Dallas Willard has called silence and solitude the two most radical disciplines in the Christian life. Henri Nouwen said “without solitude it is almost impossible to live a spiritual life.” If solitude is the practice of being absent to people and things to attend to God, silence is the practice of quieting every inner and outer voice to attend to Him.
Yet, I have become increasingly aware, as I teach The EHS Course at New Life Fellowship Church each year, how incredibly difficult the practice of silence is for people. A core part of The EHS Course is spending time with God twice a day, five days a week using Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day: A 40 Day Journey with Daily Office. Each devotional begins and ends with two minutes of silence.
That is where the problems begin. Each week we talk about different issues that arise around practicing silence such as:
- Why is this so hard?
- What do I do when my mind wanders?
- Isn’t this the same as Eastern meditation or New Age gurus?
- Why don’t I hear God speak when I am silent? This is not working.
I have been collecting questions over the past year and have now put them in a document you can download here. It is called Top Ten FAQ’s to Practicing Silence. Take a look.
We will be looking at this theme more deeply at The Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference April 22-23 here in New York City. While the conference is full, you can watch the Live Stream for free. Register here.