Wednesday, September 16, 2009



Warning, a discussion follows on prayer, meditation, 
and God, of course--as each of us understand Him is implied.


I recall in the first grade, Sister Rose Gertrude--when all else would fail--yelled out (her whole four feet of body shaking) "SILENCE!"  And boy, would we get quiet.  A pin dropping sounded like a baseball bouncing on the floor.


In the small country church, at certain times during the service, it was so quiet that it was LOUD.  But quiet lent itself to a feeling of peace, of serene power.  I remember counting my heartbeats, because I could hear them, in the silence.

One of our early sober men said when I "talk" to God, for me to be quiet, and know that He is God, not I.   This was my first inkling into how to "implement" meditation and prayer, how to start.  I realized that quietness had to be a part of it.

I have seen people agitate, grip their hands together, and with furrowed, sweaty brow, beg the Lord's mercy, and that may be good for some. My praying has evolved now into a meditative mode.  I sometimes simply desire to BE with God, just be there, and enjoy the moments.

Meditation is union with God.  If I am upset, making plans, counting minutes or rosary beads, wishing to be somewhere else--now--it is very difficult to form that union, that desired Oneness.  

Leading me to meditation can be told in one word--Silence. Being quiet is the beginning of meditation.  It can be the beginning of a new life.  I told you last week that my 3,000-mile 17-day scooter ride to Virginia, was for me a life-changing event, an experience that allows me now to look at the universe in a totally new way (for me).

Naturally, I cannot predict the longevity of my present thinking, but I'll tell you this, that my WHOLE SELF feels different.  There is a different person in this body.  The few people who might be affected by my behaviors may scoff, but I know what I know.

My gratitude to God right now stems from the people God arranged for me  to meet during my ride.  Several taught me valuable lessons, by baring their souls to me, a stranger.  Others, caring and sharing, were at church celebrations, AA meetings. Still others were those random meetings of "strangers in the night..." And how wonderful are those chance encounters, as the spiritual moments happen with openness.

Recently I  found myself at a Taize service, during which many successive moments were spent in silence.  I could feel the common heartbeats of 45 people slowing to a murmur, and I could "feel a presence" of something other than us peeps.  Others felt this also.  It was like a change-of-heart happening, a change of many hearts simultaneously moving toward a source of power.  There was a Spirit guiding in that church-room and it was not us.

Silence--true meditation--goes beyond words and thoughts, themselves so limited.  I have been taught through years of early schooling what, Who God is. I have been given my "picture" of God.  But nothing of God is as I have learned to imagine.  There are NO words or thoughts which might describe God.

Hundreds of years ago a great mystic wrote in "The Cloud of Unknowing",  "You want to know God? There is only one way of knowing Him:  By unknowing."  I must get beyond my mind and my thought. Then only will I be able to perceive Him with my heart.

And in the noiseless moments, the stillness, the quiet, the silence, I can "know God", briefly at first, then more and more as time endures, I can live with Him and He with me.

Peeps--oh, THERE you are!


Shadow said...

i love silence, i treasure it. silence is beauty!

your new profile pic is outstanding!

Dulce said...

I used to (and sometimes still do) see God as this Big MAn with long white hair and beard up in the Sky (which is the same word as Heaven in Spanish CIELO)... but I've learnt with time that it's not a He or an It, maybe a She, for She is just Me and the Best I can find in Here _myself...Witout me She wouldn't Be...
God bless you (Yours)

Ed G. said...

Ah yes, silence grasshopper...

Blessings and aloha...

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Shhhh I'm just here in the corner...sitting and listening intently... :)

John DeFlumeri Jr said...

You mention "God made arrangements for you" That is a strong belief, and it does take away some anxiety. Thanks.

Syd said...

Being still and quiet is good. Thanks for a great post.

Steve E. said...

HA! Jessie--yeah, this numskull "got it"...God is your GPS. LOL

Tall Kay said...

Stillness and quiet were so hard for me in early sobriety. This is something I have had to practice. The God of my understanding, as I will never understand. Great story Steve-O. Thank you!

I think the new pic is just perrrfect!

Margie said...

Such an inspiring post, Steve!
Thank you!

It's in the deep silence of my heart I am able to truly connect with God.
Those moments can bring me to tears!

Blessings to you & yours!


wolfie185 said...

"Be still and know that I am
God" isn't in the Bible somewhere? I love the silence and have to find solice in it, too much noise and calamity messes with my head so I have to step out of certain events and seek silence, if nothing else just listen to the voice of God via nature. Mediation is a big part of my spiritual life and I am not the best at it but continue to practice. If a meeting doesn't have a moment of silence I miss it, it is via this moment of silence I let God enter my thoughts so that I can be of better service to God and AA.
Thanks for great post!!!

big Jenn said...

What a great post! Thanks! jeNN

Robin said...

Thank you for the great post Steve!
I loved it!
Recently I had the feeling that God directed me, it gives me peace and I am very grateful for it!
Robin V.

Gin said...

Shutting my mouth and tuning out all of the background noise NOW!

Cat said...

there was a time when silence was not something I enjoyed... and then I had kids who taught me the value of such things.