Wednesday, December 23, 2009

room at the Inn

I was gifted by a 5 day retreat by Mother Nature.
I've been meditating on what this holiday is all about.
For me it is making room in our hearts. Mary and Joseph asked for room at the inn, so the story goes, and Jesus is still asking us the same-to make room for Him and all beings in the inn of our hearts.
Each time I pray for loving kindness for someone, even if i don't feel it,I find there is room in my heart.
And when I don't have the strength to love, the compassionate heart of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit takes up the slack till I'm ready.
I never even dreamed how large my heart could grow.
On the day of the longest night and return to Light, may all beings know Love,compassion and peace and may I be living witness to this Love and freely share all of the Gift that has been given to me, with all beings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

waiting for snow

Maybe awakening tomorrow
will be silent and white
The sound of crystals floating
and settling.
The value scale, blowing
in the wind.
God's permission to be still.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

thinking and knowing

it's the birthday Kenneth Patchen, one of my favorite poets He said, "Think enough and you won't know anything." He went on to write and illustrate over 40 books of poetry.
There is a knowledge that comes directly to your heart and soul, when we are not thinking;a universal, eternal knowledge that is behind and beyond words.
I'm grateful to have the inner stillness and silence to hear and receive this knowledge and to be able to share it.
share with me-leave a comment.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a few more silence posts

100 plus visitors-thanks
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
Mother Teresa

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~William Penn

Silence is the true friend that never betrays. ~Confucius

Silence is a source of great strength. ~Lao Tzu

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment. ~Henry David Thoreau

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence. ~John Lahr

The Arctic expresses the sum of all wisdom: Silence. ~Walter Bauer

Now all my teachers are dead except silence. ~W.S. Merwin

God's poet is silence! His song is unspoken,
And yet so profound, so loud, and so far,
It fills you, it thrills you with measures unbroken,
And as soft, and as fair, and as far as a star.
~Joaquin Miller

You can hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind. ~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

We must have reasons for speech but we need none for silence. ~Proverb

There are times when silence has the loudest voice. ~Leroy Brownlow

Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts. ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

and only 10 c0mments-leave me one.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

some silent quotes

Bob Dylan:
I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.
Cato the Elder:
I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.
Silence is the true friend that never betrays.
Martin Luther King, Jr.:
We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Proverbs 17:28:
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Rachel Naomi Remen:
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.... A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
Thomas Merton:
It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.

Got one? leave it as a comment

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is not posting silence?

I want to sit down and write y'all a long series of posts of how I got to where I am today-making safe refuge for all beings seeking stillness and silence in a frantic and noisy world. I know the beginning is a good place to start and I just haven't. I think I have a few projects that need to be finished up to open the space for some serious writing.
I've been submitting proposals to existing institutions and looking at properties to buy and praying a lot and walking in the wilderness and waiting for way to open.
Stillness in motion...motion in stillness-tai chi, mindfulness meditation,listening, patience, curiosity.
Contemplative activism.
We can seek to understand the universe with the one that hangs the stars in the sky and makes the flowers grow, or we can try to do it ourselves.
I visited CooperRiis a healing farm for young adults living with mental illness and witnessed what will happen if we let an entire generation try to do it themselves.
Soul loss is a frightening and paralyzing illness.
Activity that masks our emptiness is a way and it is very tiring.
Refuge and stillness illuminate the pits of darkness and energize us into balance and wholeness.
I know this is so and pray to be able to bring this healing Light of refuge to all beings everywhere.
Share your stories here. leave a comment

Monday, September 21, 2009

silence and worship

My dear friend Joan Broadfield wrote
"About 'silence': It's all about what the invitation calls us to.
If the invitation is for silence, it would not speak to me.

If you are talking about longer than an hour to sit in a listening/waiting way, I'm very interested.

If you are talking about dedicating a worship time of an hour to come to listen in quiet expectation, I'd be interested.

But for me, when the emphasis is on SILENCE, it means nothing to me about spirituality. It is dictating a form, which gets in the way of expectation and listening to God.

I've had my fill of the rhapsodies of silence. That's not to say that a depth of a covered meeting is not important to me: in fact, it is. But I have never had a god-connected experience in one that is emphasizing silence. Paradox: those meetings that are 'covered' are mostly without words."

yes. There are two experiences here. One is weekly worship and I have always maintained that it is in the silence that we worship, not silence itself. I have not experienced an benefit from being silenced.
Many monthly meetings are learning the value of longer worship time. Media has extended worship once a month. All are welcome to this time of open worship that may or may not have a lot of silence.
Individual meetings can discern for themselves the frequency and length of worship.
I'm an advocate of communities and i see Monthy Meetings as communities being visible to themselves.

In addition some are called to live in a state of worship, prayer, communion with God that asks for more than a monthly meeting can provide. When this life called to me, I could not find anywhere, within, or even close to my faith community where I could go for an extended period of life , mostly in silence, within an supportive , nurturing and guided community ;where I was welcomed to just be, in worship and meditation to spend as much time as I needed with my inner and outer Light.

I’m still looking and this is what this blog is about.
I’m willing to create Still Waters Refuge and share it’s gifts with all seekers and I cannot do it alone.
Please join me. In Spirit, prayer, and comment.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Are Quakers really interested in silence?

