let all tumult within me cease
Enfold me Lord in your peace.