As my 13 Months of Silence nears its end, I am reminded of my several months doing interim minister duties at the United Churches of Christ in Letcher and Loomis SD 30 years ago.
That was a great experience. I only got one complaint during my stint as pastor. A few weeks into my time there, Harvey Fouberg representing the church council, buttonholed me and said something like, "Robert, you are doing well. The people like you and appreciate all your efforts. There is one problem, though. They don't like the Moments of Silence during the Sunday Service. They are too long. Can you do something about that?" Well, I did.
Silence seemed to be a problem then in the world. And maybe is more so now.
But for me, the Year of Silence has been a good thing. I have learned a lot from my experience. I probably won't repeat it. But if I do, I will proceed a bit differently.
In any case, I will carry lessons of Silence with me. Working beyond just holding the tongue, but toward stilling other parts of myself.
Some people have antsy bodies - can't sit still. Others have feelings which go every which direction. Still others have minds which never quit.
The latter is my case to a lesser or greater degree. And, I intend to work more and more at Silencing the Mind. Then one day, I may be able to recognize that Voice of the Silence which is trying to get in touch with me. That small still Voice may be endeavoring to do the same with you.
Richard Hobday, author of The Healing Sun and a new internet friend, shared the following quote from Paramahansa Yogananda. He did so not knowing of my Silent Year. I pass it on to you.
"Through the portals of silence the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you."
Moments of Peace and Silence to You, Robert
Leave comments below or send to theportableschool at gmail dot com.
Monday, August 14, 2017
If you know who Chief Joseph is, you might wonder about the combination of names in the title. But, maybe you don't know Chief Joseph. And, maybe you don't even know JFK.
You say, "Well, sure I know JFK. Everyone knows our 35th president."
Sorry, but that's not the one I have in mind. And, Chief Joseph was the now-famous Nez Perce who marched his tribe 1200 miles from Oregon territory to the border with Canada in 1877 hoping to escape wars and fighting and removal from ancestral lands. Sadly, his effort failed. His people were turned back to US property.
Fortunately for his tears and trouble, he left us with famous words of which my personal friend JFK reminded me many times over the years. His reminders came in his own stand to "Work no more, forever."
Which followed on Chief Joseph's immortal statement: "I will fight no more, forever."
I think Joseph lived up to his decree. JFK - James Francis Kinerk - failed. He went back to work at different times for a brother-in-law to pay bills until Social Security arrived. He, however, never returned to a regular insurance job.
All of this leads up to my own pronouncement coming on ten months of silence and contemplation: "To argue no more forever."
I hope I can live up to this stand like Chief Joseph. One of my reflections on the value of silence is that I have had only one argument since closing my mouth. That one occurred because people thought I was shunning them, jeopardizing them by my silence. It was a very brief moment which caused me to leave and "discuss" the situation by email.
My Year of Silence was about me. Not about anybody else. It has taught me the value of less talk.
Saying less, valuing silence more, and that speaking if possible only to improve the silence should at least help to limit my ability and (some think) talent to get into arguments.
My cogitations have also reminded me that there is not much worth arguing about. That people believe what they believe because of who they are, where they have been, and the years of their experience. Argument rarely, rarely changes anyone. If anything it adds fuel to the fire.
As a friend in Lavina used to say, "A woman convinced against her will is of the same opinion still." That truism fits men as well.
So, hold me to it. And, watch me hold my tongue - even though I will be speaking again soon. I will be much less verbal than in the past. And ...
"I will argue no more forever."
Leave comment below or send to theportableschool at gmail dot com. Thanks