God’s call is mysterious;
it comes in the darkness of faith.
It is so fine, so subtle,
that it is only with the deepest silence within us
that we can hear it.
Listening can be understood as seeking guidance from a higher level of consciousness and understanding. By entering into a stillness that is holy—that contains wholeness—silence brings us into our own wholeness. We remember—and re-member—pulling together that which has been lost in the fragmentation and distraction of daily living.
In this silence, from this stillpoint, is the only place where true choice can be made. Because we become quiet, we learn to hear the I AM at the heart of creation, and in our own hearts, so that we can choose from the center of our being instead of the periphery of outward circumstance. Then each choice is made with clear intention. We are inspired from within instead of reacting from what is happening without. Though outer circumstances change, this deep listening keeps us centered in a larger spiritual reality.
As we grow into our ability to experience inner and outer silence, our interior lives become richer. We discover that the silence and the void we feared is actually a living presence. The “still small voice” is now the insistent pulse of the Life Force making itself known in us.
If you have ever been in a place of awesome beauty—the ocean, a mountain top, a cascading waterfall, the edge of the Grand Canyon—you have tasted this presence. Silence like a great cathedral allows you to enter the mystery and beauty of your own inner presence.
• Exercise: Take an extended walk in wild places. Let nature nurture you and savor a silence full of living creatures, wind and weather, and all the sounds that speak to the soul in a way that human-made sounds cannot.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau
A mystic is not a mysterious person, but is one who has a deep, inner sense of Life and of his unity with the Whole.
The source of all abundance is not outside you. It is part of who you are. …The fullness of life is there at every step. The acknowledgement of that abundance that is all around you awakens the dormant abundance within. Then let it flow out.
The crust of the everyday must be broken through.
If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.
Tao Te Ching
Let us remain as empty as possible so that God can fill us up.
Prayer can be understood as the gathering of attention. The inner effort, which is the work of gathering and recollection, leads to peace within. When this peace has gathered sufficient strength it can face the world in a new way.
Kabir Edmund Helminski
The greatest security we can have, in the face of antagonism and the inner and outer complexities of life, is to be consciously connected with the unchanging sense of self at the core of our being.
John Maxwell Taylor
The boasted strength of the personal self is really its weakness; true strength lies in that which dwells behind the personal self. We may draw on the infinite, if we will, and thus achieve the seemingly impossible.
…that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on—
Until the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
One instant is eternity,
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees.
Your endeavor, then, is not so much to find God as it is to realize His presence and to understand that this presence is always with you.
The secret of meditation is silence: no repetitions, no affirmations, no denials—just the acknowledgement of God’s allness, and then the deep, deep silence which announces God’s Presence.