October 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 9)

Warm greetings, dear friends!

Ah, the sweet mystery of our lives on Journey ... the mystery of being touched by nature's wonders, great and small ... the mystery of relationships–friends, family, community, nations ... the mystery of deep Silence, inner and outer ... the mystery of our own being–Who am I? ... the mystery of our own birth and death ... the mystery of Life beyond the Veil in the unseen Realm of Love. To sit in solitude and silence and contemplate the Mystery can bring surprises and blessings of new insight, deeper peace, and the joy of simply Being within the Sacred Chapel of our hearts.

Spirituality's highest purpose is to touch a mystery beyond words, which is perceived only in silence and solitude. Listening within the silence puts one in touch with the energy, vibration, and spiritual forces that are at the heart of creation. The realms are real and can only be reached by a quiet mind and practice. The Grandmothers believe we must return to the inner spirit and the spirit of all things, which we have abandoned while looking elsewhere for happiness.

Carol Schaefer Grandmothers Counsel The World mystery

Love all the earth,
every ray of God's light,
every grain of sand
and blade of grass,
every living thing.
If you love the earth enough,
you will know the Divine Mystery.

~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a Mystery to be lived.

~ Gabriel Marcel
Gabriel Marcel mystery

Owl thought much about his life and about the loss of his father, his brother, and now Grandmother, Eyes of Wisdom. Death and the loss of his loved ones seemed a harsh way for the Universe to arrange his time here. This is perhaps why people have named the "All That Is" the Great Mystery, and that mystery may be what has sent me on this journey to find "My-Story.

~ from EYES OF WISDOM by Heyoka Merrifield
Heyoka Merrifield Eyes Of Wisdom mystery Buy on Amazon

The experience of ecstatic oneness with the Divine comes in many forms: quiet contentment, a sense of gentle rapture, a mystical feeling of universal harmony, all-consuming passion, flights of spiritual abandon, and ferocious joy. But the most powerful experience of ecstasy is a combination of these feelings, when, in one unforgettable moment, we touch the hidden God – the terrible and wonderful Mystery that has given birth to all things and that makes them glow and dance with Its life force. In those moments we may see what It sees and feel at least an infinitesimal part of what It feels.

~ from THE SHAMAN'S SECRET by Douglas Gillette
Douglas Gillette The Shaman's Secret mystery

The living myth explains the world at a non-rational, non-verbal, or preverbal level, making existence sacred and informing the believer that he/she is not alone in the universe. Myth and mystery inform the heart that a person belongs and has a part in an eternal drama. Mystery simply is.

~ William J. Vertimiglia
William J. Vertimiglia mystery

Aspire to humility rather than power,
prestige, and privilege; for
grace and gentleness sustain
the humble of heart.

As seed germinates in fertile soil,
the Seed of Divine Thought
will grow in soul-silence.
Ground yourself with deep roots
in the Great Mystery.

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI ... HOLY WISDOM by Nan C Merrill
Nan Merrill Lumen Christi . . . Holy Wisdom mystery Buy on Amazon

Leave room in your heart for the Mystery.

Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds in a cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing,
I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness:
so we'll live,
and pray, and sing,
and tell old tales, and laugh
at gilded butterflies ...
and take upon us the mystery of things,
as if we were God's spies ...

~ from KING LEAR by Shakespeare
Shakespeare King Lear mystery

Creator of the Universe, we know that You are Mystery beyond mystery, yet our finite minds and fragile fears often want to contain You in a way that keeps us comfortable. We resist stretching our beliefs to include the new. We hesitate to break with the past, even if it is filled with illusion. Help us to be open to your revelation, not merely because it is new, but because it can bring us closer to the truth of who You are and who we are in You.

~ from RADICAL AMAZEMENT by Judy Cannato
Judy Cannato Radical Amazement mystery

When you set off on the path, the first thing you do is surrender yourself to a greater power, for you will encounter things you will not understand. You will understand things only with your heart, and that can be a little frightening. For a long time, the journey will seem like a Dark Night, but then any search is an act of faith. But God, who is far harder to understand than a Dark Night, appreciates our act of faith and takes our hand and guides us through the Mystery.

~ from BRIDA by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho Brida mystery Buy on Amazon

The first mystery is simply that there is a Mystery. A Mystery that can never be explained or understood. Only encountered from time to time. Nothing is obvious. Everything conceals something else...Spiritual awareness is born of encounters with the Mystery.

