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May Meditation, 2021

On the Fifth Day

On the fifth day the scientists who studied the rivers were forbidden to speak or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air were told not to speak of the air, and the ones who worked for the farmers were silenced, and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands, began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak and were taken away. The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.

Now it was only the rivers that spoke of the rivers, and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence, and the rivers kept speaking of rivers, of boulders and air.

Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless, the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers, code writers, machinists, accountants, lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day, of silence.

~ Jane Hirshfield, 2017


Greetings dear friends,

Good friend Kelvy Bird told me a story about the place from which the seeds of wisdom, guidance and peace arise. She recounted that often in contemplation a bell is sounded to begin or end a quiet meditation. And that sometimes seasoned meditators tune to the diminishing reverberation of the bell, bringing them into a more open state of awareness.* She said, though, that in her private experience the very first whispering of new, fresh and original impulse rise in the period of no sound after the subtle ringing ceases altogether.

May our silence speak of silence this Sunday, as the rivers speak. Barbara and Peri

*Kelvy credits this practice to Arthur Zajonc on her webiste


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