Bob Sabath

June 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 6)

Dear Friends ~ We all know the importance of a Sabbath, a day set aside to pause and come back to ourselves and to the Holy One within. These times are healing and sacred; we don't just need a day apart. What if we could take mini-sabbaths—moments to pause throughout our days? An old friend of mine called them "speed bumps." It's one of the best ways I know to turn the "wholly holey" into the "holy holy." Our leaky ways of going through our daily motions often create a completely empty experience of life. Creating speed bumps throughout our day is one way of patching the leaky buckets of our own longing and building a nest in ourselves that can hold the new life coming to birth within us. ~ Bob

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February 2023 (Vol. XXXVI, No. 2)

Dear Friends ~ In the words of Michael Meade, sometimes I dream that we at Friends of Silence are "a small band of servants and fools who wend their way into moments and places with a carpetbag of stories, songs, poems, dances, melodies, snippets of wisdom, and spools of connective thread. With these, we seek to weave containers in which genius sparks can ignite the lantern of soul in every person there." May your winter soul lanterns be ignited by these snippets of wisdom. ~ Bob

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September 2022 (Vol. XXXV, No. 8)

Dear Friends ~ When things fall apart, may we learn to embrace the complexity of our lives, befriending our uncertainty and our own lack of control. This is the unwanted doorway to the birth of new life within us. ~ Bob Sabath

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April 2022 (Vol. XXXV, No. 4)

Dear Friends ~ We have all probably had our sleepless nights this month as the dark clouds of suffering and war gather and storm across our bedtime fears. During one recent, restless night, my beloved of fifty years invited me to sit with her at the "4am Club." Here is Jackie's welcome. Perhaps you would like to join us? ~Bob

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December 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 11)

Dear Friends ~ This is the season of wonder. Wonder is the doorway to so many things, among them joy, gratitude, and wisdom. How do we open the door of wonder in our lives?

Time to apprentice again
to my earliest teachers
of wonder and mystery

Time to walk again
in the dark forest
under a night star sky

Time to walk again
through the fallen leaves
under the black shadow of tree

No longer asking
Who I am

That I am is the biggest
mystery of all

A single red leaf
One night star —
Enough to explode in me

June 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 6)

Dear Friends ~ I have been involved in Fourth Way inner work for many years. Nan Merrill and I exchanged many books during the years of our monthly phone calls with each other. The first book she sent me was Meditations on the Tarot and the first book I sent her was Volume 2 of Maurice Nicoll's Psychological Commentaries.

February 2021 (Vol. XXXIV, No. 2)

Dear Friends ~ I have been living with Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "Gravity's Law," letting it percolate within me while the events of this past month weigh heavily upon me. How do we keep our inner hearts alive and well while this national heaviness and crisis grips and pushes each of us?

Merton speaks of "a point of nothingness at the center of our being," a point of absolute poverty, the small thing within us that Rilke says is being pulled by "gravity’s law" toward the heart of the world. When we surrender to gravity's law and befriend our own poverty of being, "we rise up rooted, like trees." The knots of our own making are untangled. Our struggle, our loneliness and confusion, our entanglements are held in place within the heart of the One who holds all things together.

October 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 9)

Dear Friends ~ What does it mean to be a Friend of Silence? Our practice must not just be in the artificial conditions of a morning quiet time. We must find a way of working in the noisy conditions of our life. When the clamor and chaos of our ordinary life overtake us, if our friendship with Silence is strong enough, we will find a way to stop and be still -- still enough that the noise does not see us, silent enough that we can find a way back to ourselves. The noise of our life need not be an obstacle to our presence. When Silence finds a home in our body, we can come back to our own inner sensation of "I am" even when everything around us and within us is loud and falling apart. Night and day, noise and silence are both alike to the One in whom we live and move and have our being.  ~ Bob

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February 2020 (Vol. XXXIII, No. 2)

Dear Friends ~ Many years ago, I asked Fr. Aiden, the abbot at St. Anselm's Benedictine Monastery in Washington D.C., "What do you do at the monastery?" Aiden's reply has stayed with me: "We fall and get up. We fall and get up. We fall and get up again." That has also been my experience with trying to establish a daily practice of "centering prayer." For many years, silence was NOT a friend to me: it was a daily humiliation of seeing and bearing the dispersion of my own inner being. Daily sitting was like taking a daily bath in the waters of my own inadequacy and inner contradictions. My working definition of "waking up" was seeing my sleep. I may still be the world's worst contemplative, but gradually I began to soften to this lawful falling away from myself and getting back up, not just while sitting on the morning chair, but as I went throughout the day.

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