~ from HONEY FROM THE ROCK by Lawrence Kushner
Lawrence Kushner Honey From The Rock mystery Buy on Amazon

Our life is a faint racing on the surface of mystery.

~ Annie Dillard
Annie Dillard mystery

Changeless and calm, deep Mystery…
Ever more deeply rooted in Thee.

~ Avis Vermilye
Avis Vermilye mystery

Being your true self, being your true nature, is different than experiencing it with thought. Realize that you are the mystery, and you can't really look at mystery because you are only capable of looking from the mystery. There is a very awake, alive and loving mystery, and that is what is seeing through your eyes at this moment. Encounter pure mystery, which is pure spirit, and wake up to what you are.

~ from EMPTY DANCING by Adyashanti
Adyashanti Empty Dancing mystery Buy on Amazon

Mystery is truth's dancing partner.

~ Goethe
Goethe mystery

Ground yourself with deep roots in the Great Mystery

Aspire to humility rather than power,
prestige, and privilege; for
grace and gentleness sustain
the humble of heart.

As seed germinates in fertile soil,
the Seed of Divine Thought
will grow in soul-silence.
Ground yourself with deep roots
in the Great Mystery.

September 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 8)

No one else can know what work will make our hearts sing, but we ourselves in our own inner being. Two mystic poets can, however, help us with the essence of what our Work can aspire to be: Gibran – "Work is love made visible" and Rumi – "Let the beauty we love be what we do." Work as an offering of our Selves in love, with all our strengths and limitations, to the wider community becomes a mutual blessing that honors our very being. To know Work as a sacred vocation no matter how lofty or how humble it may seem becomes equal in the eyes of Love. For all good work contributes to the Whole ... nothing we do with love and kindness is too little.

In the silence we can ponder the ways we work in love, create or honor beauty, and bring blessing to others. What makes your heart sing?

I didn't know exactly how to go about helping others. But if I could remember that great acts are the small, quiet ones that no one hears about, that would be a start. I could look for ways myself to help people in need of a boost, to align myself with underdogs. I need to remember Ella's way with her leprosy ... her intent. Perhaps it didn't matter what I did to earn a living, as long as the motive was to help others and not just gain attention.

Neil White In The Sanctuary Of Outcasts work

God, give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

~ Winifred Holthy
Winifred Holthy work

When love and skill work together,
expect a masterpiece.

~ John Ruskin
John Ruskin work

Contrary to what many think, contemplatives are the great doers. In their return from silence they take up the work of giving form to the liberating truths that have been given to them in flashes of insight and vision. Because they have been present to themselves, they are able to be present to others in a way that awakens, enlivens, gives courage. In them we see more clearly a way of existence that combines both being and doing.

~ N. Gordon Cosby
N. Gordon Cosby work

I am learning as I go about my daily life of work, play, or prayers that it is right and good to be here doing whatever it is I am to be doing. In a word, attentiveness and being in the present. Learning to be. A growing sense of vocation with the liberty to be at One ... to be harmonious.

~ Madelieine Thompson
Madelieine Thompson work

Work helps prevent one from getting old. My work is my life. I cannot think of one without the other. The one who works and is never bored is never old. A person is not old until regrets take the place of hopes and plans. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for aging. ... With age your facility of expression and perception diminishes. I have almost nothing left but time. But if I can be of service, I would like to go on living.

~ Scott Nearing at 98
Scott Nearing work

O Thou, cut down in me this hour and every
hour the swift growing tree of self-regard
which screens me from the needs of others.

Fill me with the realization that for these
few swift years I am put here on earth,
I am lent to be spent in the service of others.

~ Douglas Speer
Douglas Speer work

In planetary service, all work and workers
are equal. ... All service leads to the good
of the whole.

~ Jacqueline Small
Jacqueline Small work

The way to do is to be!

Without going outside,
you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window,
you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.

Thus the sage knows without traveling ...
sees without looking ...
works without doing.

~ Lao Tzu (470-490 B.C.)
Lao Tzu work

Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.

~ Buddha
Buddha work

I found that the Ladakhis had an abundance of time. They worked at a gentle pace and had a surprising amount of leisure. Even during harvest season, when the work lasts long hours, it is done at a relaxed pace that allows an eighty-year-old as well as a young child to join in and help. People work hard, but at their own rate, accompanied by laughter and song. The distinction between work and play is not rigidly defined.

