Silence is a resource that has been used from time immemorial to enter into the depth of our being. World religions have acknowledged its value through their various spiritual perspectives and practices as an integral part of the ideal service of spiritual worship. In Christianity exists the silence of contemplative prayer. In Buddhism, allowing the mind to become silent relates with spiritual enlightenment. In Islam, the Sufis speak of the relevance of finding silence within. In Hinduism, including the teachings of Vedanta and the various paths of yoga, teachers speak of the meaning of silence for inner growth. In the Religious Society of Friends, silence is essential to their worship service and an opportunity for the divine to speak to the heart and mind of the individual.
Silence is a will-controlled receptivity in the discipline of spiritual activity.
William Jáuregui, a friend from Argentina, shared his personal appreciation, “Silence is the fertile ground for the soundest speech.”
In the stillness within my heart I open to the call of my inner voice in ever-deeper realms of communion. During these moments of realization comes confirmation to that which is learned from outside. These moments are wonder-filled opportunities to discover the precise answers I have been looking for. Trusting the wisdom that comes from within is a treasure to behold.
During a time in Glastonbury, England, I had the privilege to meet author Anthea Mitchell, from the Heart Centre, and throughout the years we have had vivid and inspiring conversations. I am joyful to share with you what her friend John O’Donohue wrote when referring to “The Sanctuary of the Heart.”
“Behind each face and voice lies the silence of the heart. This silence is as old as the universe. It holds within it a time before vegetation clothed the earth, or animals walked, or sound echoed. This silence waits quietly under thoughts, beneath actions, relationships, behind days, nights and names. … it is in this sanctuary that experience is sifted and transfigured. It is where our vanished day secretly gathers. This silence is the home of memory and identity. It houses the spirit which coheres, articulates and shapes each human life.”
How do you experience the sanctuary of the heart?
By Mayte Picco-Kline