January 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 1)

Dear Friends, We stand on a threshold, peering at a new year, "full of things that have never been" (Teilhard de Chardin); an in-between space, suspended between what we think we know and worlds we cannot see, the ringing now before what comes next. We come to thresholds like these hauling courage with trembling hands. Will we step through to peril? to transformation? Sages say both. Yet we are not bereft. We can catch light for the journey, provisions for the road.

Wisdom awaits at the threshold

Resplendent and eternal is Wisdom,
readily perceived by those who listen
in the Silence of the heart.
Wisdom hastens to make Herself known;
She is available to all who love and seek Her,
who awakens Her from within
will not be disappointed;
for Wisdom awaits at the threshold.

~ from WALKING WITH WISDOM by Nan Merrill
Walking with Wisdom
By Nan Merrill

Now the old has already passed away

Now the old has already passed away<
But the new is too new to be born today
So I'm throwing out seeds on the winter snow<
As the cold wind begins to blow
Standing here on a new threshold

I can see a warm dim light in the window...

I pass from mystery to mystery, so I won't lie
I don't know what happens when people die
but I hope that I see you...

In the distance I see a glow

There's a light, there's a light, there's light
In the window.
~ from "A Light in the Window" by Carrie Newcomer

Come slowly to a place

I was beginning to realize that you must come slowly to a place; wait a little before feverishly resorting to guidebooks...Place has a mighty tongue of its own.
~ from ON PILGRIMAGE by J. Lash
On Pilgrimage
By Jennifer Lash

A preexisting pattern

Whether you know it or not, you were born to have a rendezvous with destiny; your journey toward it has already begun. But my people make a distinction between destiny and fate. We don't think we are born with a "fate" that impels us to act out some script composed by a higher hand, but rather that each of us has a destiny, a preexisting pattern, which, in our hearts, we wish one day to fulfill.
~ from THE MAGIC CIRCLE by Katherine Neville
The Magic Circle
By Katherine Neville

Looking in two directions

How do we hold both the magnificence and tragedy of the world, as if we stand at a threshold with Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, looking in two directions? ...How do we find the way if we can't see around the bend? ...In our time of disturbance and radical change, we are crossing a threshold, a portal, or an unseen bridge from one world to another. It could be said that the bridge is either collapsing beneath us, or being made as we walk together...

~ from WILD FAITH by Geneen Marie Haugen (Garrison Institute blog entry)

Simply to begin

Beginning well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin....Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking that first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness...It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is...
~ from CONSOLATIONS by David Whyte

Old Crane Woman

If you creep out down to the river in the light of a full moon, you'll see her there, Old Crane Woman. She'll be standing on one leg, still as can be, and you'll know her by her frayed grey and white dress and her long, thin arms with the sharp, sticking-out elbows. She'll be staring into the river, for Old Crane Woman knows that inspiration comes always at the side of the water, there on the edge, in that troubling threshold place between one element and another.
~ from GREY HERON NIGHTS 2 by Sharon Blackie

This uncontainable night

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change...

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent Earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
~ from SONNETS TO ORPHEUS, Part Two, XXIX by Rainer Maria Rilke
Sonnets to Orpheus
By Rainer Maria Rilke

Inner light is not hidden

Inner light is not hidden/
Myriad openings lead to it.
In passing from darkness to light,
One moves freely between eternity
and now.

If this be but true,
I have no fear.
Yet myriad seem the hazards
of the journey.
~ Frederick W. Lord

Every Door

Not knowing when the Dawn will come,
I open every Door.
~ Emily Dickinson

A space in which both worlds meet

Anyone who has probed the inner life, who has sat in silence long enough to experience the stillness of the mind behind its apparent noise is faced with a mystery. Apart from all the outer attractions of life in the world, there exists at the center of human consciousness something quite satisfying and beautiful in itself, a beauty without features. The mystery is not so much that these two dimensions exist – an outer world and the mystery of the inner world – but that we are suspended between them, as a space in which both worlds meet ... as if the human being is the meeting point, the threshold between two worlds.
~ from THE KNOWING HEART by Kabir Helminski

November/December 2019 (Vol. XXXII, No. 10)

Dear Friends ~ The expectant hush awaiting a baby's first breath, the temporary cessation of wind in the eye of a hurricane, the awkward pause in a conversational misstep, the profound stillness of woods blanketed in snow— there are so many kinds of silence. Silence can be sad or sublime, scary or sustaining; a fretful silence soaked in fear and anxiety or a silence pregnant with hope, expectancy, longing. Beyond, or perhaps within, these is the Silence of mystery, of luminous moments, and of communion.