~ from ANCIENT FUTURES by Helena Norberg-Hodge
Helena Norberg-Hodge Ancient Futures work Buy on Amazon

The more I withdraw into God and with God into silence, the closer I feel to everyone and the more I find everyone. The more I make my little efforts to help others by practicing my calling, the more fruit I bear, albeit without seeing a single fruit. I must live my life with naked and pure faith, giving everything without seeing anything. What holy peace and joy this gives to my soul! Even if all I give is worth no more than a penny, how pleasing it is to God, because what counts is the slightest effort to give one's all, and how great is the reward: God's all.

~ from NAZARENA by Thomas Matus
Thomas Matus Nazarena work

To be in service to God is to realize that there is a loving force in the universe, and I must pull away the veil and allow the force to come through.

~ by Karyn D. Kedar
Karyn D. Kedar work

You feel your longing and desires and they do the Work. My whole life has been following my intuition and strange beckonings.

~ David Whyte
David Whyte work

To turn all we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the Work of our lives.

~ John Woolman
John Woolman work

I'm learning that what's important is not so much what I do to make a living as who I become in the process. Simple labor is smoothing my edges, teaching me to crave work not because it might make me special or wealthy but because the job pleases my spirit, makes me a more pleasant person, and meets my immediate financial needs.

... Forcing things works against instinct and the elements. Working within the tides and the rules of the universe is fast becoming my preference.

~ from A YEAR BY THE SEA by Joan Anderson
Joan Anderson A Year By The Sea work Buy on Amazon

July/August 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 7)

Summertime Blessings of sunshine's radiance, blossoming's beauty, laughter of children at play ... Love's eternal and infinite variety at the heart of Life. In the stillness of no-time we are free of fear, free to simply be without burdensome thoughts of past or future. Here, "I am who I am" ... here, we are One in Being with All. In the deep Silence of timelessness, may we surrender to the Eternal Now, be present to each holy instant, and know Love-with-us always.

People can live only by dwelling in the living breath of God. Only in this way can they be at peace and realize their aspirations. From sunrise to sunset, they dwell in the living breath of God; every sight and thought is part of that breath. God provides a place for them filled with clarity and bliss and stillness. In the silence, we are moved by this wind, which blows everywhere in the world.

~ from THE LOST SUTRAS OF JESUS, ed. by Ray Riegert & Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore, Ray Riegert The Lost Sutras Of Jesus breath

Breath of life,
You ride the waves of life with me
in the rhythms of my communion with you.
You enter the comings and goings
of each day and in every prayer I breathe.
Whether I am in the stillness of quiet prayer
or in the fullness of the day's activity,
may your peace flow through my being.

~ Joyce Rupp
Joyce Rupp Prayer breath

Breathing is an act of prayer

~ Frank Waters
Frank Waters breath

"From LUMEN CHRISTI, the wording 'Nurture yourself with feasts of breath in silence and solitude' blew me away, to put it mildly. Although most mornings I do some breathing exercises, it occurred to me that I had not really paid attention to my breath otherwise in months. Going into meditation, I focused on inhaling Divine Love and exhaling peace and harmony. My mind became like a prism, drawing the energy of the pure white light of Love to a focal point and then refracting it into the colors of peace and harmony and breathing them out to the world ... thirty-five minutes in the Silence without distracting thoughts intruding!"

~ in a letter from Anne Amerson, with thanks
Anne Amerson breath

In any activity that requires concentrated effort, the breath quite naturally plays a role. If you have ever tried to thread a needle or repair a watch, you might have observed that without even thinking about it the breath quiets and deepens. Singers, swimmers, people who struggle with panic attacks, and a host of others learn the importance of proper breathing in order to negotiate the respective tasks at hand. Thus, that the art of contemplative practice can be facilitated by the breath should come as no surprise.

~ from INTO THE SILENT LAND by Martin Laird
Martin Laird breath

We live in a time of religious fervor, with adherents too busy clashing with each other to honor the sacred space we all share, the spiritual core of "soul-breath" – the same human family from the same Source breathing the same air on the same planet.

~ P.M.H. Atwater
P.M.H. Atwater breath

Windforest: take our breath away,
and return it to us refreshed
with the life you can give it.
Take it to the ends of the earth,
to nourish what you sustain,
And bring back what is offered you
there to sustain others.
Transform our breath so that new life
can be nurtured.