I thought I would go for the shock value here.
This from the newsletter of The School Of the Spirit-I am a graduate of the, On being a spiritual nurturer program-

Over the years the contemplative retreat has tended to incorporate more silence than indicated in the letter which was sent to Friends in advance. This posed a challenge for some attending for the first time, particularly those who had planned to meet as a small group within the context of the full retreat group. This matter was discussed on the first evening and accommodations were made so that the needs of all might best be met.

In deepest humility and respect, silence cannot be experienced by talking about it.
I attended Friends worship and workshops and retreats for 30 years and it was not until my second week living, working and being in silent community that I came to know silence and it's gifts.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has a traveling "extended" Meeting for worship quarterly, where Friends gather for about 3 hours of Worship. I know that many who attend are longing for more, and like me don't know where to find it and experience it.
That is the main purpose of this blog- to find others who want to journey along with me in silent community and make it possible for other to join us.
Leave a comment

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

on silent refuge

these words from the Great Tree Zen Temple

Silence is an opportunity to communicate with our whole being, our body language, our unspoken thoughts, and a creative expression which speaks more clearly than words. It is authentic and all inclusive – in Silence we are able to hear, express, and engage from the core of our Being.
At Great Tree Zen Temple, ‘Silent Retreat’ means to enter into every activity with mindfulness and a desire to honor the quiet within, being present in the moment without the distraction of unnecessary words or discussion. Amidst our busy lives it is often difficult to imagine communicating without words. A silent retreat offers an opportunity to explore and honor the gifts and insights which arise from SILENCE.

These friends speak my mind. It is my prayer to facilitate the being of Still Waters Refuge to support and nurture the space for Friends to retreat in silent refuge, under the care of Friends.
Keep praying
Leave a comment

Monday, August 31, 2009

covenant relationship

Dear friend, beautiful strong woman,sister in paint and Christ, Jen Elam, called me last night to wish me a happy birthday. Wonderful conversation and sharing followed, as if we saw each other each day tho time and space has separated us these past years.Thank you God for true friendship and community that is not a person or place.
We spoke of the challenges of living alone and longing for true relationship- what I am calling covenant relationship;the desire to be in right triune relationship with all beings, God(Spirit, Goddess,etc.)myself and other in Universal Love and Compassion as we are called to be by all Beings of Light(Jesus, Buddha, Allah,etc.)
This vow and only this to Love ourselves and each other and God as we are Loved and to share this love with all beings, at all times, everywhere.

We spoke of how communities we've been "members" of that used the words, "family" and "community" felt more like one night stands than marriage. A sense of deep intimacy was created and then after the allotted time was up---nothing---.

Dear Friend Mickey Edgerton says God's will for us is our deepest heart's desire.
I believe God's will for me to be a living example of Love, at all times, in everyday life and to create community that supports living in Love.

And when I mess up, my dear friends will clean up the mess and help me, with Love.

Living alone gives the gift of opportunity to love many rather than just one. I understand this gift and am grateful for it.

My selfish birthday wish is for partners in this journey to covenant community.
Leave a comment.

The prayer is for loving kindness for all beings, seen and unseen, known and unknown, born and unborn, those living near and far away.

May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be well, in body , mind and spirit
May all beings be safe and free from harm
May all beings everywhere, be free.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The gift of silence

---some of this content is paraphrased from a hand out given to me by Sally Palmer at Pendle Hill. Please post of you know the author---

Keeping silence is a privilege and opportunity to be nurtured and cherished.

It stands apart from the experience of being silenced by family, society, institutions, oppressive regimes---souls who long to be heard into speech.

Chosen silence is neither empty or impotent.
Chosen solitude is not lonely.

The paradox of silence gathers and focuses us, and provides space for our hearts and minds to be free.

Waiting is part of silence. Being hushed before the Holy One, the Great Mother, is pure prayer.

Communal silence unites us in action and stillness.

Receiving is part of silence. The quiet mind and spirit is the vessel waiting to contain God's will, the Goddess way.

Is there enough silence for the word to be heard?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

stilness in action/action in stillness

Since my first post just 24 hours ago I have received multiple emails and links directing me to retreats, workshops, blogs and websites with activities, workshops, and other things i can do to renew and deepen my life in the Spirit.
This is exactly what still waters is about.
Letting go of attachment to the conditioned mindset that there is something we need to do or learn to be in the prophetic stream and in communion with the living Spirit.
Come join with me on this journey into breath, silence and being.
Fully awake and aware of what is going on in our own minds and to the working of the Spirit within us and without us.

And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

Monday, August 24, 2009

english as a third language

English is a difficult language to transmit the inner to the outer.There is so much room for misinterpretation.
My first language is silence.
The second art.
The third english.

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let's not speak any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt
would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire,
victories without survivors,
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing.

What I want shouldn't be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren't unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

Now I will count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I'll go.

Pablo Neruda

intro and the prayer

Three friends this last week have said, "you should write about this".
So here goes.
The short story-
Fed by years of Quaker worship, Buddhist retreats, transcendental meditation, hours in the woods,hours in the studio, I sought immersion (submersion) into silence.
I found myself at The Forest Refuge in Barre, MA for a month of living in silence in the Buddhist tradition.
I left with a call to create a place of refuge for all seekers, in a univeralist
My prayer-
Still Waters is a covenant community nurturing ourselves, each other and the earth through all that is divine, holy, wholly One, and living witness to univeral compassionate love.
I now find myself in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina and holding this prayer as a community of one.
Please join me in prayer, print or place.
Leave a comment.