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.

When You Spend Time with a Dying Person

When you spend time with a dying person, you discover that the human spirit has the power to come forth in the middle of crisis and suffering in ways we can't imagine. Over and over, I have seen ordinary people—afraid, angry, confused—awaken into profound wisdom and understanding.

Our Lives and Deaths Can Be of the Beauty Way

Teachings can only bring us back to who we truly are. Our lives and deaths can be of the Beauty Way. But we must start now; we must become refined—the grinding away process to become truly who we are ... beautiful.


Nowhere to go, nothing to do

There is great value to be realized in periods of solitude and silence for those whose lives are in and of the world. Although I had gone into solitude for four days every year over the past twenty years, I needed a more sustained period of aloneness to recover the freshness of my spirit and to see that which was not true. "Nowhere to go, nothing to do" — these were the words that informed my days.

The power of silence should not be underestimated

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.

Silence is where we learn to listen

Silence is where we learn to listen, where we learn to see. Holding silence, being held by stillness, people go alone to the wilderness "to stop and see", to renew their vision, to enter the mind ground, to hear the truth, to return to the knowledge of the extensiveness of self and the truth of no self. One seeks solitude to know relatedness. There the unknown, the unarticulated, the unpredictable, the uncontrollable appear as protectors of the present.

Silence makes the secretions of the mind visible

Silence makes the secretions of the mind visible. By emptying myself when I fast, emptying myself in solitude, I might discover myself full -- of history, wilderness and society. And I can see my identity co-evolving with all of creation ... I willingly entered the Valley of the Shadow through solitude, silence, stillness, meditation, and prayer. In those quiet places, I discovered a mindstream whose depths were luminous.