~ from WINDFOREST by Ellen Fremedon
Ellen Fremedon Windforest breath

Breathing in I calm my body and mind.
Breathing out I smile.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh breath

Give us a heart for simple things:
Love and laughter
Bread and wine
Tales and dreams

Fill our lives with
Green and growing hope
Make us a people of justice
Whose song is Allelujah
And whose name
Breathes Love.

... a Prayer by Walter Wink

~ a Prayer by Walter Wink
Walter Wink Prayer breath

In this latter part of life, my prayer of the heart is most often without words. My tongue is stilled. My mind is stilled. The prayer of the heart becomes the heart's own respiration. I breathe in and I breathe out. It is God's breath. God breathing in, God breathing out. It is God's breath breathing me.


~ from CIRCLING TO THE CENTER by Susan Tiberghien
Susan Tiberghien Circling To The Center breath Buy on Amazon

There are two graces in breathing:
drawing in air and discharging it.
The former constrains, the latter refreshes:
so marvelously is life mixed.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe breath

Breathing properly and consciously assumes an attitude of openness and attentiveness. Our breath has a connection with the deeper emotional layers of consciousness. This is evident when we are emotional, angry, or anxious. At the same time, however, our breath remains open to those dimensions of our consciousness where we unfold and become receptive to God.... We need to discipline ourselves to attain an inner stillness and receptive attention toward God, who is our beginning.

~ from THE EYE AWARE by Jerome Witkam
Jerome Witkam The Eye Aware breath

When we understand how precious each moment is, we can treat each breath, each moment, as a newborn baby. Awareness can become that tender.

~ Michelle McDonald
Michelle McDonald breath

Take the breath of the new dawn,
make it a part of you,
it will give you strength.

~ Hopi saying
Hopi saying breath

Breathing is the connection between the mind and the body. When the mind concentrates on the breath, it focuses attention on the present moment. Breathing is the first step on the path to discover your spiritual nature. As you get the body to breathe correctly, the mind settles down, and that creates fertile ground to develop whatever spiritual nature exists within you.

~ from BREATHE SMART by Aaron Hoopes
Aaron Hoopes Breath Smart breath Buy on Amazon

Something inside of me has reached to the place
where the world is breathing.

~ Kabir
Kabir breath

June 2009 (Vol. XXII, No. 6)

Blessings of great beauty be with you all, dear friends of silence.

Without Beauty what a dull world this would be. For, when we are able to see and feel the beauty that abides within us, we, naturally, begin to see the beauty within everyone and everything. Beauty hides Her face only to those whose eyes see others and things as objects to be collected or used. We can, however, learn to see beauty everywhere through the eyes of Love abiding within our hearts. When you love — especially those you would rather turn from — Beauty will gently reveal Herself, if you are open to Her. Then, you will both begin to shine with the Divine Beauty of Love and extend it out to the world. Be still, silent, and see.

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me . . .

The strength of fire,
the freshness of morning,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
and the life that never goes away,
they speak of me.
And my heart soars.
~ Chief Dan George
Chief Dan George beauty

To me the realization of God first came in the Atlas Mountains and then in the beauty of nature which stirred my whole inner being. The flowers growing everywhere were absolutely breathtaking, and I saw in them such beauty and wonder that could not have been put there by humankind. When I picked the frangi-pangi flower and thought much about it, I saw Spirit Creator. Who else could have made such beauty?Once natural beauty had turned my heart to God, I found myself continually raising my heart to God, without words but in thought. That is prayer in itself.

~ from Wind on the Sand by Pinions
Pinions Wind On The Sand beauty

I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
a tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
a tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair;
upon whose bosom snow has lain
who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me
but only God can make a tree.
~ Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer beauty

There is a wild and untamable beauty in us when we are in harmony with nature.

~ Bernard Leach
Bernard Leach beauty

Don’t fill up your life with petty knowing.Leave space for something more mysterious, more beautiful, more profound than you can presently even imagine.The Great Creator has more beauty in store for you than you can even dream is possible at this point in your life... Leave space for the Great Mystery to offer something new and wonderful!Everything is unfolding in beauty; we need only stop holding on to the familiar.

~ from The Power of Prayer, ed. Dale Salwak
Dale Salwak beauty

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.

