Dear Yogis,

Have you ever in your life really, really taken on SILENCE? The Desert Fathers renounced speech in order to learn compassion.  I heard a story about the Abbot Macarius who said to the Church community in Scete , “Bretheren Flee.”  Confused, one of the community asked, “How can we flee farther than this, we are already in the desert?”.  Macarius put his finger to his mouth and told them “Flee from this.”  When Arsenius the Roman teacher who gave up everything he owned, money, wealth, status, for the quietness and solitude of the desert, prayed “Lord lead me in the way of salvation.” he heard a voice saying ‘BE SILENT.”

Silence changes us.  Not just being quiet for a little while – SILENCE. True silence frees us from the need to control others.  Most people won’t be silent because it makes them feel helpless.  Maybe we use words to manage and control others…a manic stream of words rushes out of us in a vain attempt to straighten others out.  We want people to agree with us.  We are constantly judging and trying to change others. Silence is one of the Deepest Disciplines of the Spirit because it puts an end to that aspect of our life.

Maybe this time of Covid is the perfect opportunity to put aside activity to learn to pray/meditate.  Prayer is at the centre of The Desert Experience. To pray is to change. To pray is to welcome into our lives the simplicity of detachment and compassion (prayer in action).