Daily Riches: The Rhythm of Happiness (Thomas Merton and Richard Bandler)

“There is no such thing as failure, only feedback that what you’re doing is not working.” Richard Bandler

“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony. Music is pleasing not only because of the sound but because of the silence that is in it: without the alternation of sound and silence there would be no rhythm. If we strive to be happy by filling all the silences of life with sound, productive by turning all life’s leisure into work, and real by turning all our being into doing, we will only succeed in producing a hell on earth. If we have no silence, God is not heard in our music. If we have no rest, God does not bless our work. If we twist our lives out of shape in order to fill every corner of them with action and experience, God will seem silently to withdraw from our hearts and leave us empty. Let us, therefore, learn to pass from one imperfect activity to another without worrying too much about what we are missing. It is true that we make many mistakes. But the biggest of them all is to be surprised at them: as if we had some hope of never making any. Mistakes are part of our life, and not the least important part. It is by making mistakes that we gain experience, not only for ourselves but for others. And though our experience prevents neither ourselves nor others from making the same mistake many times, the repeated experience still has a positive value.” Thomas Merton

“We all stumble in many ways.”
James 3:2 NIV

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you trying to eliminate every silence in your life? . . . to refuse “less” and “slow” in order to experience more?
  • Is that working for you? Does it make sense? Does it seem like the path to happiness?
  • Are you surprised by your many mistakes? Can you forgive yourself for them? If not, what does that say about you?

Abba, help me relax about my projects and befriend my mistakes. Help me focus on joining the human race rather than winning the rat race.

For more: No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton

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Sources: Merton, Thomas. No Man Is an Island. New York: Fall River, 2003.

 

Daily Riches: All Faced Calmly … In Good Time – On Silence (Thomas Keating, Soren Kiekegaard, John Fox, Parker Palmer, Melodia and Mother Teresa)

“Silence is God’s first language;

everything else is a poor translation.
In order to hear that language,
we must learn to be still and to rest in God.”
Thomas Keating

“Prayer is not hearing yourself talk,
but being silent,
staying silent
and waiting until you hear God.”
Soren Kiekegaard

“Stillness is where you meet with the essence of things…. In stillness we can begin to let go of external voices, stereotypes, and clichés that crowd out original, personal and internal voices. Those discordant outer voices fade away in stillness. Stillness is a place of rooting oneself in a much larger field of being.” John Fox

”But deep down, we know that when we step back, breathe, allow our agitation to settle, and simply start paying attention, we often see new possibilities in situations that once seemed intractable. The wisdom traditions, religious and secular, have always claimed that only in this contemplative state are we able to touch the truth, whether truth be understood as the fruit of mental acuity or of mystical experience.” Parker Palmer

“With silence, problems appear in a less somber light, in their real dimensions, and seem wholly tractable. Daily worries lose their force, until they appear banal. Hurrying makes no sense. To where am I running, you ask yourself, and why am I running so? Anguish does not exist here any more. All is in its place and will be faced calmly, in good time.”  Melodia

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. …Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. Silence gives us a new outlook on every-thing.” Mother Teresa

“If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do.” Job 13:5

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you learned “to be still and rest in God” as the “wisest thing you could do?
  • Does practicing contemplation have a significant place in your life? If not, how instead will you “root yourself in a much larger field of being?”
  • Have you experienced everything falling into place in silence – to be “faced calmly in good time?” Have you experienced being given a “new outlook on every-thing” in silence? Have you given silence a genuine try?

Abba, help me to make the space and time for necessary, life-giving silence.

For More: Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. 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.”

 

Daily Riches: Silent Night, Holy Night (Andrew Murray, F. W. Faber, T. S. Elliott)

“Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

“Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

“Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glories stream from heaven above
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.”
Joseph Mohr

“The one fact we forget is that the saints of old were capable of spiritual silence simply because they had not contracted our modern habit of ceaseless talk in their ordinary life. Their days were days of silence, relieved by periods of conversation, while ours are a wilderness of talk with a rare oasis of silence.” Andrew Murray

“Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, then we hear the whisperings of God.”
F. W. Faber

“Where shall the Word be found,
where will the word resound?
Not here.
There is not enough silence.”
T. S. Elliott

“It is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:26

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you been quiet enough to hear the “whisperings of God” this Christmas season?
  • Do you live in a “wilderness of talk” rather than “an oasis of silence?” If so, are you working to make space for silence in your life?
  • Have you experienced God’s redeeming grace? His glory “streaming from above” into your life? If not, ask God for this.

