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Monday, June 27, 2016

Time for Contemplation


A silence that is like a lake, a smooth and compact surface. Down below, submerged, the words are waiting. And one must descend, go to the bottom, be silent, wait.”
Octavio Paz (The Bow and the Lyre)

My favorite time of day is very early morning. Before traffic starts on the main road two blocks away, before folks are out walking and dogs are compelled to bark. There is me, there are birds singing, and occasionally leaves fluttering together. Otherwise, silence. My next door neighbor has installed a large box-fan for his two Labrador Retrievers. In the early morning silence, it sounds like a jet engine. I'm glad for the dogs, since afternoon temperatures have been around 100 degrees, but its sound is distracting.

I wonder about you—is there any silence in your day? Silence offers us an opportunity to dive deep and listen to our inner conversation. In silence, we can access our creative spirit and actually listen to and visualize its ideas. We can breath in calmness, and allow it to set the tone for the rest of our day. Even five minutes of alert silence at the beginning of each day can improve health and mental acuity.

“Silence allows the soul its preferred context, that of receptivity and contemplation—a stillness that beckons the authentic self to emerge.” (Garfield, Spring & Cahill; Wisdom Circles, p.115) Silence offers us an opportunity to go beyond words and enter the deeper, older areas of the body/mind. We get beyond the subterfuge of the ego and its persona and listen, instead, to the wisdom of the heart and the gut. We find out not only what we think, but also, what we feel; what's real for us without all the excuses and disclaimers.

If there is no silence in your day, I urge you to find time and space for it—even five minutes will do. It is good for the body, and even better for the soul.

                                                              In the Spirit,


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