Tag Archives: Silence

Sound and Silence: Airport Meditations

LuggageI used to uphold airport meditation as a measure of accomplishment; a rite of passage so to speak in the quest to “be a good meditator” regardless of outer circumstances.    I pursued this goal off and on over a decade or so, sitting with equal vigor in the relative quiet of NW Arkansas’ XNA and the multi-linguistic clamor of New York’s JFK.

It wasn’t until February, 2012, however, that I first experienced a profoundly immersive airport meditation.   It happened in Terminal B (I believe) of Dallas Fort Worth’s International Airport (DFW).   Arizona-bound to see my father who was in the final days of his life, I settled into the crowded gate area and closed my eyes, seeking not some pre-defined success or self-affirmation but rather Love’s solace and radiant silence.   What else can one do when approaching a convergence of vulnerability and the profound need for courage, grace and strength?

I recalled that spontaneous DFW experience last weekend as I wandered through O’Hare International after an embracing weekend with family in Chicago.  Surrounded by routine boarding calls and urgent gate change announcements, I was reminded that the primary obstacle to hearing the Heart’s Song rises not so much from outer noise but from the inner clatter of scattering thoughts and emotions and the agendas they agitate.

I still practice airport meditation on occasion, although thankfully no longer compelled by the noisy desire for accomplishment.    The simple possibility of once again registering the sweet Note of our Togetherness is more than enough.

 

 

Sound and Silence: Amidst a wordy week

buckeye.jpg

The week has been full of necessary words – read, spoken, heard, written, thought.  Personal.  Professional.    And it’s only Tuesday.

More than ever silent interludes are claiming my gratitude and replenishing my equilibrium and passion for life.   I linger over teeth brushing.   Relish dishwashing’s contemplation.   Treat myself to meditation under the stars at night and on the exercise bike in the morning.

Slipping into silence reminds me of the spring buckeye poised to unfurl; both being ripe with potential and unfolding beauty.  Both of sacred design.  Both so enticing and pleasing during these busy days of spring.

What do you enjoy most about inner or outer silence?  Or both? And how do you cultivate silence in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound and Silence: Encountering Voices of Grief and Hope on the Buffalo

neon mushroomsSunday I rested in the predawn stillness, waiting for the first bird songs. Sweet anticipation infused the Ozark woodlands. It played quietly on the whispering breeze and in my heart. What a magical time, this transitional interlude between night and day!

Steady snores grumbled over from the collection of tents erected by river-floating Texans a few sites away, but it didn’t matter. After two days of hiking in Arkansas’s treasured Buffalo National River area, my ears and heart were attuned to Nature’s finer rhythms and melodies and were harmonizing with the Heart’s deeper Sound. What a change from just days before!

Certainly being in Nature refreshes, recalibrates and renews. I was very happy to be walking with my brother who had traveled down from Chicago. Yet hiking in silence and laying in a tent alone at night temporarily amplifies the inner stories.   It gives unresolved hurts and struggles space to speak their pain. And their hopes.

As I move closer to legally resolving final ties with the spiritual community I helped create and chose to leave last November, I’ve encountered sadness, self-doubt, and inklings of new freedom . . . feelings that had been insisting on some attention but whose mouths I had temporarily sealed with the duct tape of work and other responsibilities. That is until the testing, healing days and nights on the Buffalo.

I listened to my pain, as my brother and I crested lush hills and walked along streams swollen by the remnants of Hurricane Bill. I listened to my Heart strengths and the parts of me wanting to change. I spoke admirations to the trail-crossing box turtle, the copperhead warming in sun-touched leaves, and the surprising neon mushrooms poking up along the way. Through the climbs and descents, I accepted that sometimes in transitional human moments the voice of grief mixes with the voice of anticipation, anticipation for the unexpected good yet to come.  Would you agree?  The resonant Sound that contains both voices is the courageous beat of the honest Heart, present in the moment, perfectly willing to release from the passing night and stretch into the arriving dawn.

With the Texans still snoring, I gave thanks for the Heart’s evolutionary wisdom and welcomed the whippoorwill’s morning song.