Listening to my silence

Shapes, dynamics,
sounds, meaning:
at a time.
I have to gestate the experience,
bake it in my mind's oven,
pull away,
avoid stimulus.
I need just to be
and listen to my silence.

~ "Long Pause" by Celia Wesle

We have to earn silence

We have to earn silence, then, to work for it: to make it not an absence but a presence; not emptiness but repletion. Silence is something more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and the horizon itself expands. In silence, we often say we can hear ourselves think; but what is truer to say is that in silence we can hear ourselves not think, and so sink below our selves into a place far deeper than mere thoughts allow. In silence, we might better say, we can hear Someone else think ... Silence, then, could be said to be the ultimate province of trust: it is the place where we trust ourselves to be alone; where we trust others to understand the things we do not say; where we trust a higher harmony to assert itself.

~ from "The Eloquent Sounds of Silence" by Pico Iyer with thanks to John Farren

A name of God which is not a na

Dom Henri le Saux, a French Benedictine monk, suggests that the sacred sound "OM" can be used by anyone:

More than any particular name of Divinity, OM conveys the ineffability and the depths of the divine Mystery. It bears no distinct meaning ... It does not even recall any mythological or semi-historic event. It is a kind of inarticulate exclamation uttered when you are confronted with the Presence in yourself and around yourself.

You could say that OM is a name of God which is not a name.

~ from PRAYER WORDS by Graham Smith

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.

~ from THE FRUITFUL DARKNESS by Joan Halifax

The name that can be named

The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.
The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.
Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.
Yet mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding.

~ Lao-tzu


Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.

~ Meister Eckhart

A day filled with noise and voices can be a day of silence,

A day filled with noise and voices can be a day of silence, if the noises become for us the echo of the presence of God, if the voices are, for us, messages and solicitations of God.

~ Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Wind in the cave

Wind in the cave.
Movement in stillness.
Power in silence.
- Unknown

The true Word of eternity will be spoken only in solitude

The true Word of eternity will be spoken only in solitude, where people are made desolate and estranged from themselves. This emptiness exerts a profound influence. For if something empty existed under heaven, no matter what you wish and no matter whether it be large or small, love would either carry it to heaven or have to come down and fill it with love. The purpose of emptiness is to receive, to be filled ... God needs nothing more than for us to offer a quiet heart.

~ Meister Eckhart

Solitude is an attitude of gratitude

Solitude is an attitude of gratitude ... It is a state of mind, a state of heart, a whole universe unto itself. The early contemplatives in all traditions knew this secret of happiness -- that being alone was a great gift. And whether or not we sit upon the mountain top or kitchen stool, whether we seek a sacred place or simply stir the soup, the message is the same. For what does it mean to be alone, if not to be all one. To be who you are already in your deepest self, to be happy.

~ from FOOD FOR SOLITUDE by Francine Schiff
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