Yes, that is true, and heaven is everywhere.
*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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Today, I had a taste of Silence in apparently contradictory ways; yet, all things are unified in Silence. In Silence is the peace of no contradiction, for in Grace all seeming contraries find union in their Origin and Home.
I got to the Friends Meeting about twenty minutes before anyone else arrived, unlocked the door and went in and sat down in silence. Later, I could hear as persons arrived to share in the Silent Worship.
We sat together some fifty minutes. What I noticed was how the sense of Silence within me deepened when others arrived. I recalled how this has been true over the years in varied contexts of meditation; somehow, the experience of Quiet and Presence is enhanced when sharing in this Silent Worship with others.
Interestingly, I had planned not to attend the Meeting this day, but changed my mind. I felt blessed, I was very grateful I had changed my intent and had gone.
Afterward, I traveled back to the town I live in, about thirty minutes. Due to plans to cook for the community I live in, I stopped by a grocery store. In the store, I especially enjoyed mutual-sharing at the check-out, through sharing and smiles and laughter with persons I had not met before.
Walking out to my truck afterward, I recalled how important it is for me, and what a joy, to share with apparent strangers like had happened in the store. I felt, again, much blessed.
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To me, both of these settings were Meetings of Worship, arising from the Silence. When you live from the Silence, you live in the Silence wherever you go. You breathe, speak, listen, laugh, smile, ... in and from the Silence.
Grace does not see the grocery store as a place inferior to the Meeting house, or less capable of gracing us and others present with Presence. If we are in a Worship gathering, we are fully present at the meeting for Worship, present to the Grace present to us. If in a meditation sit, we are fully present to the Grace fully present. If in the grocery store, we are fully present to the Grace fully present. The quality or depth of sense of Presence could be more at one place or the other, such as, more at the grocery store than at the meditation sit. We cannot know for sure in advance. Regardless, any place can be for us a Sacrament of Presence.
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We see this in the life of Jesus, and he was reprimanded by the religious authorities for his being among those they subsumed under words implying they were unworthy for a holy person to be among.
For John [the Baptist, or lit., Baptizer] didnít spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, "Heís possessed by a demon." The Son of Man,[Jesus] on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, "Heís a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!" But wisdom is shown to be right by its results [or, her children]. (Gospel of Matthew 11.18-19 NLT)
For Jesus, it seems clear, with a heart of Grace he could see and share Grace among those seen as Graceless by many of the religious authorities. While those who say they follow Jesus have honored so-called holy places, I wonder if he ever intended that; based on the Gospels, one could conclude Jesus wanted us to experience and share a Life as present in so-called holy places as so-called un-holy places.
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Today, we are saying that in the Silence, the sacred Spirit, all things find unity, so holy and unholy, sacred and secular, male and female, .... There is no holy or unholy in the Silence. From Silence, we could say, "Everywhere is holy," or "Nowhere is holy," which would be saying the same thing. Practically, yes, we experience some places as holy or more holy than others, but that is an experience, and to that extent a relative experience. When we surrender to the Silence, inviting the Silence into the whole arena of our lives, with the varied places of that life, we will see how these diverse places find unity in Life, and we may be surprised at the places that become to us places of worship that have no formal association with worship at all. The Silence goes with us, wherever we go, even as the Silence is already present before our arrival. So, any place can become an experience of the holy, a
Sacrament of Grace.
*Brian Wilcox. 'Glory Dressed in Spring'. Flickr
"Glory" refers to splendor that captivates mind and heart, appearing from the Unseen into the seen. Glory invites us to see there is a Beauty that makes possible all manifestations of beauty; Glory inspires us to know and appreciate there is more than what our mind or senses can access.
(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2019