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September Meditation, 2016

As the month of September moves towards a close, we have been listening for the themes of the upcoming Day of Silence. Rumbling underneath the chaos and divisiveness that seems to characterize much of the news is a deeper current of interconnectedness and community. Nowhere is this more beautifully represented than in the unfolding situation in North Dakota with the Standing Rock Sioux held their ground to stop a proposed pipeline from coming across their lands. As of today over 2000 indigenous tribes from around the world have joined with the Sioux in this effort to speak up on behalf of the earth itself and the sacredness of Water. The following quote from Laurens Van der Post seems to aptly describe the moment in history where we now find ourselves:

I hear people everywhere saying that the trouble with our time is that we have no great leaders any more. If we look back we always had them. But to me it seems that there is a very profound reason why there are no great leaders any more. It is because they are no longer needed. The message is clear. You no longer want to be led from the outside. Every man must be his own leader. He now knows enough not to follow other people. He must follow the light that's within himself, and through this light he will create a new community. You see, wherever I go in the world, this to me is a general trend. I am aware of the fact that there are already people in existence today - take us - who really belong to a community, which does not exist yet. That is, we are the bridge between the community we've left and the community, which doesn't exist yet.

- Laurens van der Post, Walk with a White Bushman

We are, indeed, building a bridge between the worlds – a bridge from a world that is falling apart to another one that acknowledges the totally intertwined destiny of all the systems of this small planet. This bridge is built inside the hearts and minds of each one of us – cultivated by the ‘light within’.

May your times of silence, however you practice, keep you anchored to your own inner strength and radiance. Never underestimate the impact you have when your living springs from this place of quiet stillness.

With you closely,

Peri & Barbara


The Silence of the Stars

When Laurens van der Post one night

In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen

He couldn't hear the stars

Singing, they didn't believe him. They looked at him,

Half-smiling. They examined his face

To see whether he was joking

Or deceiving them. Then two of those small men

Who plant nothing, who have almost

Nothing to hunt, who live

On almost nothing, and with no one

But themselves, led him away

From the crackling thorn-scrub fire

And stood with him under the night sky

And listened. One of them whispered,

Do you not hear them now?

And van der Post listened, not wanting

To disbelieve, but had to answer,

No. They walked him slowly

Like a sick man to the small dim

Circle of firelight and told him

They were terribly sorry,

And he felt even sorrier

For himself and blamed his ancestors

For their strange loss of hearing,

Which was his loss now. On some clear nights

When nearby houses have turned off their televisions,

When the traffic dwindles, when through streets

Are between sirens and the jets overhead

Are between crossings, when the wind

Is hanging fire in the fir trees,

And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove

Between calls is regarding his own darkness,

I look at the stars again as I first did

To school myself in the names of constellations

And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,

I can still hear what I thought

At the edge of silence where the inside jokes

Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,

The C above high C of my inner ear, myself

Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:

My fair share of the music of the spheres

And clusters of ripening stars,

Of the songs from the throats of the old gods

Still tending even tone-deaf creatures

Through their exiles in the desert.

~ David Wagoner ~

(Traveling Light)

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