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Contemplative Leadership


Practicing Contemplation for Inner Silence, Centering of the Heart and Building Leadership

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

Away from the City and the sounds of traffic, emergency vehicles, and street exuberances, within the rustle of wind in the trees, I find peace in a silence that reflects like the brilliance of the light off the wings of a dragonfly whose flight I follow.

We think that leaving the world of commotion behind for a time is a requisite for silence, that it is found away from the activities of human daily life - gazing on a star filled sky or in the depths of a forest.

From the wisdom of others, I have come to know another silence as well. It is more profound, and is not known by the absence of hearing but by its presence within my heart. This silence “exists prior to sound … rather than being the cessation of sound, it is inherent within each of us … it is a wisdom that inhibits within us and is something we all are.”[1]

It is “the resting place of everything essential …. our relationship to faith, our relationship to love, our relationship to death, our relationship to divinity.”[2]

Appreciatively, at the center of this silence, I find a connecting, quiet confidence.

Such as silence may seem doubtful, mysterious, and at best ephemeral – and not without cause, as Cassidy Hall elaborates “no way shape or form could any of our words, images or thoughts ever contain her, for silence is a mysterious individual – and being unknowable … is her greatest strength.”[3]

If this is true, it begs then that such a “silence is better explored than explained.”[4]

I steadily explore silence from contemplative prayer and a meditation practice, grounded within early Christian practices, Buddhism, and indigenous traditions – and reflectively search within amid activities of movement, art, and labor- seeking silence as a source for inspiration in my spiritual life and nonspiritual activities.

I find I can be present to the silence both within myself and in my surroundings – the silence that inhabits the forest around me and the silence in which the forest exists.

As I enter the mystery of silence that I perceive in myself, I also perceive silence within what I am perceiving – learning to be present to the silence within others, especially those closest to me, those who I love. It is a way of knowing and it is unendingly accessible. And in this way, it also becomes a place of healing.

The most essentials things of life are exactly what we cannot explain and in silence we can find a resting place of everything essential …. our relationship to faith, our relationship to love, our relationship to death, our relationship to the All.[5]

As mysterious as silence is, there is an eternally accessible silence and source of awareness available from within. It is simply shifting our attention from the things that cause noise in our life to the vast interior spaciousness that is our natural silence.

[1] Robert Sardello, author, Silence, The Mystery of Wholeness”, North Atlantic Books [2] George Prochnik, author, In Pursuit of Silence, [3] Cassidy Hall, In Pursuit of Silence, [4] John Cage, In Pursuit of Silence, [5] George Prochnik, In Pursuit of Silence,

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