Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?
July-August 2018 (Vol. XXXI, No. 7)

Dear Friends ~ In our quiet little forested niche amid a uniformly gray sky, it has been raining for enough days to wonder how Noah might have felt waiting for dry land. So much of what happens in the world bespeaks sorrow and loss- parents and children wrenched apart, floods and volcano eruptions, fathers and sons taking their own lives in despair. Yet into this mire, Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama have dared to offer THE BOOK OF JOY. This is no "self-help 10 steps to happiness" manual. Between South African apartheid and Tibetan exile, these two have honed their wisdom in a crucible of painful reality. It is wisdom well worth pondering, rooted in deep compassion and liberally sprinkled with humility and friendship. If we are made for joy, how do we live it? 

Joy establishes us so securely in itself, and in the remembrance of its presence, that we can cope with whatever life has to throw at us.

~ Wendy Beckett in Meditations on Joy

Keith Lyndaker © 2018

Joy is a piercing desire, a mystical longing both painful and sweet: a kind of homesick-ness for a home we scarcely remember.

~ Deborah Smith Douglas in Weavings, XV:4

The true source of joy is love- love of God, love of beauty, love of wisdom, love of another human being, it does not matter which. It is all one love: a joyful awareness of dissolving boundaries of our ordinary narrow self, of being one with reality beyond, of being made whole. It is God speaking. Listen to your Creative Conscience, the voice of the divine guiding you each day. It resides in your heart: your true temple.

~ Irma Lalecki in "The Door to Joy". Read more in: Heron Dance ed. by Roderick MacIver

The most visible joy
can only reveal itself to us
when we've transformed it, within.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke. Read more in Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

The holy life is concerned with the journey, not the goal..In truth it is the spiritual journey that brings great joy because it is a path of the heart . Discipline is needed; we need to put forth effort. The effort must be light-hearted. We can't be attached to our mistakes or any particular way of doing or being...We bring a sense of equanimity to all life's challenges; we learn to laugh at ourselves, to not take ourselves so seriously, and to get back up when we stumble. This brings us joy. Joy makes life whole and holy.  

~ From OPEN MIND by Diane Mariechild

Galen DeGraf © 2018
"I have no name:
I am but two days old."
What shall I call thee?
"I happy am,
Joy is my name."
Sweet joy befall thee!

~ Wm Blake. Read more: The Selected Poems of William Blake

With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony and by the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.

~ William Wordsworth. Read more: Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth

This is the true joy of life: being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one...I am of the opinion that my life belongs to others, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for them whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live...Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

~ George Bernard Shaw. Read more: 1000+ Quotes of George Bernard Shaw ed. by Sreechinth C

Why is it always easier to anticipate God's wrath than to perceive God's joy? Ever expecting to be shot, we're invariably dumbfounded by a grace we can't conceive...God plays rough before breaking into laughter.

~ Belden C. Lane. Read more: Backpacking with the Saints

Authentic joy is not a euphoric state or a feeling of being high. Rather, it is a state of appreciation that allows us to participate fully in our lives.

~ Pema Chodron. Read more: Pema Chodron's Words of Compassion ed. by Sreechinth C

" We are meant to live in joy," the Archbishop explained. "This does not mean that life will be easy or painless. It means that we can turn our faces to the wind and accept that this is the storm we must pass through. We cannot succeed by denying what exists. The acceptance of reality is the only place from which change can begin."

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy

Solitude is the human condition, the universal vocation to be human. It is the willingness, with Love indwelling, to go to the heart of pain to find new life and share it with the world even though you may be separated from it physically. From this commitment to be focused through the narrow gate of solitude, self-emptying love is outpoured, and the heart of the community, the heart of pain, is transformed into the heart of joy.

~ Maggie Rose

"In life's trials, little by little we realize that the source of joy does not lie in extraordinary abilities or great expertise, but rather in the humble giving of ourselves in order to understand others with kind-heartedness. Joy is always there lying in waiting for us when simplicity is united to kind-heartedness in our daily lives.

~ Brother Roger of Taizé. Read more in Brother Roger of Taize: Essential Writings

She gives most who gives with joy.

~ Mother Teresa. Read more: Mother Teresa: Quotable Wisdom ed. by Carol Kelly-Gangi

The truly wise have a inner joy that is like a fire; it warms the world.

~ The Dalai Lama. Read more in: The Dalai Lama Book of Quotes ed. by Travis Hellstrom

I charge the sun, the blue of the sky, the light to give you joy every day.

~ Simone Weil. Read more: Simone Weil: Selected Writings compiled by Eric O. Springsted

Keith Lyndaker © 2017

You shall go out with joy
and be led forth with peace. 

~ Isaiah 55:12

Joy is a sudden and miraculous grace beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien. Read more: The Monsters and the Critics: And Other Essays.

Linda DeGraf © 2015

I support you;
You support me.
I am in the world to offer you peace;
You are in the world to bring me joy.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh in CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES

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2018 Retreats at Friends of Silence

Sound & Silence: Embodying Prayer through Sacred Rhythms of Drumming, Movement, Nature, and Silence, August 17-19, 2018 at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat and Still Point.

The Mystery of Mentoring: Helping a Lost Culture Find Its Way, With Jim Hall and Cheryl Hellner, September 14-16, 2018 at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat.

The Gift of Story: A retreat for Advent and the Winter Solstice, November 30-December 2, 2018 at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat.

Or schedule your own Personal Retreat. Friends of Silence is devoted to nurturing those who reverence silence, prayer, contemplation, the Divine Guest, and the Oneness of all creation. Personal retreat can be a wonderful discipline for those seeking the life-giving empowerment that derives from the Silence. We have partnered with Still Point Mountain Retreat to be able to offer space for personal retreat for our members, whether you come as an individual, couple, family, or small group. We also manage and offer River House. The wilderness setting of both these retreat spaces provides the quiet and solitude necessary for the ideal personal retreat experience.

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