~ Joan Halifax.
Joan Halifax beauty

Liken yourself to a beautiful original part of creation—a true work of art. Then each day ask yourself how you are living: either in ways that show gratitude for this beauty or in ways that indicate how you are defacing it.

~ from Snow Falling on Snow by Robert J. Wicks
Robert J. Wicks beauty

If only you could see your face through my eyes,you would realize how beautiful you are

~ Rumi
Rumi beauty

There is a way to smile through your eyes: to see the beauty behind the appearance of things.Imagine looking at a person who is forlorn and broken and has a bad self-image, and seeing the hidden beauty in that person.When you smile, that person sees their beauty through your eyes.Imagine the gift you are offering that person... A silent, gentle gift of love.

~ V. Inayat Khan
V. Inayat Khan beauty

She is from God’s world -- a direct disciple, I think, sent down to brighten our lives and teach us of higher things.To me she is beauty itself—the word came after her presence.Each time she smiles, I can only cry, and I think of something I read about the sadness of beauty: just to find it is not hard, but to bear it, that is impossible.If she were totally aware of the beauty she was creating, she would stop in awe of herself.She somehow makes life so much more than it is.

~ from WINTER SEASON by Tony Bentley
Tony Bentley Winter Season beauty

Hear creation sing
As your heart slowly opens
Towards inner beauty.

~ Alaysinta
Alaysinta beauty

The most wholesome beauty is virtue-beauty, the beauty of the soul-emergence into the whole of life, producing a whole person. Virtue-beauty is centered in mortal and immortal goodness shining forth upon the countenance, the movements of the body, and the expression of the individual. The deep, sweet memories of a beloved face, of a beloved deed, passed on from a pure soul, leave the underlying mark of good which all yearn and hope for.

The lamp of grace keeps alive virtue-beauty.
~ from GALAXY GATE: the Holy Universe by Colton and Murro
Colton and Murro Galaxy Gate: The Holy Universe beauty

Even as the sparrow finds a home

Even as the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nesting place,
where its young are raised within
your majestic creation,
You invite us to dwell withinyour Heart.
Blessed are they whose hearts are filledwith love...

They go from strength to strength
and live with integrity.

Each soul is born for love and joy

Each soul is born for love and joy.
Our Inner Radiance when,
fully uncovered, shines alike
in laughter and in sorrow.
Fears, doubts, and despair cloak joy
like darkness blanketing the sun each night.
Face your fears and freedom will follow,
dismantle doubts, and loving assurance
and hope become friends;
Dark despair diminishes as you turn
toward the Light. Help is ever at hand.
Your guardian angel awaits your call!
Dispelling the darkness, you increase hopein the world.
Rejoice! Humanity is inexorably awakeningto the energy of Love.

December 2008 (Vol. XXI, No. 11)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Holiday Blessings, dear friends! And so much gratitude for each of you!

Gratitude is an expression of heaven on Earth ... a treasure that enhances our lives so we feel rich, as in "all is well with me, all is well with the world." For, in truth, we usually receive far more than we are able to give: we have Life and all of nature's gifts, and an open door to Love without end. We have the hidden world of Silence and the Holy Counselor to walk with and within us all the way.

May deep gratitude for all that has now passed inspire us with trust for all that is to come. O, may we ever be rooted in gratitude!

Slowly, the practice of gratitude will begin to transform your consciousness so you start to detect Divine Presence and Divine Mercy all around you, which in time tremendously lessens your fear and suffering. For, it will make you aware of the maternal protection of God and of how the entire universe and all of life is constantly giving you signs of God's glory, beauty, and love. Practicing gratitude not only heals you of vanity and pride; it also heals your fear, grief, and insecurity of separation.

~ from THE DIRECT PATH by Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey The Direct Path gratitude

Gratitude is an amazing grace crowned in heaven with peace.

~ Anonymous
Anonymous gratitude

In Silence as
Bright as Round White Light
of full moon,
Thank you.

In Blessed Stillness
of new moon season
Thank you.

Life and Breath
All rest
in One.

