Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two Days of Silence

There are, within each life, moments of deepening awareness, moments of recognizing a more profound sense of one's inner being than normally occurs. These are the moments of contact with one's center - the place within which the deepest identity resides, the place that gives ultimate meaning to one's life. In these moments of greater awareness one doesn't need to pursue a spiritual life. It is already there. And each person has within themselves the point of access, the inner map that leads to that place of deepening.

It is with this in mind that I listened to a radio interview with a woman who had just written a book on the virtue of silence. This woman was not a practicing Buddhist or a practicing anything that had a spiritual name. Rather, she was one who, for sixteen years, had found the merit of setting aside two days each month in which to be completely silent.

Her journey was not spectacular or glamorous. It did not produce spiritual fireworks in any of the ways we typically speak of these. Yet, it fulfilled the quest of her heart and soul to find a point of greater contact with herself, a point of deeper truth. In the stillness, she found herself to be more and more at home. And even though after each day of silence she went back to fully and actively participating in the verbal affairs of life, her two days of silence per month had a profound effect on the rest of her days.

Each embodied soul has, at their disposal, similar choices that can be made. Each can make a choice for solitude, a choice for going within, a choice for establishing contact with inner truth. The world is now ready to discuss the value of such things on mainstream radio broadcasts. It is ready to think about the meaning and value of an inner life. Yet, it is up to each one to find that value within themselves. Such a value defies the temptation to feel one is "too busy." "Too busy" may be a standard for activity for many, it may even be commponplace. But it cannot be a standard for life. For life asks of us something different than activity. It asks us to engage in a relationship of the heart, one in which we involve ourselves with the meaning of each moment - one in which we engage in a dance with both the Giver and the Gift.

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