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The Spirit of Silence

The importance of emptying the mind has been recognised for millennia across a variety of cultures. Meditation is a way of life for millions; at the end of a Hindu s life, he renounces all and becomes a wandering ascetic, seeking union with God; and the Japanese tea ceremony provides an interlude of spiritual relaxation within lives rooted in activity. Others find their creative inspiration in everyday activities such as gardening, walking, watching the sea, or listening to music. The Spirit of Silence is for those who wish to look beyond the speed and superficiality of our modern lifestyle to find depth and spiritual space. It is devoted to clearing the clutter from our minds, and to feeding the creative heart and soul.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter One: Some Spiritual Spaces Attitudes to silence and solitude in different cultures: Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist Chapter Two: Staying Quietly in One s Room The creative use of silence: Hildegard de Bingen, Ryokan, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Paul Cezanne, Giorio Morandi, Harlan Hubbard, Thomas Merton Chapter Three: The Enemies of Silence The two-fold enemies; compulsory schooling; the exaggerated importance of money and the myth of consumption; work as a bane; the cult of speed; escaping the fast life Chapter Four: Tools for Re-enchantment The art of the commonplace; creativity, gratitude and praise; the healing power of nature; the importance of relationship; living in the moment; looking for the beautiful; the meditative approach; negative capability; reverence; seeing; the virtues of silence and solitude; simplicity; walking; the virtues of slow living Chapter Five:Just Live Right Living in the midst of turmoil; Virgil and a civil war; Michel de Montaigne and the French wars of religion; Walt Whitman nurses the wounded of the American civil war; Yusuf Islam and the orphans of war; Wangari Maathai plants 20 million trees; touching peace and stillness; service, expression, silence Notes Bibliography

About the Author

John Lane is a painter, author and educator. He was Chairman of the Dartington Hall Trust, founding director of the Beaford Arts Centre, and instrumental in the creation of Schumacher College. His books include The Living Tree: Art and the Sacred, A Snake's Tail Full of Ants: Art, Ecology and Consciousness, Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society and Timeless Beauty in the Arts & Everyday Life (all published by Green Books).

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