Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?
October 2022
(Vol. XXXV, No. 9)
Dear Friends of Silence, This is the month in which we come to you with our request to give what you can to keep the Letter coming to you and all who seek to enter into the Silence where the Great Mystery lies.
We are a group of six almost-volunteers (we receive modest stipends) who maintain the mailing list and website, compose the Letter, and see to it that it is sent to all who ask, without charge or subscription cost, just as Nan envisioned. Printing, postage, a website, and email service cost many thousands of dollars each year and are made possible solely by your generous donations.

We know, because you have told us often, how precious this Letter is to you and those with whom you share it. Please consider helping us to keep it winging its way through the universe and into the homes of all Friends of Silence.

Please use the donate button to send us whatever you can. No amount is too great nor too small.

Bob, Joy, Kate, Lindsay, Mary Ann, and Todd
Shutterstock Images
Let us turn to the West:
the place of oncoming darkness,
the place of the departed spirits and of letting go;
the home of Bear and night-time dreams
and the season of Autumn.
We thank you for your gifts of Mystery and Transformation.

~ from the Seven Directions Prayer* (This prayer has many versions, source unknown)
We have not been raised to cultivate a sense of Mystery. We may even see the unknown as an insult to our competence, a personal failing. Seen this way, the unknown becomes a challenge to action. But Mystery does not require action; Mystery requires our attention. Mystery requires that we listen and become open. When we meet with the unknown in this way, we can be touched by a wisdom that can transform our lives.

~ Rachel Naomi Remen in MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS
What if we reframed "living with uncertainty" to "navigating mystery"? There's more energy in that phrase. The hum of imaginative voltage. And is our life not a mystery school, a seat of earthy instruction?

~ Martin Shaw from the essay "Navigating the Mysteries" on EMERGENCE MAGAZINE. Read more in COURTING THE WILD TWIN
In the immense field of divine compassion, countless small life fields are interwoven with each other. When human hearts deepen through some form of contemplation, there emerges in them an intuition of human oneness prior to all separation ... a "communion of saints". In each religion's communal story, there is a way of handing on from generation to generation this transforming perception of universal solidarity in the Mystery. We do not learn such wisdom on our own. We receive this wisdom from someone else.

~ Carolyn Gratton in THE ART OF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE
Shutterstock Images
You can relish a rainbow and a cup of tea, sunrise and a flock of birds, a cemetery walk and a friend's newborn, the first blush of wildflowers in a patch of dirt and the looping rapture of an old favorite song. ... You can't mend a world, but you can mend the hole in the polka- dot pocket of your favorite coat. They are not the same thing, but they are part of the same thing, which is all there is — life living itself through us, moment by moment, one broken beautiful thing at a time.

~ Maria Popova in THE MARGINALIAN e-newsletter, May 15, 2022. Read more in FIGURING
The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is.

~ Marcel Proust from "La Prisonniere" in REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
Shutterstock Images
...Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

~ Mary Oliver from "The Ponds" in HOUSE OF LIGHT
The most important work can be birthed from the place where uncomfortable silence seeps between us. In those moments we're faced with the decision of whether to respond immediately with the assuredness of our truth or to let the silence work in us. To feel the sadness and anger and grief. To be reminded that there's more at work in the story of the other ...

~ Ashlee Eiland in HUMAN(KIND)
Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring's green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.
All earth's dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.

~ Ursula K. Le Guin, "Come to Dust" in SO FAR SO GOOD
Shutterstock Images
The monthly Friends of Silence Letter is sent free to thousands worldwide both in print and via email. Please consider donating to keep its wisdom and encouragement coming to you and to all. Click on the donate button above to give whatever you can. Thank you.
Upcoming event
Living Openheartedly in Troubled Times: 
Invitation to Transformation and New Possibility
A soul and nature retreat at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat // October 14-16, 2022

Registration is now closed. To join the waitlist email Lindsay: lindsay.mclaughlin66@gmail.com
Holy Ground [collage] Doug Van Houten (c)
1681 Patriots Way
Harpers Ferry WV 25425
304-870-4574