Meditation does not have to be difficult. We are changing the habit of constantly thinking. We are changing our pattern of carrying the details and challenges of daily life all the time within us. Meditation can teach us to let go of our busy mind and be in our heart.
In silence we find the steps within where everything that is good is present. In 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.
I tell my writing students to stop talking because they will not hear anything without the silence. The cats sit in my lap, stare at me, but they don't meow. They understand the rarity of this time together before the talking resumes and the silence is lost forever.
Maybe the gift of silence is what this year's holiday is really about. The gift of silence can restore the mystic within an unbelieving soul. Given the opportunity, the peace and stillness this Christmas Eve can restore something even more beautiful: our innocence.
Please join me in a national moment of silence in honor of the Sandy Hook victims called for by Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at 9:30am ET this Friday, December 21st and spend several minutes reflecting quietly on this terrible tragedy.
As soon as we enter into silence, there are gifts that renew and strengthen our essential selves. These gifts are qualities that enlighten and bring real joy. I call these qualities "muscles of the heart."
It's astounding how uncomfortable we are with silence. We have lost our capacity to be still with ourselves. We are in desperate need of entertainment. Why is that? Is it just a new habit, a fabulous gift of our technology? Or is it something deeper?
While the opening ceremony is being promoted as a joyous event celebrating tradition, athletics, patriotism and the international cooperation of the world, for the Jewish community it will be a painful ceremony reminding us that Jewish blood is considered cheap.
The murderers, terrorists and evildoers of this world will only find strength and encouragement when the global community refuses to honor the memory of those who lives were taken and stand for justice and peace.
The rolling blackouts in Tokyo have given us the chance to reconsider the role of silence in our lives. By welcoming these occasional periods of silence, we can heighten our senses enough to be able to hear what our real energy needs are.