Listening to Silence

Meditative Heron ©Lynne Buchanan
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"We make a space inside ourselves, so that being can speak." --Martin Heidegger

This is the quote Mark Nepo ( opens the chapter entitled "Entering Silence" with, in his recent book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred.  Nepo writes: 
"Mostly we are caught in a storm of activity.  For we live in the world, and are always drawn above and below and in between...When we can spend enough time below the noise of the world, even though we have to return, we might even say that, from time to time, we live in the unspoken  Then we might be blessed to experience Oneness."
On December 31st, as 2012 was coming to a close, I was walking in Myakka Park with my dog and son and his girlfriend.  As we came upon the scene, we all grew very quiet.  My dog miraculously sat down and watched with my son and Arias, while I crept a little closer and took several photographs. I was immediately overcome with a sense of inner piece.  It was as if the Heron, sitting on that ideally situated gnarled branch, was seeing beneath the clear, still water and his own image to something deeper.  Being in the presence of this meditating bird, we were all able to achieve deep listening.  As Susan McHenry writes: "Deep listening is more than hearing with our ears, but taking in what is revealed in any give moment with our body, our being, our heart." What a prefect way to end one year and begin the next.  I was so grateful to have shared this moment with those who are close to me.