Inviting Sacred Silence

Heart of Gold 

Heart of Gold 

Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how. 
Thomas Merton

Sometimes we fear silence. Mesmerized by our own noise, inner and outer, we stay remote and try to convince ourselves that we are in control as we flip from channel to channel, surfing through variations of the same theme: I am not enough. I must have all this stuff to validate my existence and prove my importance. I must fill my ears with others’ opinions and the noise of media madness, otherwise I will be out of touch—and therefore I will not really exist. Whether it is the misery of the inner monologues of self-defeat and victimhood or the toxic streams of criticism, anger, fear, gossip, and the belief that we are dependent on outer circumstances, we stay frozen in place, in a trance. We turn up the volume and lull ourselves to sleep, forgetting who we are and why we are here.

We enter the silence only to find that the silence is also entering us. Make no mistake, choosing silence means a life change—a death of the old, a birth of the new. It is a death to our old definitions of self and the defenses we used to protect our old beliefs. It is a birth into a new self that is open, receptive, and believes that anything is possible, for our potential arises from the vastness within. We are able to hear something new, think more expansively, and become a place where greater consciousness develops.

• Exercise: Do nothing for five minutes. Don’t get up and adjust anything. Don’t write ideas down. Just sit and be present, right here, right now, for five minutes. This sounds simple, but it is harder than you think. The temptation to get up to do something or be distracted is very powerful. It helps to keep a pencil and paper handy so you can take notes to be acted upon later. I find this a great exercise when I want to update my list of things to do—I remember in the silence what was forgotten in the rush of daily living. 

Affirmative Prayer
Today I wait in God's Presence, listening for wisdom from within. Today I visualize light, love, and healing for those in my life who are experiencing difficulties, and for those who are on the other side of the world who are facing challenges and tragedies. I know that the very nature of God is expressed in each person. The nature of God is love, courage, kindness, and joy. Where there is unrest, I speak peace. Where there is joy, I offer gratitude. And where there is faith, I know that love and light are there in response. 

I am also offering a special prayer for Christchurch, New Zealand, Japan, the coasts affected by tsunamis, and all who have been touched by the recent earthquakes. (note: November 2013: I met someone who lives in Christchurch who says the earthquake totally devastated the center of the city, including most of the old stone buildings, which had to be torn down. So very sad. Still, there is rebuilding, though debate continues on what will be saved, and what must be part of a new design. Many in the creative arts community moved to other places in New Zealand. Kiwis have a strong pioneer spirit. I know that the old cannot be recaptured, but there are so many stories of creative reinvention and Christchurch is recovering. )