This past month I have come to realize that when I make room for silence in my life, I am creating a room of my own. It is the simplest addition to my home that I can create. There is no building permit needed, no contractors, no designers. All I need to do is sit, be still, and be. In doing so, I create a room which is my ashram. It is my place to just be in communion with the one I call the Ultimate Consciousness. I do not need anything here. I do not need candles, or pillows, or cushions, or furniture. I just need to be still and be in the presence of the Divine.
My room is not external, although it could happen in a physical room. It is a room within myself. It is one that only I and the Divine are allowed to enter. It is a room constructed by holy silence. It is here where I tap into a strength that prevents the noises of life from being heard. It is a space where the only things I can hear is my breathing, my feelings, and the whispers of the Sacred. It is as if I am in one of those soundproof booths and all I can hear is what I can hear, nothing more, nothing less. Read more
Last week in my personal journal, Stirring my Spiritual Waters, I wrote about The Silent Space One of the things I wrote about was how I can sit in my dining room and gaze out into the garden and soak in the silence. Yesterday, as I was sitting in my dining room and gazing out into the garden I realized that I was watching a performance, or perhaps it was a praise and worship service being led by the various inhabitants of our garden. The windows prevented me from physically hearing anything that was really going on in the garden or the sounds which things were actually making, but I could sit, watch, and hear on a different level.
One of the first things I noticed was that I had two wind chimes hanging in one of our trees in the backyard. I had remembered having someone hang one of them for me, but had no memory of this second one. This one was different and sparkled every time the sun shone on it in just the right way, it reflected a rainbow out on to the green blades of grass. Both of them moved with the wind and even though I could not hear the sounds, I could watch the chimes move and in my mind, I could hear these beautiful sounds singing to my soul. Read more
At Love & Inspiration yesterday morning, I commented about how silence is a bridge, not a barrier. Silence becomes the bridge through which we traverse the abyss to the Divine who dwells in the deepest of our internal sanctuaries. It is the noise which are the barriers, which distract us and prevent us from making spaces and places for silence.
When create spaces of silence, we create a space for us to be ourselves and to journey to the inner sanctuaries within us where the Divine dwells. Being intentional about creating space in our lives for silence, is like honoring the Sabbath. It is radical and counter-cultural. It is about us creating margins in our life where we can just sit and be. Read more
I always tell folks that it takes a long time to grow an old friend. Friendships require time. It takes time to develop the kind of intimacy with someone where you can stand with them in silence and still enjoy the company. Silence, waiting, time and respect for the other’s space are all elements of friendship.
Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is our silence. My days are filled with me talking to people in some way, shape, or form. So the greatest gift my wife can give me sometimes is the gift of silence. The time to just be and not have to speak. We can sit next to each other and just be. Even though we may not be speaking a word, the communication is powerful and loving. Read more
Currently, I am teaching a five week summer intensive on Queer Theory and one of my students told me that until she took this course she thought she understood everything and know she feels as if she understands nothing and is not even sure she understands herself at present. My response was, “I am so happy for you.” Understanding something often times means that you have to open yourself up to new understandings and release old ones. Today, I want to share a piece I read recently about understanding Zen. It resonated with my spirit and reinforced for me the teaching of don Miguel Ruiz who helped me understanding that it is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. We make things something because of the meaning and value we attach to it and the perspective we attach to it. We spoke about this at our last Love and Inspiration on Skype gathering. Energy is energy. It does not become something positive or negative until we attach a meaning to it. You may resonate or not with the story below about understanding Zen, but that will depend on you and the meanings you attach to it. Read more
Have you ever been to the zoo and watched the monkeys swinging from one area to another, making the sounds as they do. On the one hand, it is fascinating to watch, at the same time after a while you need to move on, well at least I do. it is hard for me to stay focused with so much distraction. Perhaps that is why so many people have trouble meditating. Our minds are like monkeys swinging from one tree to the next, moving from one idea to another, from thinking about one thing going on in our life to another. Periodically, our minds might stop, but then we are off to swinging through ideas again.
The two problems people seem to have the most is claiming the time to meditate and silencing those monkeys. Read more
Each of us in our own ways, consciously or unconsciously, has voluntarily played roles in our lives. Some of us have gotten so good at playing our roles that we no longer hear the Infinite Presence calling us to step out of the roles the world has cast us in, and step into the role of the true and authentic self. Some of us have chosen to conform to this world, not be transformed in it.
Some of us have been performing our roles for so long; we no longer realize we are still in character. It is as though in many respects the world has tamed us, domesticated us, and taught us how to conform to the ways of the world. We do so many things without even thinking about them, just because that is how we have been taught to do them Read more