I have just read an interesting article on the BBC News website about the disconnect between us as human beings and the natural world. It’s an interesting read and you can find it here:
Biodiversity - a kind of washing powder?
It brought to mind another disconnect that I was considering earlier in the week – the disconnect between humankind and the spiritual world – or to phrase it differently our disconnect with our own souls. If you doubt this disconnect, then go out into a busy town centre on a Saturday night – or preferably, watch one of the police television programmes where you can be a fly on the wall. Safer that way!
So, is there any way of addressing this disconnect? Well, one of the exciting programmes on British television at the moment is The Big Silence, which is the story behind a group of ordinary people being introduced to silence and, in particular, to an eight day silent retreat. The retreat is based at the delightful North Wales Retreat Centre of St Beuno’s. I know it’s delightful because I have spent time there myself – and will no doubt do so again – seeking the stillness and ‘God-centredness’ of this special place.
You can catch the episodes you may have missed on the BBC iplayer and the final episode occurs on November 5th 2010.
Silence is tha main way in which we can do something about our disconnect with our own souls and I love the description of silence as the ‘doorway to our soul’ and the soul as the ‘doorway to God’.
One way you might give silence a try is to do the following short exercise.
Put aside five minutes and turn off your phones, computers, and other things that might disturb you.
Find a comfortable place to sit, stand or lie, depending on your inclination (but remember the purpose of this is not actually to sleep!)
Spend a minute making yourself comfortable, closing your eyes and concentrating on your in-breaths and out-breaths.
Relax your body.
Now remember this fact – God is in every part of our world, so God is there with you, whether you can sense that or not.
And now for a few minutes imagine this God who is with you actually looking at you – simply looking at you.
And you simply look at God, who is looking at you.
… Looking at God, looking at you…
Finish by speaking to God what is there in your heart.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.