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Bruce Davis, Ph.D. Headshot

Silence: Where Religion Ends and Our Personal Sanctuary Begins

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Religion at its best, brings us to the door of our heart. Silence carries us to our inner most sanctuary within our heart. In the silence we find the steps within where everything that is good is present. In the silence are the steps to perfect joy. Whether we are busy with the details of modern life or live as a monk and mystic in the woods, sooner or later each of us will travel the inner silence of our hearts.

There is something much more than working for more and more comfort. Religion is more than our group being right and others being wrong. There is a journey to take, the journey into the silence of our heart. The weight of our mental world slows our journey down. The silence of the heart washes the load we carry, freeing our awareness to experience inner peace. It is our inner peace which softens our hardness and opens us where we are closed. In our inner stillness is a truth that runs over our everyday identity like a great river overflowing its banks. Each of us have an inner sanctuary. No matter what our personal story is, there is an opportunity to discover God.

Religion ends at the shoreline of our heart,
Here in the silence, our personal sanctuary begins.
Step by step we have come home.

Nakedness

Whether we have a large home, small one, or no home at all, we are naked.

How much time do we spend thinking, worrying, desiring, never satisfied that enough is enough? For our personality there is seemingly never enough. We can shop, seek entertainment, stay busy to cover our nakedness. But we are naked. Accepting life's vulnerability is an important step into our hearts. We are neither saint nor villain. We are only human. When we accept our nakedness, we struggle with ourselves less and enjoy life more. The silence within unfolds as we lay in the human arms of our heart. Our humanness, our limits and abilities do not warrant our judgment. The silence of our heart supports us to find peace in every part of us. When we are no longer arguing with our human nature, making ourselves wrong, analyzing our moods and behavior, we can rest in our inner silence. Our everyday awareness falls inside and spreads into the vast beauty of the temple of our heart.

Emptiness

No matter how full our refrigerator or our closet, how occupied and busy our calendar, there is emptiness. No matter how much we have, how successful we are, there is emptiness. Emptiness comes in many forms most often in illness, financial struggle, compulsive habits or loneliness. Emptiness sits underneath our personality, because no matter how much we try to fill our lives there is seemingly always something more, something needed. Emptiness is not our enemy. Everyone has an empty place. It is not something to struggle with or try to get rid of. Emptiness is part of being human. Emptiness is nothing more or less than a space within, a space calling us to find our own personal sanctuary. Make friends with the empty part of life and find a vastness of peace instead. Until we have stepped into the silent meadows and great valleys of our heart, a part of life will always be empty.

Humility

In our emptiness we naturally find humility. No matter how important we may think we are, we are not very important. We are but little flowers, giving the most of our essence, the color and fragrance of our hearts, briefly to the world. Before we know it the seasons have passed and we drop our leaves and petals and let go into the great other. The silence, like the night sky full of stars, naturally makes us humble. Humility is not a sign of weakness but our source of strength. Why battle things which are really not worth battling? Why escalate problems when in fact there is no problem? In humility, we don't carry the problems of the world. We let the simple joys of life carry us!

Compassion

Compassion is something we all would like to have but more often than not, we find instead our own selfishness. This is OK. Compassion cannot be forced. It cannot be turned on and off. Compassion grows slowly out of our inner silence. It grows naturally in our acceptance of all our humanness. Compassion flowers as patience, humility, peace fill the vast emptiness we find inside. Compassion spreads through our awareness as we open the many gifts of our inner sanctuary.

Perfect Joy

Perfect joy is the discovery of joy in good times and challenging times. It is more than something made by hopeful or positive thinking. Perfect joy is the fruit of our meditation. Perfect joy is a sign that we have planted our awareness firmly in the silence of our heart. Most people find joy in things that are always changing like good fun, friends and daily success. When these events change, however, so does our joy.

Perfect joy is not dependent upon what we do and what we have. Perfect joy is the fruit of our awareness, rooted and growing in our personal sanctuary. There is unlimited joy as eternity opens within us. The planets and stars are not only in the sky but inside of us. Perfect joy teaches us: Do not let the mental worlds that rule this world cover the silence and peace in our hearts. Take the steps, find the silence and travel the inner path to the infinite. We do this not only for ourselves but as a friend and reminder for everyone!