Vigilant Listening, So Still

 

““When you pray,” it has been wisely said by an Orthodox writer in Finland, “you yourself must be silent…You yourself must be silent; let the prayer speak.”  To achieve silence: this is of all things the hardest and the most decisive in the art of prayer.  Silence is not merely negative—a pause between words, a temporary cessation of speech—but, properly understood, it is highly positive: an attitude of attentive alertness, of vigilance, and above all of listening.  The hesychast, the man who has attained hesychia, inward stillness or silence, is par excellence the one who listens.  He listens to the voice of prayer in his own heart, and he understands that this voice is not his own but that of Another speaking within him.”

—Archimandrite Kallistos Ware, “The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality”




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Beauty in Diversity

people, art

“Just as a bouquet having flowers of different colors is more beautiful than a bouquet of flowers the same color, there is one Truth that shines through the rivers and mountains, flowers, the sun, moon and stars, you and I, are all expressions of this One Reality. It is by recognizing this truth in life that we can discover the inherent beauty in this diversity.”

—Amma

 




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Towards the One

 

Towards the One

“All numbers are multiples of one, all sciences converge to a common point, all wisdom comes out of one center, and the number of wisdom is one.”
 
– Paracelsus
 
 
“I tell them there are no backwaters. There is only one river, and we are all in it. Wave your arms, and the ripples will eventually reach me.”
 
— Scott Russell Sanders in “Writing from the Center”
 
 
This is a collaborate group collage done for Amma’s Circle of Love Letters a few years ago.
 




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Unstoppable

 

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be”.

–Patanjali

 

 




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Gift of Silence

 

“The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but is one who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect to anticipate the words that will transform his darkness into light.  He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation.  He does not demand light instead of darkness.  He waits on the Word of God in silence, and, when he is “answered,” it is not so much by a word that bursts into his silence.  It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God.”

—Thomas Merton, “Dialogue with Silence”, ed. Jonathan Motaldo




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God-Colored Glasses

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” are familiar words of Jesus’ Beatitudes.  In an illumined state you see God.  This does not mean you see “the man in the skies.”  But you see from the consciousness of God.  You see with “God-colored glasses.”  Your seeing projects the light of Spirit.  At the start of every day the wise student will take a few moments to become established in the light, hold this realization: “And God said, ‘Let there be Light.’”—Eric Butterworth, “The Creative Life”

The smoke tree leaves look like ornaments colored by the spiderweb glistening in the sun….




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Print in Clearest Lines, O Lord

 

“Your words to me are life and health; Pour strength into my soul; Enable, guide and teach my heart to reach its perfect goal. Your words to me are light and truth; from day to day they show their wisdom, passing earthly lore, as in their truth I grow. Your words are perfected in one, Yourself, the living Word; within my heart your image print in clearest lines, O Lord.”

– hymn by George Currie Martin, 1865- 1937




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