~ Claudia Parrone
Claudia Parrone gratitude

As the monk advances in practice, feelings of hardship decrease and he is suffused with energy and sustained by joy. The marathon monk has become one with the mountain, flying along a path that is free of obstruction. The joy of practice has been discovered and all things are made new each day. Awakened to the Supreme, one marathon monk described his gratitude thus:

"Gratitude for the teachings of the enlightened ones,
gratitude for the wonders of nature,
gratitude for the charity of human beings,
gratitude for the opportunity to practice ... "

John Stevens The Marathon Monks Of Mount Hiei gratitude

The right here is an inner, not an outer, state of being rooted in Love ... Not only am I alert to the present moment, I am hopefully, wishfully, longingly expecting something in it. Gratitude deepens both the attentiveness and the expectancy. Through gratitude I am not only glad for where I am and for all the possibilities inherent in where I am, I am also able to accept the everything or the nothing that is given. Gratitude enables me to find my very own place, humbly and joyfully, in the right here.

~ from FRIEND OF THE HEART by Claire Blatchford
Claire Blatchford Friend Of The Heart gratitude

In the very last conversation we ever had, five days before his death, the subject came around to gratitude ...

"If you're quiet enough, as still as that mountain, you can hear in your heart a silent ‘thank you.' The whole universe, if you listen in your heart -- every blade of grass, each bird, each stone -- it is all ‘thank you.' We are born into ‘thank you' ... every step of the way is ‘thank you.' "

Rafe may not have heard the stars move. But I believe he was hearing "the Love that moves the stars and the sun."

~ from LOVE IS STRONGER THAN DEATH by Cynthia Bourgeault
Cynthia Bourgeault Love Is Stronger Than Death gratitude Buy on Amazon

The essence of all beautiful
art, all great art,
is gratitude.

~ Frederich Nietzsche
Frederich Nietzsche gratitude

The ancients sometimes said
that the worst sin is
ingratitude, which is a
forgetting of the greatness,
beauty, truth, and goodness
of the Source that is
constantly creating us--
in other terms, a forsaking
of Being and of the Good.

~ Jean-Yves LeLoup
Jean-Yves Leloup gratitude

Were there no God, we would
be in this glorious world
with grateful hearts
and no one to thank!

~ Christina Georgina Rossetti
Christina Georgina Rossetti gratitude

Grandfather cultivated gratitude at every step. On Fridays, after noon prayers, he retired to his room for a half hour ritual. Eyes closed, hands on heart, grandfather melted into a trance. Softly, at times in silence, he intoned continuous words of heart-felt thanks to God interspersed with recitations from the Holy Book. At times his body swayed with his outpourings; other times he was still. Tears poured profusely down his cheeks, soaking his shirt. Curious family members who secretly peeked in invariably burst into tears.

~ from THE FRAGRANCE OF FAITH by Jamal Rahman
Jamal Rahman The Fragrance Of Faith gratitude

Thou that has given so much to me,
Give me one thing more--
a grateful heart.

~ George Herbert
George Herbert gratitude

When you no longer have expectations, the unexpected kindness of others and small acts of consideration become like "sweet manna from heaven." The feeling that rises spontaneously within one's heart at such times is true gratitude. When one is accustomed to kindness, one can lose the feeling of gratitude. One must constantly return oneself to the spiritual starting point of no expectations.

~ from TARIKI: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace by Hiroyuki Itsuki
Hiroyuki Itsuki Tariki: Embracing Despair, Discovering Peace gratitude

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

~ French proverb
French proverb gratitude

Gratitude gentles us
and grants us grace.

As I express my gratitude,
I become more deeply aware of it.
And the greater my awareness,
the greater my need to express it.
What happens here is a spiraling ascent,
a process of growth in
ever expanding circles
around a steady center.

~ David Steindl-Rast
David Steindl-Rast gratitude

November 2008 (Vol. XXI, No. 10)

"Is there enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"

Greetings of the season, dear friends! Silence can be a great revelation, a gentle revolution, and can evoke resolution. Ever awaiting us in the Silence are insight, intuition, and inspiration. Be still, remain awake, and listen! While shallow ponds and brooks are noisy and busy, still waters run deep; they are calm and silent. True Silence is the blessed, eternal language of soul-Love. Silence: a sacred garden of meditation. In the Silence be still and Know; be still and See.

God is Silence. There is a silence of the tongue, a silence of the whole body. There is a silence of the soul and the spirit. The silence of the spirit is when all its movements are stirred solely by Being; in this state it is truly silent, aware that the silence which is upon it is itself silent.

~ Abraham of Nathpar, 6th Century
Abraham of Nathpar silence

Silence before the Beloved has deep significance in the quietness of the soul as the individual sinks into the central fire of communion. In the circle of community the most personal elemental chords of life receive their deepest stimulation. In the silent act of breathing and in the unspoken dialogue of the soul with Love, solitary as these are, deep communion can be given.

