In Deep Silence

Autumn in Barre, MA.

Autumn in Barre, MA. Photo: Rabbi Rosalind Glazer

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Every day during my three-month, silent meditation, retreat at IMS in 2011, I sat, walked and strolled contemplatively for some 4-7 miles on the beautiful property and woods surrounding the center.  Whether in the sun, rain or snow of that cool New England Autumn and frigid early Winter  I ventured out to behold the magnificent sky, land and water. This particular day filled with gorgeous bursts of color and clear fresh air was incredibly alive and nourishing.

To take an extended break from a driven life to wade deep into silence is a blessing unlike any other. In that place every color is more briliant. Every breath is fuller. Every insight more profound. Every moment rising and passing is examined and recognized as a rich treasure.

True, my blog title is “The Rabbi Speaks,” and it is indeed full of words. But sometimes as the Sages say, there is more wisdom in silence. It is not a surprise that the Hebrew words medabber, speak, and midbar, desert are related.  To live a life of spirit one must – from time to time – step out of the noisy, clamoring world and enter a vast expanse, open like the desert, to find quiet calm and inner stillness.  Only in that place where the constant chatter of ones own mind can finally settle can one finally hope to hear the “still small voice” whispering a deeper truth – a truth more profound than any other.

“Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo – from In Mad Love and War, 1990

“Eagle Poem” by Joy Harjo – from In Mad Love and War, 1990

Clearwater Beach, FL - July 2009.  Photo:  Rabbi Rosalind Glazer
Clearwater Beach, FL – July 2009. Photo: Rabbi Rosalind Glazer

To pray you open your whole self

To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon

To one whole voice that is you

And know there is more

That you can’t see, can’t hear

Can’t know except in moments

Steadily growing, and in languages

That aren’t always sound but other

Circles of motion

Like eagle that Sunday morning

Over Salt River

Circled in blue sky

In wind, swept our hearts clean 

With sacred wings 

We see you, see ourselves and know

That we must take the utmost care

And kindness in all things

Breathe in, knowing we are made of

All this, and breathe, knowing

We are truly blessed because we

Were born, and die soon within a

True circle of motion

Like eagle rounding out the morning

Inside us

We pray that it will be done

In beauty

In beauty