Thursday, December 31, 2009

Find Comfort in Listening

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick I tend to look for comfort -- comfort food, comfort clothes, comfort shoes, comfort books...

... which is how I ended up returning to Brother Tolbert McCarroll's book, Notes from the Song of Life -- its brief meditations have a way of soothing me back into my best space. This morning's reading -- which I may have shared with you before -- is called "Listening," and it really resonated with me, so I will share it with you here. He says all I needed to hear today:

"In every corner of your world there blows a gentle wind that sings a silent song. You must listen for that song.

Usually your mind is filled with questions, arguments, and expectations. Do not add more by considering how you will go about listening, or congratulating yourself on how well you are doing. And especially do not believe that you know what you are going to hear. It is enough that you know the beginning. If you try to guess what will follow, you will not hear what you were meant to hear. So you must listen without expectations. Indeed you must not expect that you will hear anything at all. For there is no object or goal to your listening. You are not listening for something. The listening itself is the end of the journey. Do not climb a mountain in order to listen. Go down into the valley.

Listening is emptying out. It means giving up everything. Remove your inner noise and the silent song will enter in. The song is being sung all the time. The breeze that bears this song comes from deep stillness. It is its nature to enter into any silence it encounters. You do not have to capture the song. It is not possible for you to do so. If you would experience the song you must be silent and listen to the stillness at your core.

Men and women do not hear what is constantly being spoken to them. Even those who profess to be longing for the song often make so much noise in their quest that there is no room for the song to enter in.

All that is required of you is that you learn to be truly quiet. Do that and all else will happen without your effort. The willow has only to stand still and the wind will move its branches. If the willow tried to create a wind by frantically waving its branches it would miss the real wind when it came. The attempt to create a wind will quickly exhaust you. When the wind of the silent song touches you, you are refreshed. So, like the willow, stand still.

All your life your heart has been singing a little soundless song. Listen to the song of your heart, because it is part of the great silent song. Open the door of your heart and the wind of the Spirit will come."


Maureen said...

Wonderful quote, Diane.

And my book stack just grew higher again, as I added this one to the list.

May you have a wonderful, peaceful, full-of-listening New Year.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thank you Diane.

A beautiful first read on this first day of the first year of a new decade.

And, yup... the book stack just grew higher.

Blessings and wishes for a joyful and peaceful new year.


Dianna Woolley said...

A beautiful reading this a.m. Thank you for sharing it! Happy New Year!