The Holiday Season can be joyful and/or stressful, which means this is a time when silence remains as important as ever. Join us for this special episode where Cassidy, Kevin and Carl talk about how we nurture a contemplative dimension to our holiday experience, without getting moralistic or legalistic about silence, but also retaining a sense of just how vital silence is to us at this time of the year.
In this episode, we explore how silence is devalued in our culture (and why we need to resist that cultural prejudice), the relationship between silence and intentionality, how “letting go” is a portal into silence, the danger of “the materialism of information,” how the spiritual concept of incarnation takes us outside of our comfort zone, how the body is our best friend for surviving the holidays, and much more.
When we name silence, we lose it… As soon as we touch the word urgency to the lips of silence, we lose a sincere intimacy. So how do we maintain silence as urgent and important in our lives without making it legalistic, or precisely what it isn’t? — Cassidy Hall
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
- Marvin C. Shaw, The Paradox of Intention
- Thomas Merton, Literary Essays
- Ernest Wood, A Zen Dictionary
- Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching
- Caryll Houselander, The Reed of God
- Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness
- Gerald May, Will and Spirit: A Contemplative Psychology
- Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back
- Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel
- Meister Eckhart, The Complete Mystical Works
The Zen Proverb (“Quit Trying; Quit Trying Not to Try; Quit Quitting”) shows up in:
- Carl McColman, Answering the Contemplative Call
And one more book that this episode makes us think of:
- David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss
You actually have to stop trying… if you attempt to be silent, if you make it an urgent goal, well then you never get there, silence never actually comes, there has to be kind of a letting go. — Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is a university professor, writer, speaker, and retreat leader based in Connecticut.
Cassidy Hall is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles.
Carl McColman is an author, catechist, and retreat leader based in Atlanta.
Episode 3: Encountering Silence During the Holidays
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Kevin Johnson and Carl McColman
Date Recorded: December 19, 2017
Note: our next episode will be released on or about January 3, 2018. In the meantime, we wish you a merry Christmas (or the joyful observance of the holiday of your tradition) and a very happy new year.