"It is our quiet time. We do not speak, because the voices are within us. It is our quiet time. We do not walk, because the earth is all within us. It is our quiet time. We do not dance, because the music has lifted us to a place where the spirit is.It is our quiet time. We rest with all of nature.” (Nancy Wood, SLT #481)Dear silence at the center of all,
You are there, the quiet behind the cacophony, the silence beyond the sound, the calm unspeaking awareness deep within all the words of self-protection from ourselves and from others. We would perceive your presence amidst the noise of our lives. From the silence at our center, there is peace. From the quiet abiding without as within, we are one.
From the place of love, we see suffering and rather than pushing it out of mind, we take in the pain, for only in presence to the hurting can we become a fully alive people of compassion.
Breathing in, we breathe in the world’s cries, its brokenness, its hurt.
Breathing out, we breathe out love.
Breathing in, we take in suffering.
Breathing out, we send healing kindness.
Flint, Michigan brought attention to lead in drinking water, yet this is nothing new. Children in minority neighborhoods have been exposed to lead from water and other sources, like peeling lead paint, for a long time. Black children have the highest risk of lead poisoning in the United States.
Breathing in, we grasp the damage and the injustice.
Breathing out, we orient ourselves toward compassion.
Immigrants seeking asylum face lengthy detentions in conditions that further traumatize people who have already been traumatized by the violence and persecution they fled in their home countries. Immigrants seeking asylum also have no right to a public defender, which makes a big difference. Mothers with children without a lawyer are granted asylum in 2 percent of cases, with a lawyer, in 32 percent of cases.
Breathing in, we feel their pain.
Breathing out, we breathe out love, resolving not to forget them.
Around the world, people are drawn to or pressed into violence and terrorism. Millions live in abject poverty, even as they look at the wealth which seems so far out of their reach.
Breathing in, their suffering is our suffering.
Breathing out, we are moved to respond in care and compassion.
Dear silence beyond knowing, guide our hearts and our hands, that we may be agents of reconciliation, of health and healing, of justice and peace in our world.