Is there enough silence for the Word to be heard?
May 2017 (Vol. XXX, No. 5)
Greetings dear friends ~ Having recently participated in a weeklong gathering to explore the Enneagram in Motion, I have been pondering the nature of soul, transformation, and the interdependence necessarily at the heart of the evolution of human consciousness. Russ Hudson describes the inner work of the Enneagram as profoundly different from working on our "issues" so that we can become a better caterpillar. A caterpillar perseverates on devouring leaves and molting into a bigger, yet still identical, version of itself. One cannot grow wings and fly, however, without first entering a chrysalis and allowing the known self to dissolve into something new, capable of participating in the complex web of interrelationships at the heart of the cycle of life. Yet how much difference can our tiny, individual metamorphoses really make? I cannot begin to fathom how the beating of one butterfly's wings could possibly cause even a whisper of a ripple on the other side of the globe. But we are not just individuals; we are part of a whole stream of life. As we awaken to our true self, we discover communion with the luminous web and begin to take our place in the cosmic dance.

The essential self is fundamentally invulnerable and at ease, because it is anchored in Being. This anchoring at the core of oneself allows the personality to be much more vulnerable, open, honest. If the essential self adopts a provisional or social identity -- which may be necessary for certain reasons--it does not take it too seriously, does not become completely identified with it. The essential self does not become inflated with its identity, it lives in the humility of presence and can keep a sense of humor about itself.

~ from The Knowing Heart by Kabir Helminski

Linda DeGraf © 2015 

You are unquenchable spirit,
A heart of Light
Called to make more
Than just an appearance.
Invited to show up
With your truest self,
Your deepest you,
Awake and uncovered,
Even with all the risk
Such intentional wholeness implies.

~ Carrie Newcomer. Read more: A Peameable Life: Poems & Essays by Carrie Newcomer

Serious spiritual practice is more than serene walks in the woods, lit candles and incense. You have to be committed. Your have to be willing to enter into your own darkness and transcend it.

~ Maria Erving. Read more: Energy Awareness

The soul is capable of much more than we can imagine.

~ Teresa of Avila. Read more: Teresa of Avila by Rowan Williams

Transfiguring experience is not granted to people as an easy and ready access to glory. Only in going up the mountain, rejecting and being rejected by the world, identifying with those who are most broken, does one encounter the divine refulgence...Our substitution of consumer tourism for pilgrimage, of canned experience for life-changing risk, is symptomatic of our inability to entertain in any way the reality of our own transfiguration.

~ from The Solace of Fierce Landscapes by Belden C. Lane

Linda DeGraf © 2015 

When a gong or "singing bowl" is struck in the silent stillness, a reverberating sound is suddenly lingers briefly...decays and dies. The sound can represent the span of our life-experience, but never our Life. Our true self is not the perishable sound, but the imperishable, still silence from which the sound arose and resonated temporarily. Indeed, this truth has even greater depths for it may be understood, that in our essence, we are none other than That which strikes the gong, so to speak, and silently witnesses the resulting "sound."

~ from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

When we express our creativity, we are a conduit for the Great Creator to explore, express, and expand its divine nature and our own. We are like songbirds. When one of us gives voice to our true nature, it is contagious and others soon give tongue as well. We do not live or create in isolation. Each of us is part of a greater whole and, as we agree to express ourselves, we agree to express the larger self that moves through us all.

~ from Walking in this World by Julia Cameron

Linda DeGraf © 2013

When you lose sight of each other as sacred souls on a sacred journey, then you cannot see t he purpose, the reason, behind all relationships.

~ from Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsh. Read more: The Complete Conversations with God

Crack yourself open!
What use is it to continue to hide
behind your facades and roles?
Why waste your energy playing games?
Isn't it time to cry your tears;
to shout your passion;
to dance like Zorba;
and to let your soul touch
the Soul of the world?

~ from The Sage's Tao Te Ching by William Martin

Knowing yourself is not so much about introspection as interaction. To know yourself is to realize that you are more than the little self that has been given to you by your history--the pattern that others made--that your true self is, in truth, much larger and includes other people, other cultures, other species even. That life is less about BEING and more about INTERBEING. We come to know ourselves, then, through coming to know each other. And the deeper that knowledge, the richer and more creative the world we build together.

~ from"Tuimanye" (meaning know yourself") by Danny Martin, Perspectives, Fall '98

Sam Kumar © 2010

Community calls for open mind and open be a place where the truth of the one-ness of human community shatters all barriers, refuses all prejudice, welcomes all strangers, listens to all voices. We must ask what God wants for the world, rather than simply what we want. We need the wisdom of humility now. We need that quality of life that makes it possible for humanity to see beyond itself, to value the other, to touch the world gently and peacefully and make the whole world better as we move ahead.

~ Joan Chittister in "Spirituality and Health" -- Nov/Dec 2003. Read more: Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

There is a Japanese word, kintsukuroi, that means " golden repair." It is the art of restoring broken pottery with gold so the fractures are literally illuminated-a kind of physical expression of its spirit. As a philosophy, kintsukuroi celebrates imperfection as an integral part of the story, not something to be disguised...In kintsukuroi, the true life of an object (or a person) begins the moment it breaks and reveals that it is vulnerable.

~ Georgia Pellegrini

The Blossom vanishes of itself
As the fruit grows.
So will your lower self vanish
As the Divine grows within you.

~ Vivekananda. Read more: Meditation and Its Methods According to Swami Vivekananda

Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight vigorously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.

~ Martin Luther King Jr. Read more: Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luthr King Jr.

Retreats at Friends of Silence

Celebrating 30 years of the Friends of Silence

We want to take this opportunity to thank you, the far-flung and deep community of Friends of Silence, and to once again invite you to help us continue to celebrate Nan's life and legacy throughout this year.

So, yes! In 2017 Friends of Silence is turning 30! 

Please help us celebrate this remarkable anniversary and moment of hope for the world. We know Nan would embrace this marking of both the history and the growing life of Friends of Silence. 

We are preserving all of the FOS Letters in an online searchable archive and database, publishing a contemplative, liturgical resource based on Nan's vision, and planning a fitting celebratory event. We will need your help! 

Save the date - October 21, 2017 and send us your memories and stories of Nan and how her life touched you. Those of you who were in correspondence with Nan (a marvelous letter writer) include copies, if you can. 

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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