Unembarrassed to receive the incredible gift

Now let your great and wise and powerful
be as the poor and foolish little ones:
unembarrassed to receive the incredible gift,
and not knotted in guilt over your lack of worth,
and not struggling to "earn" what cannot be deserved,
but just simply, joyfully accepting of all
that is given so humbly and gladly in Love.
~ from ENCOUNTER AT BETHLEHEM by Jean Jones Andersen

The nearness of God

The restless hollowness which surfaces into our consciousness when we reflect in silence is already the nearness of God, who is like the pure light which, spread over everything, hides itself by making everything else visible in the silent lowliness of its being. The Incarnation urges us, in the experience of solitude, to trust the nearness— it is not emptiness; to let go and then we will find; to give up and then we will be rich.
~ from THEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS by Karl Rahner

That is enough

And in the unknowing
I will be found and find myself.
In the unknowing is
the Love, the Silence,
the acceptance of just
Being in the yearning
and that – that is
Enough.
~from "The Unknowing" by Sam Baker

When I notice the spaces between sounds

When I notice the spaces between sounds and the spaces between words and also the spaces between my thoughts and the background silence behind everything, I realize that all these spaces are the same space. This space is the entry point. It is the transformational vortex, the corridor, the window to Spirit.
~ from EVERYDAY IMMORTALITY by Deepak Chopra

The silence of the present moment

The silence of the present moment was awe-inspiring in its power, oceanic was the word that came to mind, as it carried away everything in its path. The flow of our liturgy had become one with nature's incessant movement from light to dark and back again.
~ from DAKOTA: A SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY by Kathleen Norris
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
By Kathleen Norris

It's the silence of a million ears

"How silent it is," he whispered. I started to shiver. The smoke from our stovepipe cast crazy shadows on the moonlit snow. "Come, let's go back in," he said softly. "Listen," I requested. The silence beat upon our empty ears. Not a sound. Nothing. My mind stretched into the wilderness night, listening. It was different from the muffled silence of falling snow which sucks up every noise. Neither was it the silence of plugged ears. This was the clear, cold music of thousands of miles of nothing to hear. We lingered, breathing it in. "It's the silence of a million ears," I said at last. "Of life, waiting."
~ from ARCTIC DAUGHTER by Jean Aspen

What can the wind say

No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees...or the silence and peace that is "heard" when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests. But what can the wind say where there is no hearer?
~Thomas Merton in THOUGHTS ON SOLITUDE
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

Peace will find you

In silence learn to give of yourself, forgive others, live with gratitude. Then you need not seek inner peace: Peace will find you!
~ from LUMEN CHRISTI…HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

Silence wells up

Silence wells up from an emptiness within us, but it is an emptiness freely and fully accepted...A moment comes when silence alone can express the extraordinary richness in our heart. Such a silence enfolds a person gently and powerfully and always comes from within. It establishes a zone of peace and quiet around the one who is silent, where God can be irresistibly felt as present.
~ André Loup in THE WAY OF SIMPLICITY by Esther deWaal

Though I am silent

I part the out-thrusting branches
and come in beneath
the blessed and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
there is singing around me.
Though I am dark
there is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
there is flight around me.
~ "Woods" by Wendell Berry

The greatest gifts we can give a troubled world

Even though working actively for justice is essential, one of the greatest gifts we can give to a troubled world is the presence of a peaceful heart...Wrapping ourselves in silence, solitude, and gratitude is a sure way to open our hearts again to perspective and simplicity.

~ from REFLECTIONS by Robert J. Wicks

We take silence as medicine

If we have courage, we take silence as medicine to cure us from our social ills, the suffering of self-centered alienation. In silence, sacred silence, we stand naked like trees in winter, all our secrets visible under our skin. And like winter's tree, we appear dead but are alive.
~ from THE FRUITFUL DARKNESS by Joan Halifax
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