James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperCollins, 2005), 105.
Image: Nareeta Martin, unsplash.com/@splashabout
'When I was living as a monk in a monastery that followed the Rule of Saint Benedict, I experienced directly the transforming power of the practice of silence. After I left the monastery I discovered in meditation a way to reenter the silence that had so transformed my life in the monastery.
I realize that our life out here in the world, where the vast majority of us live our lives, is considerably more noisy, and requires a lot more talking, than the life lived by monks and nuns in their cloisters. I realize, too, that the hectic pace in which many of us live our lives makes it difficult to slow things down enough to relax into the subtle silence that opens out into God. But the great thing about meditation is that it directly embodies the essence of silence. The moment you begin to silently sit in meditation, you are silent. It may be true that this silence is, at first, only the silence that begins when you stop speaking. But you can choose to turn towards this initial taste of silence. …
The moment you sit in meditation and become silent, the silence surrounds you and immediately makes itself felt. But if the chatter of your wandering mind and the frayed edges of a hectic day have a real grip on you, it takes a while for the silence to sink in. Sitting in silence, breathing in silence, opening yourself to silence, you become, little by little, more and more silent. … The silence of a single session of meditation can open up more mystery and depth of oneness with God than a lifetime of speaking could even begin to explain.'
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