May 26     

Today's quotation:

We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly; spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.

Susan Taylor

Today's Meditation:

I have a very hard time spending quiet time alone.  I love spending time alone, but it's usually not quiet-- I'm running or hiking or listening to music.  So I force myself to spend time doing nothing, with no music on at all, and that time usually is some of the best time I ever spend.  It usually is pretty difficult for the first five or ten minutes, but after that it's great once I get used to it.

My mind starts to relax then, and I feel my thoughts start to slip away and my brain start to empty itself-- of the trivial and the unimportant, and the more important things start to become more prominent in my thoughts.  It's like a computer that's running about thirty programs at once, overwhelming the processor-- the machine runs slowly and ineffectively and sometimes even crashes or freezes up.  But once I shut down the programs that aren't really contributing to me right now, the more important basic elements are given more space and time within my mind, and I really like how it feels to be able to slow down and think in a much more relaxed way.

A nice, comfortable, quiet place is within reach of all of us.  We all can find such a place.  The question is simple:  what do we do with that space?  How do we treat it when we're there?  Do we fill it with noise or just turn around and leave because there's nothing going on or because it bores us?  If we do so, we're missing one of the most important gifts we have-- a quiet space where we can spend some quiet time and renew our energy and vitality.

It's hard to be open and honest when we're competing to think over noise and distractions.  And there's no need to, as long as we're willing to take-- or make-- the time to spend in quiet, peaceful reflection.

Questions to consider:

How often do you spend very quiet time alone?

Why do members of so many cultures put so little value on time alone?

What are some of the potential benefits of spending time alone in a very quiet place?

For further thought:

In this noisy, restless, bewildering age, there is a great need for quietness of spirit.  Even in our communion with God we are so busy presenting our problems, asking for help, seeking relief that we leave no moments of silence to listen for Godís answers.  By practice we can learn to submerge our spirits beneath the turbulent surface waves of life and reach that depth of our being where all is still, where no storms can reach us.  Here only can we forget the material world and its demands on us.

Alice Hegan Rice

more thoughts and ideas on silence



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