Perhaps as a child you learned to distance yourself from anything that was violating body or spirit. You found ways to stabilize your emotions by separating from family dynamics. Or, you escaped false silence, the silence that is deafening by what it is not saying, by what it refuses to say.
The Indigenous peoples who revere the Earth and honor the spirit of place interconnect with the sacred bonds of silence. And the American naturalists—John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and others—who advocated for the preservation of vast tracts of pristine land bestowed upon us the priceless gift of solitude.
They understood that wilderness is necessary for the human soul, and if wild places are not preserved, our humanity is impaired and Earth’s sovereignty overrun. They wisely intuited that all living beings require spaces of pure emptiness, untainted by human activity or development.
As monks living in the modern world, we can replicate a tiny portion of their vision by honoring all holy sites, creating solitary prayer or meditation spaces in our homes, and by dedicating our hearts as “wild places”—where we enter to rest in our inner monastery, alone with Mystery.
Excerpt, “My Soul a Feast of Prayers,” Forthcoming, © Beverly Lanzetta 2017
BEVERLY LANZETTA © 2017. All rights reserved.