In every spiritual path I’ve studied, one of the main pillars is the practice of silence – whether it’s called prayer or meditation or contemplation or relaxation or mindfulness. It is the activity of being still, of heightened awareness, of feeling the Presence. Beginning Sunday, September 7th at 6pm, we will once again be offering a Time for Meditation at Unity – each Sunday, we will share 45 minutes of inspirational words and silence. Each Sunday, we will begin with a short “how to” session. Everyone is welcome.
On the 3rd Sunday of each month we will follow the Time for Meditation with a Time for Healing. There will be Unity practitioners available for 45 minutes following meditation, offering healing support upon request. I hope you will take this opportunity to find the Presence that is your core…to find the Silence that is always present within each of us.
Here are some thoughts to ponder as you open to the possibility of weekly meditation:
“Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living.”
― Elizabeth Lesser, The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure
“Many questing young people and stressed older people nowadays seek relaxation through meditation. They look for it in Hindu, Buddhist and other Eastern religions. They are often surprised to learn that there is such a way within the Christian tradition, a way that is known as contemplation.”
― Ray Simpson, Exploring Celtic Spirituality
“Meditation is like going to the bottom of the sea, where everything is calm and tranquil. On the surface of the sea there may be a multitude of waves but the sea is not affected below. In its deepest depths, the sea is all silence. When we start meditating, first we try to reach our own inner existence, our true existence- that is to say, the bottom of the sea. Then when the waves come from the outside world, we are not affected. Fear, doubt, worry and all the earthly turmoil just wash away, because inside us is solid peace. Thoughts cannot touch us, because our mind is all peace, all silence, all oneness. Like fish in the sea, they jump and swim but leave no mark. When we are in our highest meditation, we feel that we are the sea, and the animals in the sea cannot affect us. We feel that we are the sky, and all the birds flying past cannot affect us. Our mind is the sky and our heart is the infinite sea. This is meditation.”
― Sri Chinmoy
“For moderns - for us - there is something illicit, it seems, about wasted time, the empty hours of contemplation when a thought unfurls, figures of speech budding and blossoming, articulation drifting like spent petals onto the dark table we all once gathered around to talk and talk, letting time get the better of us. “Just taking our time,” as we say. That is, letting time take us. “Can you say,” I once inquired of a sixty-year old cloistered nun who had lived (vibrantly, it seemed) from the age of nineteen in her monastery cell, “what the core of contemplative life is?” “Leisure,” she said, without hesitation, her china blue eyes cheerfully steady on me. I suppose I expected her to say, “Prayer.” Or maybe “The search for God.” Or “Inner peace.” Inner peace would have been good. One of the big-ticket items of spirituality. She saw I didn’t see. “It takes time to do this,” she said finally. Her “this” being the kind of work that requires abdication from time’s industrial purpose (doing things, getting things). By choosing leisure she had bid farewell to the fevered enterprise of getting-and-spending whereby, as the poet said, we lay waste our powers.”
― Patricia Hampl, Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime
“In the inner stillness where meditation leads, the Spirit secretly anoints the soul and heals our deepest wounds.”
― St. John of the Cross
“God’s first language is Silence. Everything else is a translation.”
― Thomas Keating