Contemplative Writing in Community: Sharing the Same Silence

Today in our inbox we found a flyer for a guided writing event. We get a lot of these, but this was so beautifully written . . . .

“The season of Epiphany invites us to move from darkness to light, from hiddenness to discovery. Blank journal pages—open, waiting– beckon us toward fresh perspectives on past and future as we write in the light of Presence. Contemplative writing in community increases connectedness with self, others and God. Pen in hand, we listen together for “the still, small voice” and record what we hear. Prayerful writing in an atmosphere of cared-for silence offers a safe structure that allows the truth of your self to naturally flow forth onto the page.”

We were struck by the central comment, “Contemplative writing in community increases connectedness with self, others and God.” The post a day 2011 challenge, so ably supported by The Daily Post, is in essence driving a wave of “writing in community” which is fantastic, but this sentence forced us to ask, what would contemplative writing by a blog community look like?

Perhaps that’s something to consider this year, contemplative blogging, in community.


SHARING THE SAME SILENCE

My firm belief is that we are all together in this.  Though political and economic conflicts may separate us and even make us adversaries; though we may not appreciate or under stand each other; though our individual and societal attachments may cause us to harm and even kill one another, still we are irrevocably, irreversibly, together.  This universal connectedness goes far deeper than idea.  It transcends even the concept that we are all children of God.  For in the realm of contemplative quiet, beyond all ideas, beyond our rainbowed images of God and self, beyond belief, we share the same silence.  We are rooted all together in the ground of consciousness that is God’s gift to us all.  We are all brought to life through that One Spirit that is unfathomable loving energy.  In this field-beyond-image, our joining is absolute.  There is nothing we can do to change it.

When the Islamic mullah prays with true and quiet heart, I believe that the souls of the Iowa farmer and the Welsh miner are touched.  When the gong sounds in the Japanese monastery and the monks enter the timeless silence of Zazen, their quiet nourishes the hearts of the Brazilian Indian and the Manhattan executive.  When Jews and Christians pray with true willingness, the Hindu scientist and the Russian policeman are enriched.  Thus when you struggle with your own mind, seeking that quiet, open beyond-ness that may or may not be given, you do this as much for others as for yourself, and you are helped by the struggles of others in ways beyond all understanding.  Even in the activities of daily life, any act of compassion, however small, somehow touches everyone if it is done with a true spirit of willingness.  Every particle of love, every fleeting moment of willingness, is like another drop of rain on a dry earth.  It is well, I think, to keep this in mind.

GERALD MAY, M.D.

Will & Spirit: A Contemplative Psychology

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Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 8:01 AM  Leave a Comment  
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