There is Stillness in the Air
This is a week for listening to sacred stillness. The air has been filled with advertising and carols for as long as we can remember. Now there is stillness in the air.
After rushing for months we have a little time this week to watch the sunset.
I remember when 2018 was a bright and shining new year. It seems like only yesterday this year was bursting out of its box eager to get started. Now we have discovered the secrets of 2018. This year is old and tired, and almost ready to leave the stage.
We have a few days to rest and reflect and listen to sacred stillness before opening the box of a new year.
What are we listening to this week? When we listen to sacred stillness, what do we hear?
How has listening to sacred stillness changed for us from the beginning of this year until now?
This week is an excellent opportunity for us to listen to the stillness in the air.
Some of us practice listening to sacred stillness regularly. We take time every day or every week to listen to stillness in the air.
For some of us it is a challenge to listen to stillness. We struggle to find time to spend listening. When we try to listen sacred stillness can be drowned out by distractions. We want our hearts and minds to be open and quiet, but they do not seem to listen to us.
It can be discouraging or frustrating to try to practice listening to sacred stillness. So many other people and things get in our way. We want to listen well but thoughts, words, and feelings flitter past and capture our attention.
It is a challenge for us to listen to the sacred stillness in the air.
Listening to the Stillness in the Air
Each of us finds our own way to listen to sacred stillness. There are no rules, no checklist, no measurable steps for us to take. We do not need a plan to build our practice of listening to sacred stillness. Our practice grows and develops as we continue to practice.
We each face our own obstacles and struggles as we practice listening to sacred stillness. There are no easy answers or shortcuts to becoming better at it. Each time we sit down to listen is a new beginning for us.
It can be helpful for us to decide on a particular time and place to practice. We do not fail when we forget or get distracted. Each time we start is a new beginning.
Each time I begin I close my eyes, become aware of my own breathing, and let go of what distracts me. My intention is to be open, to give my consent to the presence and actions of spiritual life within me.
There is no wrong way to listen to sacred stillness. We listen to sacred stillness in the air around us and within us. It is the same stillness in the air we breathe and inside us.
When I realize I have become distracted I return as gently as possible to listening. Our practice is not about fighting or defeating what distracts us. We are not keeping score or evaluating how well we are doing. Listening to sacred stillness is not a competition, even with ourselves.
We listen, welcoming spiritual life into our everyday lives. Listening, breathing, with our eyes closed, we relax into the welcoming embrace of spiritual life.
How We Listen to Stillness in the Air
Listening to the stillness in the air we breathe is how we draw it into ourselves. The stillness unites with us. We become part of the sacred stillness and it becomes part of us.
We listen to music or to someone else speaking with us and we take them into our hearts and into our minds. They become part of our lives and we become part of theirs.
As we sit here today we can remember what someone told us years ago. We remember when someone listened to us. There is even music we can hear now, years after the last time we listened to it.
I was driving on a freeway one day when music came on the radio which nearly overwhelmed me. It carried with it a flood of emotions and memories of people and places. It had been decades since I had paid attention to that piece of music, but it was part of me.
We listen to sacred stillness in the air around us the way we listen to each other or to music. Spiritual life becomes part of us and we become part of it each time we listen.
Why We Listen to Stillness in the Air
This is a week for listening to sacred stillness.
There is a stillness in the air as the voices which have filled our year pause to catch their breath. After all the year’s arguments and celebrations, the witticisms and insights, we listen to sacred stillness.
This week we have an opportunity to take a deep breath and listen for understanding. We remember the insights and questions which have filled our year and anticipate what is coming.
As we listen in the present moment we recognize the past is gone and the future may never arrive.
Like music or a conversation we remember sacred stillness becomes part of us and we become part of it. As we consent to spiritual life in our lives we breathe it into us.
The sacred stillness in the air around us wraps us in its arms and draws us in and holds us close.
We have a few days to reflect and listen to the sacred stillness in the air and within ourselves.
Are we listening to the sacred stillness in the air today?
Where will we find sacred stillness in the air around us this week?
[Image by moonjazz]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and university professor, and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.