| BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH |
| PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |
which we experience and enjoy
as we embrace our fantastic journey,
On our way to attaining our true identity as a heavenly being we move through four stages of spiritual practice with SILENCE the first practice of stage 2:
|STAGE ONE: THE JOURNEY OF THE MIND||STAGE TWO: THE JOURNEY OF THE HEART||STAGE THREE: THE JOURNEY OF THE BODY||STAGE FOUR: THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL|
+ "You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka
+ "He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know.” -- Lao Tzu
+ "Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence." -- Meister Eckhart
+ Not that there's anything wrong with noise!
Being silent simply gives us a point to become aware of the noise, the voices, the music.
We live in a noisy, over-stimulating society. Learning how to be silent and enjoy silence is another important discipline for people who really want to experience heaven. It's not that noise is bad. It has its place. But we have a much better chance of connecting with God in silence. It seems to me that there are two movements affecting the church and society today: the joyful noise movement and the joyful silence movement. I have nothing against the joyful noise movement. Indeed I am a great fan of rock'n'roll. I simply want to lend my support to the joyful silence movement which seems to be a weaker movement and, therefore, needs all the help it can get. Hopefully, here's help!
A basic and I think obvious reason for developing the discipline of silence is that we can’t possibly hear God speak to us if we are drowning God out. It’s fine to sing praise songs, for example, but getting the inspiration to write a heavenly song of praise requires silent time and probably a large amount of silent time. Any creative venture requires silent time when we allow our minds to rest in the divine mystery from which all creation comes.
When we are not silent, we are held back from a more complete revelation of God’s will for us. We keep using familiar and limiting names for the One who remains forever nameless and beyond our knowing. We keep using familiar and limiting words for the One who remains forever wordless and beyond our knowing. St. John of the Cross wrote: “The Father uttered one Word; that Word is His Son, and he utters Him for ever in everlasting silence; and in silence the soul hears it.” Lao Tzu said: He who knows does not speak; He who speaks does not know.” Fenelon wrote: “You cannot practice too rigid a fast from the charms of worldly talk.”
One of the most persistent noises of modern society which we need to resist is advertising. This was already a big problem in the 1940s when Aldous Huxley wrote THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY. He wrote the following in his chapter on silence: “Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify craving – to extend and intensify, that is to say, the workings of that force, which (as all the saints and teachers of all the higher religions have always taught) is the principal cause of suffering and wrong-doing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and its divine Ground.”
When I am silent, I am awake, aware and connected.
I will write more but I intend to write with more wisdom gained through conversation with you and others. We are in this together. Love is the way. God is love.
+ “God’s first language is silence. Everything else is a translation.” – Thomas Keating
+ “When I am liberated by silence, when I am no longer involved in the measurement of life, but in the living of it, I can discover a form of prayer in which there is effectively no distraction.” – Thomas Merton
+ “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When people really listen to each other in a quiet, fascinated attention, the creative fountain inside each of us begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected wisdom.” — Brenda Ueland quoted in Finding What You Didn't Lose by John Fox
+ “The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.” -- Blessed Mother Teresa
+ “My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet.” -- John Cage
+ "Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food, and an immense quiet." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Orthodox Church of America offers "On Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "Witnesses to Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "The Gift of Silence" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "On Silence and Solitude" by the Very Rev. John Breck.