silence

To breathe nothing but silence

To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over that land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor and rest in the afternoon, and to sit still again in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars. This is a true and special vocation. There are few who are willing to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into their bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of their life into a living and vigilant silence.
~ from THOUGHTS IN SOLITUDE by Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude
By Thomas Merton

The black spaces between those stars

How much I long for the night to come again—
I am restless all afternoon...
How much I long for the huge stars to appear all
over the heavens,
And the black spaces between those stars...
~ from "Waiting for the Stars" by Robert Bly

The silence of prayer

The silence of prayer is the silence of listening.
~ Elizabeth O'Connor
Search For Silence
By Elizabeth O'Connor

I give up on words

Because I do not know words – tender, true,
and worthy enough to tread upon the pristine
sweep of your soul,
I give up on words
and offer you the integrity of silence,
the undefiled page,
and the wordless wonder of your own beloved self.

~ from a poem by Loretta Ross

November 2017 (Vol. XXX, No. 10)

Dear Friends ~ Last weekend, amid the slowly turning leaves of autumn, we held a celebration of Nan's life and her gift of the Friends of Silence network. Walking the labyrinth accompanied by the graceful notes of the dulcimer, we listened together for the whispering wisdom that comes out of the silence of our hearts. The verse from Psalms for Praying that I carried with me into the labyrinth ended with this line: "Who will enter the Heart of Love?" When Nan began 30 years ago to gather friends together to pray for peace in turbulent times in Detroit, I think she was asking that question. This humble little community has grown over the years and yet it seems as though this is still the crux of it.

We were born with silence

We were born with silence, and as we grew up we lost the silence and we were filled with words. We lived in our hearts, and as time passed we moved into our heads. Now the reverse of this journey is enlightenment. It is the journey from the head back to the heart, from words back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Psalm 90

The Comforter came to me:
"With joy are you ever at home
in my Heart,
as I have lived in yours.
You are mine; I belong to You...
Who will enter the Heart of Love?"

~from Psalm 90 in Psalms for Praying by Nan Merrill

The five silences

Silence is the beautiful fruit of prayer. We must learn not only the silence of the mouth, but also the silence of the heart, of the eyes, of the ears and of the mind, which I call the five silences. Say it and memorize it on your five fingers.

~ Mother Teresa

In the contemplative journey

In the contemplative journey, as we swim down into those deeper waters toward the wellsprings of hope...the hidden spring of mercy deep within us is released in that touch and flows out from the center...In plumbing deeply the hidden rootedness of the whole where all things are held together in the Mercy, we are released from the grip of personal fear and set free to minister with skillful means and true compassion to a world desperately in need of reconnection.

~ from MYSTICAL HOPE: TRUSTING IN THE MERCY OF GOD by Cynthia Bourgeault

In the attitudes of silence

In the attitudes of silence, the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after truth.

~ M. Gandhi
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