New Year: Let's Find Our Cathedral Of Silence
Photo by Sarah Ball
By Bruce Davis, Ph.D.
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu — we all seek the treasure waiting in silence. In silence, we all meet in a common understanding. There is peace. The gifts of silence come in many forms. We find it in hidden valleys, mountain tops, ocean beaches, as well as in temples and cathedrals. What is important is to find our own cathedral of silence and enjoy.
Silence can be found in the night while everyone else is sleeping. Night owls are often owls sitting in the wisdom of silence. We can find silence in the sleeping faces of our children or partner. Silence can be found in the world’s great forests, or sitting in our heart during prayer and meditation. Silence can touch us almost anytime, anywhere as soon as we give it our attention. The simple quiet becomes a cathedral as it touches our heart. Something inside of us is awakened. There is something more than our thoughts and activity. There is silence.
Silence is our personal sanctuary where we find our companion, the companionship of silence. In silence, the conversation we have going on inside ends. Something else begins. It is beautiful to have no conversation, no words, the timeless time of simple stillness. Our awareness reaches for the ceiling of our cathedral. We feel our self spreading out from our normal mind to a mind of no borders, no boundary. A vastness takes over. Our normal self lets go to a self which is free. Silence is our private gathering place with the unnamed, the other, that which transcends.
Sooner or later, everyone wants to escape at least for a while the busy life. But we hesitate. Being busy has become a habit. What do I do? Learning not to do, just be is the mystery school that takes place in silence. Receiving peace and quiet is the opening chapter. Then the following chapters are empty pages of silence full of invitations, possibilities. We are taken into the cloud of unknowing. There is something more than our mind. There is silence and the heart full of presence.
The sky of silence takes us to the stars and planets within us and beyond. Life is humbled, reflected, expanded, celebrated. In these moments I am beyond me and mine. “I” no longer occupies so much time and space. The silence leads us into a unifying place where everyone and everything is connected. The cathedral of silence is the orchestra after life’s music has finished, and there is only the harmony. The world’s noise has been turned down, covered over, absorbed into greater realms. There is shock and awe and so much beauty. We have found the ears and eyes of our heart.
In our cathedral, the knots of life slowly untie. Many rooms of the heart previously locked or overly crowded now softly open. It’s a relief to not be busy when there is life itself beating fiercely, wonderfully inside and all around us. The simplicity of solitude is presenting answers. Be and be more. Our cathedral has no rules, no requirements. Come as you are. Meditation, retreat, devotion, compassion, gratitude: each are guides taking us down the path winding in, around and through the silence. The gentle river of quiet opens to a sea of presence where everything seemly spreads out and unveils itself.
Our cathedral reveals our true nature, the sacred. Many parts of our self including tenderness, doubt and insecurities are respectfully embraced. There is passion and innocence. Magically, we are not alone. We never thought we would find in this world another world of so much love, acceptance, our own personal cathedral. Silence is our private sanctuary where we, and something greater, rule the endless terrain of our own awareness. There are no limits. Gardens, pastures, fields of golden silence stretch out before and within us. Cathedrals of silence are calling.
Each moment is intimate. As we fall into the pews, we discover the things we want in this world including wealth, security, love, simple joy are in fact present. They are all here in the silence. Can we receive? Do we have space, emptiness for the treasure? It is the cathedrals we discover in life that make our journey a fulfilling pilgrimage.