The Power of Shhh…

The Power of Shhh…

Pentecost 131


We all know what the ravages of illness do to our physical body.  Ask anyone who suffers from a debilitating illness and they can assure you that their illness also takes a toll on their mental state and emotional health.  Rachel Naomi Remen was one of the first to connect the process backwards.  Remen is considered a pioneer in connecting conventional medicine and holistic practices in healing such diseases as cancer, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.  She has spent the past several decades helping people heal and assisting them in finding a positive connection between their spirit and recovery.


“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”  As a professor at the Oster Center of Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and co-founder of Commonweal Cancer Help Program, Remen encourages finding personal peace.


Sometimes the best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of sanctuary.  Many claim to find such a calming sense of refuge in music or other arts but in the quote above, Remen encourages us to find it in the silence of our lives.  Moreover, she advocates that we create some silence every day.  The guest speaker  on several Public Broadcast Series on public television, Remen wants us to stop talking.


Sometimes the very best way to make the ordinary extraordinary is to simply be and to let the world exist around us.  Some might fear solitude but it is in the quiet of the world and our being that our greatest revelations can appear.  Those involved in transcendental meditation and centering prayer know the power of silence.


Of course, our minds tend to keep racing in those quiet moments.  Bryant McGill explains how this is not a bad thing but simply a path during our quiet times that we should not be afraid to follow.  “Each positive thought is your refuge and your sanctuary, where in that thoughtful moment, you are safe.”  Using the quiet in-between the appointments of our busy lives can create a world of its own.  They can serve to be our own sacred space, an altar in our minds that, in the silence, speaks volumes.

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