The springs of the truest prayer and the deepest poetry, twin expressions of our outward-going passion for that Eternity which is our home, rise very near together in the heart.
The fundamental premise of compassionate listening is that every party to a conflict is suffering, that every act of violence comes from an unhealed wound. And that our job as peacemakers is to hear the grievance of all parties and find ways to tell each side about the humanity and suffering of the other. We learn to listen with our "spiritual ear," to discern and acknowledge the partial truth in everyone—particularly those with whom we disagree. We learn to stretch our capacity to be present to another's pain.
May you grow still enough to hear the small noises earth makes in preparing for the long sleep of winter, so that you yourself may grow calm and grounded deep with-in. May you grow still enough to hear the trickling of water seeping into the ground, so that your soul may be softened and healed, and guided in its flow. May you grow still enough to hear the splintering of starlight in the winter sky and the roar at earth’s fiery core. May you grow still enough to hear the stir of a single snowflake in the air, so that your inner silence may turn into hushed expectation.
Carve out a day every week, or an hour a day, or a moment each hour, and abide in loving silence with the Friend. Feel the frenetic concerns of life in the world fall away, like the last leaves of autumn being lifted from the tree in the arms of a zephyr. Be the bare tree.
If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt the sadness of never understanding ourselves.
It is becoming more and more clear to me that silence isn’t an emptiness. It isn’t so much an IT as a THOU. Let’s see if we can deepen our own life of prayer by moving beyond thinking that silence is an emptiness, a backdrop or a condition, into thinking and actually experiencing silence as a mode of relationship with the infinitely present Beloved.
Mirroring the creation of the universe, all great things have come from the ancient weave of silence. It is a part of us that we must welcome home.
Come away from the din. Come away to the quiet fields, over which the great sky stretches, and where, between us and the stars, there lies but silence; and there, in the stillness let us listen to the voice that is speaking within us.
The more we live with people in a community, the more we must look to ourselves and regard the beam in our own eyes. The more we live with a babbling crowd, the more we must practice silence. "For every idle word we speak, we will be judged."
Intelligent silence is the mother of prayer, freedom from bondage, custodian of zeal, a guard on our thoughts, a watch on our fears, a friend of tears, a recollection of death, a concern without judgment, a foe of license, a companion of stillness, the opponent of dogmatism, a growth of knowledge, a hand to shape contemplation, hidden progress, the secret journey toward the Light. The lover of silence draws closer to God (by whatever Names).