It is Sunday. The morning is quiet, even still. Grey clouds, a little windy. I love the cold and the quiet.
Usually, we go to Mass on Saturdays but there are certain Sundays we attend a recollection with Heartspace. So today we wait for the afternoon meditation and the mass that follows.
Heartspace is our spiritual group. Our spiritual director is a Benedictine monk from the Abbey of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay. We meet once a month and we spend the day mostly in silence really.
We meditate. No music, just a bell signifying the start and the end of the meditation. There is only silence, there is only stillness.
We are a diverse group. Some are senior citizens like my wife and I. Others are middle aged and there are those who are younger. We come from different backgrounds and experiences. Perhaps because of the nature of our practice and discipline, most of the people in our group are quiet. We have our spiritual director and someone who is in charge of administrative things. And that is it. There is no hierarchy, no structure just the two of them and us. And that works for us. We do not preach, we just sit in silence.
When we start our meditation we just take our seats and we are prompted by three tinkles of a bell and we meditate for a specific number of minutes. At the start it really is an effort because as well know, silence can be intimidating. But as you go along one learns how to adjust and embrace the silence. Not that it becomes easier, it does not. It only becomes inviting. You actually wish for the silence. It is a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
I need the silence to keep focused to the things that matter. I need the silence to hold on to what is important. I need the silence to discard what must be cast off. The silence makes me realize and understand what I cannot comprehend in the chaos of daily life. The silence gives me balance and sense.
However, Heartspace has a counterpart called Hearttalk. As the name implies we sit and talk about experiences and insights and whatever comes. Heartspace and Hearttalk are done separately. In the former there is minimal talk and in the latter there are discussions and of course food. We are not cloistered after all. Both sessions give me joy.
In Heartspace we go to the Abbey where we hold sessions and retreats. We even have a 5-day silent retreat. No talking for five days!
I like Heartspace because I like silence. It is not for everyone I guess. People worship and pray in their own ways. This happens to be mine, in the silence and in the stillness.
If this interests you, perhaps you can join us.