When I started this blog, I had intended to write weekly. That was in the summer, my "less busy" work time. Then September came, students showed up for a new year of learning, and seekers returned to spiritual direction to get their spiritual lives back on track. In September I also had the great good fortune to serve as a spiritual director for "Conspire"—the annual conference of the Center for Action in Contemplation founded by Fr. Richard Rohr. After that, more teaching intensives, as well as a "Board Retreat" for Spiritual Directors International, on whose Council I serve. Now it's time to catch my breath ...
In truth, for me, I don't ever catch my breath because I never lose it. Breath is always here, a sacred touchpoint, and it's simply up to me to connect with it--rest into it—which is my primary spiritual practice. This resting into the breath is a path of "quieting," a term used by my lovely friend, Ann, who named it as one of her spiritual practices too. Quieting is a method, a path, and also a quality of being we can carry forth into the world. It is a path to the Divine and where the One dwells. At least it is for me ... so quieting is primary on my path of devotion.
This fall when I was quite busy with my work, I'd try to get a daily walk in if I could. I'd go to a place of beauty near my home, often near water, and just walk. No earbuds to fill up the quiet with noise. Just me--quieting—breathing and being, walking and noticing, savoring and communing.
The quiet to me is a balm, an oasis in a too busy world, and relief from my ever-busy planning mind. The quiet is comforting for my over-active nervous system as an empath. The quiet is my entryway to a sacred space of deep knowing that I am beloved and I am enough. And this is where the Divine meets me. I call it my "Temple of Quietness."
Sometimes when I walk I take photos of the temple of the day. I do this to create a memory for myself so on the days I'm unable to walk, I can attune myself to it, and step into quietness once again. This summer while on a 5-day silent retreat, I started creating short, 30-second videos from my walks in these sacred spaces. Just 30 seconds, because that's sufficient time to take 3 complete breaths—a profoundly centering and restorative practice.
Today, with the help of one of my Temple of Quietness videos, perhaps you too can take 3 complete breaths and drop into the exquisite energy of quietness. May restoration and ease be yours.
For Your Reflection
• What role does quiet play in your spiritual life?
• How do you uniquely access it?
• Do you have your own Temples of Quietness?
A safe and welcoming space to explore the unfolding nature of our spiritual journeys.
Dr. Janice Lynne Lundy (PsyD, DMin, MPC)
is The Gerald May Professor of Spiritual Direction & Counseling at the Graduate Theological Foundation. She is an interspiritual director/mentor, educator and counselor who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for nearly thirty years.