self-portrait by jag
— John Main, OSB in Word into Silence
In the fall of 2000, my life was in free-fall crisis. I reached out to a friend and asked her if she knew of a place I could go and "hide" for a while. I clearly remember saying: I need to step away from the world - even for just a few days. She knew of a place... a silent house. A place called Stillpoint House of Prayer. It was small and welcoming. Unstructured and affordable. Easily accessible. And when I called on that October day - at the height of fall colours season - they had a room available. In hindsight, I believe that my Healing Place had been awaiting my arrival.
During that first visit - my first experience of unstructured silent retreat - I experienced unconditional love and acceptance. I felt deeply that, no matter what would happen in the days ahead, I would be OK. It was the beginning of an ongoing relationship with, and befriending of, Silence. And that is a gift for which I am ever grateful.
This week, I will be returning to Stillpoint for a 5-day retreat into silent solitude. I try to go twice a year, spring and fall, for a "spiritual tune-up". No TV. No computer, iPad or iPhone. No radio. Just me... Being. Attempting to become the Silence, to converse in the language of the Spirit.
Because I had both "gratitude" and "silence" in mind as I sat down to write this, I googled the two words together and, after a click here and a click there, I was lead to this video of Timber Hawkeye at TEDxHonolulu (2012). In it, he states that the two concepts that will change the world are:
- Be GRATEFUL
- Be QUIET
p.s. Be sure to stop by the blog while I'm away - I've arranged to have some goodies delivered in my absence... :-)