“Leave the silence open-ended. Do not try to settle the dust. Do not rush to resolve the inner conflict. Do not seek a glib, quick answer, but leave all things for a while in the silent space. Do not rush to judgment. That is what it really means that God alone is the judge. Inner silence frees you from the burden of thinking that your judgment is needed or important. Real silence moves you from knowing things to perceiving a presence that has a reality in itself. Could that be God? There is then a mutuality between you and all things. There is an I-Thou relationship, as twentieth-century philosopher Martin Buber would call it. He said an I-It relationship is when we experience everything as a commodity, as useful, as utilitarian. But the I-thou relationship is when you an simply respect a thing as it is without adjusting it, naming it, changing it, fixing it, controlling it, or trying to explain it. Is this the mind that can know God? I think so. That does not mean that there is not a place for explaining, not a place for understanding. But first you have to learn to say “yes” to the moment. Yes is where you have to begin. If you start with no, which is critiquing, judging, pigeonholing, analyzing, dismissing, it is very hard to get back to yes. You must learn to start every single encounter with a foundational yes, before you ever dare to move to no. That is the heart of contemplation, and it takes a lifetime of practice. But you have now begun and can live each day with a forever-returning beginner’s mind. It will always be silent before it dares to speak.” Richard Rohr
“draw near to listen
rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools….”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Have you fallen into the trap of “thinking your judgment is needed or important?”
- Of seeing others as commodities based on whether they can be useful to you? This seems like a particular pitfall for those in ministry.
- Have you begun the “lifetime practice” of always starting with a “foundational yes?” …not starting with “critiquing, judging, pigeonholing, analyzing or dismissing?”
Abba, keep me from usurping your role as judge and jury. May I learn to sit with silence before I dare to speak.
For More: Silent Compassion by Richard Rohr
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”