On Retreat . The Discipline of Listening & Watching

Was just reflecting (I know we do that a lot in the contemplative journey) on a twist from one of our facilitator’s talk on journaling. It’s this–sometimes its true that I don’t know what I think until I read what I say but other times I don’t know how I feel until I see what I’m looking at (with my camera in hand). The point in both cases is that I don’t always know what my soul is saying, needing, wanting until we step into a quiet space to listen…and watch. Lastly this reminds me of the wonderful quote from Parker Palmer that I use often.

“In our culture, we tend to gather information in ways that do not work very well when the source is the human soul: the soul is not responsive to subpoenas or cross-examinations. At best it will stand in the dock only long enough to plead the Fifth Amendment. At worst it will jump bail and never be heard from again. The soul speaks its truth only under quiet, inviting, and trustworthy conditions. The soul is like a wild animal – tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.” ~ Parker Palmer

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