Monday, January 23, 2017

Sharing Silence

Early Friday morning--the morning of the inauguration--I sat in the darkness of my living room trying to breathe. Practicing meditation, as I listened to the following reading by Gunilla Norris.

From my vantage point, eyes closed, my apartment, the middle of the city, I could almost feel Twitter buzzing against my skin--somewhere, everywhere--through the air we're all trying to breathe. I could imagine every Facebook comment. Every one-liner from every political party. Every possible thing to say to every possible person about every possible argument.

This buzzing makes meditation nearly impossible.

And yet, I try. I try, as Norris says, to "remember to breathe, remember to feel, remember to care" for the people on every side of the political spectrum. Just to try. The trying is enough right now, even if I'm not always successful.

Because "sharing silence is...a political act," she says. It brings us back to deeper truths, to more profound ways of being the world. And I so desperately need this right now. I need to be reminded of profound truths when the air I breathe is polluted with sound bites.

Blessings to you and yours.

Here's a truth for your Monday:

Within each of us there is a silence
—a silence as vast as a universe.
We are afraid of it…and we long for it.
When we experience that silence, we remember
who we are: creatures of the stars, created
from the cooling of this planet, created
from dust and gas, created
from the elements, created
from time and space…created
from silence.
In our present culture,
silence is something like an endangered species…
an endangered fundamental.
The experience of silence is now so rare
that we must cultivate it and treasure it.
This is especially true for shared silence.
Sharing silence is, in fact, a political act.
When we can stand aside from the usual and
perceive the fundamental, change begins to happen.
Our lives align with deeper values
and the lives of others are touched and influenced.
Silence brings us back to basics, to our senses,
to our selves. It locates us. Without that return
we can go so far away from our true natures
that we end up, quite literally, beside ourselves.
We live blindly and act thoughtlessly.
We endanger the delicate balance which sustains
our lives, our communities, and our planet.
Each of us can make a difference.
Politicians and visionaries will not return us
to the sacredness of life.
That will be done by ordinary men and women
who together or alone can say,
"Remember to breathe, 
remember to feel,
remember to care,
let us do this for our children and ourselves
and our children's children.
Let us practice for life's sake."


B said...

I read this right before reading your post:

It's more about productivity, but talks about the power of silence in general. You might find it interesting.

Hope all is well.