|Artist: Michal Lukasiewicz|
The 13th century German mystic Meister Eckhart said that there is nothing in the world that resembles God so much as silence. "The central silence is there where no creature can enter, nor a thought, where the soul does not think or act, and keeps herself occupied with ideas about herself or anything else."
Silence is a great friend of the soul; it unveils the riches of solitude. It is very difficult to reach that quality of inner silence. You need to make a space for it so that it may begin to work for you.
One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what remains inexpressible between two people. In modern life there is a great drive towards self-expression, with emphasis upon the individual. Sometimes the quality of what is expressed is superficial and repetitive. A greater tolerance of silence is desirable, that fecund silence which is the source of our most resonant language. The depth and substance of a friendship mirrors itself, not in what is openly said, but in the quality of the silence between two people.
As you begin to befriend your inner silence, one of the first things you will notice is the superficial chatter on the surface level of your mind. Once you recognize this, the silence deepens. A distinction begins to emerge between the images which you have of yourself and your own deeper nature.
A Blessing of Solitude
May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and Light of your soul.
May you realize that you are never alone,
that your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you
intimately with the rhythm of the universe.
May you have respect for your own individuality and difference.
May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here,
that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good and eternal happening.
May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation
with which God sees you in every moment.
Drawn from: "Silence is the Sister of the Divine" in Anam Cara, a Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue; Harper Perennial publishers.