silence

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

Plunge into the ocean of God

Plunge into the ocean of God through stillness in the spirit and silence within the soul.
~ Nan Merrill

To learn how to wait

To learn how to wait, how to be silent, how to befriend the dark...Thus do we prepare to be creative. There is a waiting, a silence and a darkness in all birthing. Heart's winter is already a filling womb.
~ from YEAR OF THE HEART by Daniel J. O'Leary

November 2018 (Vol. XXXI, No. 10)

Dear Friends ~ There is perhaps a certain irony in collecting words that have been spoken and written about silence. Being human means navigating by way of language and we learn —some things anyway —by talking and listening, writing and reading. Yet the practice of contemplative silence seems more often to be about learning non -verbal ways to understand, to be present, to encounter; a time to sweep away the words in order to allow for the possibility of communion at a deeper level. How hard it is to just be, to open our hearts and minds, to create the space for experience beyond words.

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Saying nothing

saying nothing—
the guest, the host
the white chrysanthemum

~ Ryota Oshima

Just sitting

I remember years ago in Korea in the Peace Corps, how I felt the first time I partook of the daily culture of "just sitting" together with friends in informal tearooms in Seoul, without saying a word; at first I felt quite nervous and bored, but when I was able to relax my mind and just be, it was a refreshing communion... each moment's meeting of a person or even a flower is precious and fleeting, it is to be savored completely, perhaps best in silence.

~ from HAIKU MIND by Patricia Donegan

The silent one

The notion of silence appears to unsettle—or puzzle—no small number of people of all walks of life...Something as "unproductive" as silence is not often taken seriously. The evaluation of silence differs from culture to culture. In the West, if you notice that someone is silent for a prolonged period of time, the tendency might be to ask, "are you all right?" Or the silence might be interpreted as a sign of unbalanced introversion or isolation or passive aggression. In India, they would say of the silent one, Ah muni! (Ah, there is a holy soul!)

~ from Elias Marechal in TEARS OF AN INNOCENT GOD

Alive in the silence

At first silence had seemed a deprivation, a symbol of an unwanted isolation. I had resented the solitude of my life and fought it. But gradually the enveloping quiet became a positive element, almost a presence, which settled comfortably and caressingly around me like a soft shawl. It seemed to hum, gently but melodiously, and to orchestrate the ideas that I was contending with, until they started to sing too, to vibrate and reveal an unexpected resonance. After a time I found that I could almost listen to the silence, which had a dimension all of its own...I discovered that I felt at home and alive in the silence. Silence itself had become my teacher.
~ from THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE by Karen Armstrong
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