As our monthly drop into silence approaches this Sunday, we greet you. A number in this network sent notes to us in response to the question posed by one of our members, “What do we do on the day of silence?"
Here are two of the contributions that came in, and we will include others in months to come.
Barbara and Peri
Center of Being
For me, meditation is a very important part of finding inner peace and stillness. When I stick to a routine meditation schedule I find I think about everything differently all day long, than when I am not actively doing routine meditation. Without my meditation practice I am definitely more in the dark, grumpy, closed off. I fall off the wagon and feel the difference and work to get back on track. Why do I let myself fall off time and time again, knowing what a difference it makes in my life? That is the tricky part :), letting the thoughts go that excuse me from taking care of myself and turning toward my centre.
On my days of silence I let myself do things that I normally wouldn’t take time for. Simple pleasures. Things that make me smile and remember the good things in life.
May we all find our Zen space and learn to feel peace even in times of great stress.
And then Tamara forwarded this from another network that cherishes silence, too. Here are the words of Richard Rohr. We honor all traditions that open this inner sanctuary.
What Sustains Me: Contemplation Friday, December 26, 2014
As the name of our center probably makes clear (Center for Action and Contemplation), my daily and primary practice is contemplation. I try in every way and every day to see the events, people, and issues in my world through a much wider lens that I hope is “Christ Consciousness.” I have to practice hour by hour letting go of my own agenda, my own anger, fear, and judgments in very concrete ways. In that empty space, often made emptier by my very failure, God is always able to speak to me, and sometimes I am able to hear. In that space, I find joy.
I have worked for most of my life, with the help of my Franciscan tradition and other spiritual teachers, to spend a good chunk of every day in silence, solitude, and surrender to what God and the moment are offering. I fail at it far more than I succeed, but grace grants me just enough “wide-lens experience” to know that it is my home base, my deepest seeing, and by far the best gift I can also offer to the world, and to you.
Without a daily contemplative stance, I would have given up on the church, America, politics, many people, and surely myself a long time ago. Without a daily contemplative practice, I would likely be a cynical and even negative person by now, but by Somebody’s kindness, I do not think that I am. With contemplative eyes, I can live with a certain non-dual consciousness that often allows me to be merciful to the moment, patient with human failure, and generous toward the maddening issues of our time. For me, it is the very shape of Christian salvation or any salvation. My sadness is that so few have been taught this older and wiser tradition, although many still come to it by great love and great suffering.
Gateway to Silence:
Adapted from Sojourners magazine, July 2009
(This piece originally appeared in Sojourners Gods Politics blog, sojo.net. Used with permission.)