Erik Walker Wikstrom in Simply Pray says “If you long to connect with the Sacred, if you desire to live a life that is more in touch with the Holy, stop listening for something and start simply listening…build your theology around the experience, rather than the other way around.”
What Erik is telling us is by having more silence in our lives we can be more in touch with the Holy and be connected with the Sacred. Only by giving ourselves some quiet time and listening can we find this connection and have clarity. It is by connecting to the quiet, peaceful place inside us that we can hear ourselves. This is where divinity lives and from where our success, abundance, joy and happiness springs.
Mahatma Gandhi says “In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.”
The Quakers also believe that silence is key part of being spiritual. They have a long tradition of silence with their services being a group of people sitting in silence for an hour. You may talk only if you have something to say that is not frivolous. The modern Quaker writer Arthur O. Roberts succinctly outlines the characteristics of silence. Roberts shows silence not as formal worship but as private reflection that nurtures the individual in the recognition of solitude. In his Devotions on Silence, Roberts writes that silence:
- fosters awe before the Almighty;
- indicates submission to God;
- provides a posture for worship;
- provides freedom from noise and distraction;
- condition for tranquility;
- sets the stage for prayer;
- signifies respect for others;
- renews wonder at the world;
- provides holy space;
- prepares for effective social witness.
The Quakers encourage the use of silence both in their “meetings” as well as private practice.
I invite you to experiment with including some quiet and silence in your life. Let me know your experience.