Abba, may this season contain enough silence that the Word would be found, and the word would resound.

For More: Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan, “Silence and Grace” by Richard Rohr

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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.”

 

Daily Riches: Responding to Transcendence with Silence and Stillness (Robert Frost) *

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
 .
“My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
 .
“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” –
 “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” –  Robert Frost
.
“Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.”  Psalm 55:6,7
.
Moving From the Heart to the Head
  • Have you ever experienced something this profound and beautiful in nature? Where? How long ago? Did you seek it out, or did it “just happen” like in this poem?
  • Is it the horse or the driver that “thinks it’s queer” to stop near these dark woods? Is there “some mistake?” How often do you find yourself unable to stop and really experience something special because you have “miles to go before [you] sleep?”
  • As the speaker hurries on to keep his promises, what are we to imagine he is feeling? What is the take-away message of the poem?
  • The horse “gives his harness bells a shake”, and the driver moves on. What does it take to convince you to move on and attend to business when you’re experiencing some kind of transcendence? What does your answer say about you?
“Lord, help me to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do …empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next.” – Peter Scazzero

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For More: Poetry: A Pocket Anthology by R. S. Gwynn

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“Then suddenly it happened, I lost every dime, but I’m richer by far, with a satisfied mind.” (“Satisfied Mind”, lyrics by Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes) Often it’s in our most painful losses that we find what really matters, and the satisfaction found in God alone. I hope that Daily Riches will help you to be “richer by far” as you grow in such satisfaction. Thanks for reading and sharing Daily Riches!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Change the World, but First Yourself (David K. Flowers, Thomas Merton, Socrates) *

“You don’t need to fix your friends or family. You don’t need to solve all the problems that confront you. If you can simply learn to not be controlled by fear — your own or that of others — you will be a non-anxious presence in the lives of others, and there is nothing they need more. So how do you do this? By confronting your own anxieties and fears head-on. An anxious person cannot be a non-anxious presence, obviously. The world is full of people wanting to solve all the problems of the world. But the world would profit much more if people would first confront their own anxieties and the things that cause them 1) to have to fill every silence with meaningless chatter, 2) to stay constantly busy, and 3) to do anything to avoid being still.”  David K. Flowers

“He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give to others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressivity, his ego-centered ambitions, his delusions about ends and means.” Thomas Merton

“Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” ~ Socrates

First get rid of the log in your own eye;
then you will see well enough
to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Jesus in Matthew 7:5

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • It’s much easier to focus on “fixing” another person (a spouse, a child, a friend) than to look within. In many instances, Jesus wants us to leave the other person to him. Is there someone in your life right now that you’re trying to “fix?”
  • The most effective way to help others is for us to bring a “non-anxious presence” (“our best selves”) into our relationships with them. Do you regularly have a non-anxious presence?
  • Can you spend time before God in silence and stillness? Are you too busy to be without anxiety? How can you have a more “non-anxious presence?”

Abba, I know I need to slow down, be still, and be more quiet before you and others. Help me learn to rest in your love – so I can bring my very best self to others.

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For More: Living Truthfully by David K. Flowers

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Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Silence and Stillness (Robert Frost)

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
 .
“My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
 .
“He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” –
 “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” –  Robert Frost
.
“Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.”  Psalm 55:6,7
.
Moving From the Heart to the Head
  • Have you ever experienced something this profound and beautiful in nature? Where? How long ago? Did you seek it out, or did it “just happen” like in this poem?
  • Is it the horse or the driver that “thinks it’s queer” to stop near these dark woods? Is there “some mistake?” How often do you find yourself unable to stop and really experience something special because you have “miles to go before [you] sleep?”
  • As the speaker hurries on to keep his promises, what are we to imagine he is feeling? What is the take-away message of the poem?
  • The horse “gives his harness bells a shake”, and the driver moves on. What does it take to convince you to move on and attend to business when you’re experiencing some kind of transcendence? What does your answer say about you?
“Lord, help me to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do …empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next.” – Peter Scazzero

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For More: Poetry: A Pocket Anthology by R. S. Gwynn

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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