We Hear Our Stories in the Stillness
Some of us try to follow an intentional, planned contemplative practice of listening to sacred stillness. It can be a challenge for us to discern and remember what we are listening to hear.
Why are we listening to sacred stillness? What do we hope to hear as we sit quietly listening to stillness?
We may listen to hear all the distractions of each day fade away into calm stillness. Some of us listen to hear all the voices which call for our attention finally leave us alone.
There are people who listen to find rest and people who listen to find clarity. Some people listen for peace and quiet and others who listen to the pieces fitting together in stillness.
As we practice contemplative listening many of us become more effective listeners. We are drawn more deeply into listening, more deeply into sacred stillness, as we practice listening. Our listening reveals to us there is something more for us to hear in the stillness.
As we listen well we begin to hear our stories in the stillness.
We set a time to practice listening and we sit still, close our eyes, and begin to listen. Our practice is not about finding the bits and pieces of our days we have dropped along the way. We do not allow our minds to trick us into remembering what we had hoped to accomplish today.
Our listening is about being open to reality. We open our minds and our hearts to the truths in the stillness all around us and within us. Breathing deeply we give our permission for spiritual life to be alive and active in our lives.
We begin to recognize who we truly are and can become. Many of us can hear our own stories in the stillness.
We Hear Our Stories and They Reveal More
Most of us believe we remember and understand our own stories. We are convinced we hear our stories and try to share them with other people.
The more time I practice listening to sacred stillness the less convinced I am we hear our stories. I thought I knew myself before my contemplative practices began.
We believe we hear our stories without really paying attention. There are memories which seem so indelibly etched into our stories. It is only as we take time to listen and reflect we begin to realize we do not remember them at all.
Our practice of listening to sacred stillness reveals our stories to us. Even when we think we remember we are only listening to part of the story.
I have memories from growing up which continue to form me today. Memories and experiences spark deep satisfaction and deep pain in me. I can remember exactly where I was standing or what I could see when something happened to me.
The fact is my own eyewitness testimony is not the most reliable.
There is so much more to the story than what we could hear at the time it happened. So many facets were beyond what we could see or appreciate. Childhood experiences which shaped the way I saw the world look different from my perspective today.We need to hear our stories and pay attention so we get more of the story.
When we hear our stories now they have more to teach us, more to reveal to us and in us.
Listening to sacred stillness reveals more in our stories than we have heard ourselves. We begin to appreciate who we are becoming.
We Hear Our Stories and Are Drawn Into Stillness
When we hear our stories in more of their depth and complexity we thirst for more stillness. There is so much more for us to recognize in ourselves, so much we have missed before.
We practice listening to sacred stillness and it allows us to hear our stories.
As I practice listening to sacred stillness I am not attuned to cosmic vibrations or messages from another dimension. I would find those even more distracting than everyday distractions.
We practice listening to sacred stillness by becoming open to spiritual life within us and around us. Contemplative listening is primarily about letting go of what gets in the way. We release our grasp on what distracts our attention and listen to what is true and real.
It is easy for us to forget spiritual life lives in us and our worlds when we get distracted. We stop paying attention and we forget who we are. It is important for us to hear our stories and remind ourselves about what is real.
We hear our stories and they draw us into deeper understanding, deeper stillness. As we listen to sacred stillness we hear our stories again in new ways.
We Hear Our Stories Again In New Ways
I believe in the power of true stories. People tell me stories which inspire me and show me more of myself almost every day.
The most powerful stories we hear are the one to which we pay attention. Each of us has a story of our own which grows deeper and stronger and more clear as we listen.
Listening to sacred stillness reveals the truth of the stories we hear.
We are not merely trying to remember the details of the stories we hear, or of our own stories. We hear our stories and listening reveals their meaning and significance.
It is a treat to be able to tell someone what their story has shown us, what we have learned from their story.
I have told people how much I appreciate their story and what it has taught me. They often tell me they had not thought about it that way. We are listening to what each other’s stories have to teach us.
We listen and hear our stories again in new ways.
When will we take time to hear our stories today by listening to sacred stillness?
How will we continue to hear our stories in sacred stillness this week?
[Image by CmdrGravy]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney 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.