I am often surprised by the experience of my monthly day of silence. It seems like some kind of insight or new, subtle awareness comes during this 24 hours. Last month was no exception. It was a beautiful day and I was on a long, slow walk through these beautiful New England woods. I noticed that even after all these years of practice, my hunger for this deep space within continues to intensify. It is as though the “thirst” for this experience is only getting stronger and more urgent rather than diminishing.
Being with this awareness, I was musing that almost everything in our current culture seeks to pull us away from this interior place of connection – connection to our own individual voice which itself is completely anchored to the steady, heartbeat of creation. I think people have an image that “silence” is somehow static or a disembodied, floating place of peace. In my experience it’s the opposite, it is a place of total immersion and awareness of the pulse of the cosmos…the heartbeat of the whole cosmic story past, present and future. I feel this cellularly, my own heart as a fractal of this larger heart.
Is it really true that there are forces in this world that want us to forget this reality, to become so distracted by it that we lose our sense of perspective, and our sense of Home in the deepest meaning of that word? I don’t know for certain but there are plenty of times recently where I believe this is true and I have an upwelling of gratitude that I can anchor to a different reality – a reality which is basically “invisible” in an outer sense but completely knowable and perceivable within. It reminds me of the ancient Rumi poem, Don’t go Back To Sleep:
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill Where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Silence, for me, is the doorsill where the two worlds touch. Connected to the heartbeat of the cosmos, I can hear the sound of my own name and the desires of my own heart. No wonder the “thirst” for this profound sense of Home is so fierce and only seems to grow as the appetites of the dominant culture get noisier and conspire to distract me.
May you find your own practices and rituals to “keep yourself awake”, listening for the deepest desires of your own heart as it beats in harmony with the heart of the whole. Together we hold open a doorway to a different reality for any who are seeking to find it.
With love and blessings,
Peri and Barbara