June 13, 2021

01

The Other Lone Cypress 11/10/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Reedy Fork, Lake Brandt, Greensboro, North Carolina
Take everything to The Silence,
sitting quietly,
watching,
listening,
for what arises,
emerges,
dawns,
occurs,
beckons,
calls,
directs,
compels,
urges,
nudges...
out of The Silence.

Allow The Silence
to guide your boat
on its path through the sea.

You could do a lot worse,
and it would be difficult
to do any better.

The Silence is the path
to the latent wisdom/knowledge
that waits within
for your consciousness
to grant access
in order that the darkness
might be the birthplace of light--
and life, and peace.

Consciousness has to open
to ALL there is to be conscious of.

With practice, the stream
is always flowing,
and the communion is constant,
unrelenting
and reliable.

This is the Biblical admonition to
"Pray always"
being realized in our life
without us doing anything more
than being aware of what is always there,
within,
waiting for an opening
to connect us with 
The Way of The Mystery Within.

Listening to The Silence
is connecting with The Mystery
and being led along The Way.

And if you try to make this make sense,
you will be creating a theology
that will close you off from 
the religious experience
of connection with The Mystery,
and you will be thinking your way
to The Way--
and if thinking could work with The Way,
it would have worked
long before
you sat still
and waited quietly,
watching,
listening
for what arises,
emerges...

–0–

02

Skinny Dipping 10/20/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — The Bog Garden, Greensboro, North Carolina
The companion directive to "sit quietly,"
is "get moving!"

The Silence can be the source
of fear,
sadness,
anxiety,
distress,
remorse,
dejection,
depression...
and an endless cycle
of things to worry about
and agonize over 
without end.

When you find yourself
floundering on this side of Silence,
get moving!

Walk around the block.
Change the scenery.
Weed the flowerbed.
Mow the grass.
Rearrange the furniture.
Anything to get you moving.

Moving breaks the hypnotic cycle
of woe-is-me-I'll-never-get-out-alive.
I-don't-know-what-to-do-
and-there-is-too-much-to-be-done-anyway.
And creates an opening through which
realization can occur unbidden,
and balance and harmony
can reenter your life.
It's amazing.
You just got up and walked to the door
and everything changed.
It all dropped away
and you are "back in the saddle again."

The Dark Side of Silence
is a reality of the inner world,
and one we have to be conscious of
and ready for.

Jon Kabat-Zinn's advice of
tucking everything into our awareness
without engaging any of it,
or allowing it to hijack/kidnap us
and carry us off into the Depths of Despair
is a safety belt anchoring us
to the "still point of the turning world."

We aren't going there.
We are staying here.
And we will get moving if we have to.
And come back later,
when we are less vulnerable
to the satanic temptations of the inner world.

Working things out 
with the realities of The Silence
is part of the process of 
trusting ourselves to the Light Side
of Silence
and protecting ourselves against
the Dark Side.

Both sides are present,
and it is our place to say Yes to one
and No to the other--
and moving is our tool for shutting the door
to the monsters of the deep, 
creating space for reflection/exploration
in becoming aware of our vulnerabilities
and making our peace
(Perhaps with psychotherapy 
or Jungian analysis)
with our psychic wounds incurred
through experiences with abuse/neglect,
grief,
loss
and sorrow.

Moving puts us in position
to consider our options
and to choose among our choices
in finding the best way to enhance
our ability to enter The Silence
and deal with all we find there.

Coming to terms with what resides within
is a necessary/requisite step toward
maturity/illumination.

We do not achieve maturity
without illumination,
and we do not achieve illumination
without maturity.
And The Silence is the path way to both.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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