Cultivating Silence – Step 2

I told you the first thing if you want to attain to silence and you want to get to God is understanding all readiness to realize that your ideas of God are all inadequate, and lots of people are not ready to realize that and that’s the big obstacle to prayer and meditation in their case.

The second thing you need to do if you want to get silence, it is. Now get ready because some of you are going to think that this is absurd it’s almost incredible but all you need to do is look.

Listen, hear, see that’s all. That’s all. Let me explain that.

You know in the East we say, God created the world. God dances the world. Can you think of a dancer and his dance there one thing they’re not the same thing but they’re not two. There’s a great English theologian who put it in as lovely and as profound way. He said God is in creation the way the voice of a singer is in a song. But suppose I want to sing a song, let’s suppose I were to say “󠆯♪You are my God to thee♪”. You’ve got my voice you’ve got the song, so intimately connected though they’re not the same thing.

Now listen to this, isn’t it strange that we would be listening to the song and we don’t hear the voice? That we’re looking at the dance and we don’t see the dancer? Isn’t strange that we should hear the song and not hear the voice? That we can see the dance and we do not recognize the dancer?

Now you might say to me, well does it mean that if we just look we will be given the grace of seeing and of recognizing?  No!  You may be given the grace of seeing and recognizing, because this calls for a special way of seeing. of seeing.  Do you remember that lovely book? The Little Prince?  The fox says something to the Prince, “It is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye”. So what you need is heart hearing, heart seeing.

There is admirable Japanese tale that brings this out very well. This disciple goes to his master and he says, “you are hiding the final secret of contemplation from me” and the master says, “no I’m not” and the disciple says, “oh yes you are”.

Well one day they happen to be walking along the mountainside and they heard a bird sings, and the master said to the disciple “did you hear that birds sing?”,  and the disciple said “yes” and the master said, “well now you know that I haven’t hidden anything from you”, and the disciple said “yes”.

You know what had happened, he had attained heart hearing, heart listening. This is a gift that may be given to us if we would look.

Another way of putting the same thing you know I keep giving you these various comparisons because some people will be helped by some and others by others. Imagine that I am looking at the sunset, and a peasant comes to me and says, “What are you looking at? You seem all enraptured” and I say, “I’m enraptured by the beauty”, and the poor man comes every day at evening to look for beauty.

I mean where? Where? Is this beauty he said, well he can see the sun, he can see the clouds, he can see the trees, but beauty he doesn’t realize that beauty isn’t a thing.

Beauty is a way of looking at things.  Look at creation, hopefully someday heart looking will be given to you, and when you’re looking at creation don’t look for anything sensational now.

You know you may have heard of a God experience and you’re nothing sensational. Just look. Just observe and don’t look at ideas look at creation and hopefully it will be given to you, because you will become quiet as you look and silence will overtake you and then you may see. That is what is brought out so beautifully in the Gospel according to John. Where we are told in the first chapter “all things were created in Him and through Him”.  And then we have that lovely sentence which says “He was in the world for the world was created by Him but the world did not recognize Him”.   If you would look maybe you will recognize. Look at the dance, hopefully you will spot the dancer.