Silence and Snails

"I need to be silent for a while,
worlds are forming in my heart."
~ Meister Eckhart

"Let mystery have its place in you;
do not be always turning up your whole soil
wit the plowshare of self-examination,
but leave a little fallow corner in your heart
ready for any seed the winds may bring,
and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird;
keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guests,
an altar for unknown God."
~ Henri-Frederic Amiel

One of the suggested practices that I came across recently for the new year, is to listen for a word that may manifest in your heart as a guiding theme or principle for the year.

As I listened on my walk today, the word that came was silence...

Actually, everything I've read or come across in the last couple of weeks has served as an invitation to cultivating greater silence...

Martin Scorcese's latest movie, now in theaters, is titled "Silence..."

The song that shows up on my favorite XM Sirius channel, as I am driving around doing errands is titled "Beautiful Silence..."

Last night I dreamt of a small snail figuring prominently in my dream - he would not be ignored - and so I looked up its metaphysical meaning, and these are some of things that I came across:

"You are headed in the right direction, and if you are willing to keep heading that way, you will make progress. Stick with it!

"Snail is letting you know that any pace is a good pace...

"What seems to be a slow process is actually moving quickly...

It is also a sign that angelic beings are working with you...

Be patient...

The snail is a symbol of growth, adaptability, and protection..."

I find myself resonating with all of these characteristics and realize that it is also in the cultivation of greater silence that these characteristics will be brought into greater fruition...

In Silence
Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your

To the living walls.
Who are you?
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?
Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not
Think of what you are
Still less of
What you may one day be.
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.
O be still, while
You are still alive,
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in themselves.
“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
World is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them
When all their silence
Is on fire?”
~ Thomas Merton 


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