~ Eberhard Arnold
Eberhard Arnold silence

Know who you are.
Do not debase the name.
Carry it in your heart,
a root flame of love.
Walk through the world in silence.
The moment will come.
The sign will be a soft
stirring of wings,
a gold shimmer of air.

~ Dorothy Walters
Dorothy Walters silence

The sun tries to come out. It is a true November morning--cold and grey, with hints of blue and white light in the sky, a haze over the hills and trees, the ground covered with wet leaves, the trees dead and barren except for the pines. ... I sit content, held in peace as if God is embracing me. The silence is magnificent and healing. I become a part of it--silent, calm, at peace. My soul is quieted.

~ from THE SOUND OF LISTENING by John Dear
John Dear The Sound Of Listening silence

Real silence is both supremely simple and yet not easy. It draws us into a dimension always open to those who will allow themselves to be centered. ... We enter into silence to let the holiness of mystery take possession of us.

~ S. Wendy Beckett
S. Wendy Beckett silence

The discipline of silence doesn't mean just taking a short vacation from the spoken word. It also means giving complete relaxation to the muscles, the tissues, the tongue itself. A modern writer once said: "Knowledge has never been known to enter the head via an open mouth." It is when you become completely silent that you are able to absorb knowledge. God speaks in silence. The discipline of silence is essential on the path.

~ from THE DISCIPLINE OF SILENCE, thanks to Edward C. Brady
Edward C. Brady The Discipline Of Silence silence

Meister Eckhart tells us that in silence we make room in our soul for God and that God delights to be in our soul when we have made room. Should we not then be building mansions of silence in our souls to welcome Love's Holy Presence.

~ Hyatt Carter
Hyatt Carter silence

We can make our minds
so like still water
that beings gather about us
that they may see,
it may be, their own images,
and live for a moment with a clearer,
perhaps even with a fiercer life
because of our quiet,
our silence.

~ William Butler Yeats, thanks to Robert Purcell
William Butler Yeats silence

Why do I forget You, abandon You?
You who are wholeness,
You who are home, always now, always present,
giving what every cell in me yearns for--
to collapse into Your warm breath of Life;
defenses drop, naked I be,
cherished solely for my nakedness,
my void, my forgetfulness.

Silence pregnant with all sounds,
I come back, prodigal that I am--
bruised, tired, wired,
To be undone again by Your embrace.

~ "Mother Silence" by Vivian Larson
Vivian Larson Mother Silence silence

Silence is our spontaneous response
to the experience of numinous presence,
to Love-in-our-midst.

~ Rudolph Otto
Rudolph Otto silence

Perhaps nothing would be said at first, but eventually a sound, a poem, an artwork or an impression would spark an exchange, and there would be a clear flow of meditative, constructive thought. Periodic silences would follow, to which we both listened almost as if the quiet were a third party speaking to us. And in response to that stillness we would breathe deeply, come to a sort of relaxed attention, and in a humble, reverent manner lower our eyes, as though acknowledging the mystical presence of something greater.

~ from THE WAY OF THE DREAMCATCHER by S. T. Georgiou
S. T. Georgiou The Way Of The Dreamcatcher silence

When I drop down into myself in the quiet hours of the night, it feels as though I have tapped into a deep river that runs strongly beneath the busyness of my daily life. When I allow myself to fully experience this deep river without, I connect not only with myself and what matters most to me but also with a powerful stream of silence, mystery, clarity, aliveness. I seem to tap into a universal source available to us all of deeply nourishing spiritual qualities that can provide a healing balm for our out-of-balance lives.

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Silence alone reveals the deepest depths of Life.

~ Maurice Zundel
Maurice Zundel silence

To see there must be silence.

~ Frederick Franck
Frederick Franck silence

The silence of the storm dominated everything. There are no words to describe a quiet so potent. I knew the snow was echoing a stillness that exists, hidden, in everything. I saw that this stillness generates all life. And sitting there in the snow, I wept at the profound sound and power of that silence.

I began to see the falling flakes as yellow bursts of energy, as light and as I looked at the light I saw that its total composition was Love. That night I suspended many cherished beliefs. The snow was alive.

~ from A NEW SET OF EYES by Paula D'Arcy
Paula D'Arcy A New Set Of Eyes silence Buy on Amazon