December 4 2017

By: Jackie Hook
Monday, December 4, 2017

Our theme for December is Silence. What Does It Teach Us? I recently wrote an article about this for the 2017 Fall Issue of Centered magazine. I will share it with you here over the next couple of weeks:

When I go on a retreat, I make sure I spend part of it in silence. Something as simple as greeting another person becomes a whole new experience. Instead of a head full of thoughts about what to say and how to respond, you simply look at the others and smile. Without the distraction of words, you are given the opportunity to really look them in the eyes and they you. In the silence the connections become even stronger. I remember feeling so much compassion for these “strangers.”

After the 24 hours of silence — eating together, walking together, passing one another in the hallways, etc., all in silence — our first opportunity to speak was at dinner together. I sat with someone who had just arrived. When she learned that I was from State College, the conversation eventually turned to the local happenings that had gained worldwide attention. Moving from the peace of the silence to the ugliness of those events, my body began to shake. In the past I had similar conversations many times, but never immediately after coming off the depths of inner silence, and the physical manifestation was startling to me.

   (First printed in the 2017 Fall Issue of Centered Magazine)

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

October 11 2021

As we continue our conversation about cherishing memories, my work provides me with the gift of hearing many cherished memories. I’ve shared many spaces with people grieving loved ones and when the...

October 4 2021

This month our theme is “Cherishing Memories.” Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., considers remembering the person who died as one of the needs of mourners. You move from a relationship of presence to a relation...

September 27 2021

As we close out this month’s discussion of “Mustering Courage in Loss,” I invite you do as poet John O’Donohue suggests and engage the danger and the wildness in your own heart, even when your hear...

September 20 2021

I really appreciate this line from poet Alice Mackenzie Swaim, “Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.” That is what it take...

September 13 2021

As we talk more about mustering courage in loss, let’s begin with the etymology of the words muster and courage. According to https://www.etymonline.com, the word muster means, "to display, reveal,...

September 6 2021

This month our theme is “Mustering Courage in Loss.” This is a very appropriate theme as we honor the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Koch Funeral Home was working with Alpha Fire Company to hold a Remem...

August 30 2021

For our final “Life with Tears and Laughter” themed post this month, I offer the poem, “The Guest House,” by Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic. This being huma...

August 23 2021

People often ask me how I take care of myself since my work involves life with tears and laughter. One of the things I do is allow myself to freely express my tears and laughter. I’ve learned that ...

August 16 2021

Now let’s look at the laughter portion of our theme, “Life with Tears and Laughter.” Research has shown that laughter is healthy for us emotionally, physically and socially. (Please read the July G...

August 9 2021

Continuing with our theme of “Life with Tears and Laughter,” this week I’ll talk about the tears. As a culture we accept tears around times of death but, they often then make us feel uncomfortable....