Posts Tagged ‘Silence’

An excerpt from Thomas Merton’s beautiful poem, ‘Song: If you Seek…’:

Follow my ways and I will lead you
To golden-haired suns,
Logos and music, blameless joys,
Innocent of questions
And beyond answers:

For I, Solitude, am thine own self:
I, Nothingness, am thy All.
I, Silence, am thy Amen!

Learn how to meditate on paper. Drawing and writing are forms of meditation. Learn how to contemplate works of art. Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country. Know how to meditate not only when you have a book in your hand but when you are waiting for a bus or riding in a train.

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton

The Merton Fellowship for Peace & Contemplative Living in Ireland will be meeting at All Souls Church, Elmwood Avenue, Belfast on Saturday 29th November from 11am-4pm.

The retreat, entitled ‘Merton on Meditation’ will consist of periods of meditation, reflection and discussion.

Our events are ecumenical and are open to all.

There is no need to have any prior knowledge of Merton.

Please contact me (scottpeddie@sky.com) to book your place. There will be a small charge (£10) to cover costs. Please bring along a packed lunch; alternatively there are a number of cafes nearby.

“I liked the solitude and the silence of the woods and the hills. I felt there the sense of a presence, something undefined and mysterious, which was reflected in the faces of the flowers and the movements of birds and animals, in the sunlight falling through the leaves and in the sound of running water, in the wind blowing on the hills and the wide expanse of earth and sky”.

Bede Griffiths

Portglenone Forest, Co. Antrim

Portglenone Forest, Co. Antrim

In the 2002-2003 school year, there were 41 murders in the neighborhood of Visitacion Valley Middle School in the San Francisco area. Students were busy playing “cops and robbers” with real guns, and many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as  a result of the violence they had witnessed in their lives.

Then, in 2007, the principal instituted a program called “Quiet Time” to teach meditation to each student in the school; the results, of two periods of quiet time per day, were dramatic. Truancy rate fell by more than 7 percent (while the average for the State rose to 30 percent) and suspensions fell by more than 50 percent.

Amazingly, twelve minutes at the beginning and twelve minutes at the end of school day have given these children a coping mechanism to deal with the many stresses that they have to deal with as a result of living in a neighbourhood rife with poverty, disadvantage and violence.

This story shows what can be done with simple methods; quiet contemplation really does work!

You can watch this fantastic short film on the project here (courtesy of youtube):