Welcome to Calm Hearted! I’d like to introduce myself to you, I’m Julie and I’ve been interested in sharing ways to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life for as far back as I can remember. I believe that finding inner peace and happiness is so important. One of the first steps is to take time each day to create a calm and quiet moment; a space of clarity. Living life from the inside out is how I like to describe it.
Silence is Golden
I’ve lived abroad for thirty years and in my travels I have had some wonderful experiences. I recall a wonderful journey into the desert of Israel. The group I was traveling with went to visit a monastery where the monks were dedicated to a life of silence. In modern times the monastery had chosen to allow two to four monks at a time to break their vow of silence. These monks interacted with the visitors to the monastery. We were welcomed by two gentle monks who took us on a tour of their tranquil abode. These young monks chose their words carefully and there was such grace and peace in their very being. The highlight of our visit came when we walked down the spiral stone stairway to the tomb of the saint that was buried there. One monk lead us down into the cool depths,and the other monk followed us from behind; the only light came from the beeswax candles that we all carried.. We all naturally eased into a velvety silence. Once we reached the tomb itself, we all stood enveloped in this silence, in awe of the deep calm and peace we all felt. After about fifteen minutes of this heart warming silence, the monk who had followed us lead us up the cool stone stairway.
We then were able to enjoy a humble yet delicious meal of black been soup, brown bread and sweet black tea. We ate our meal in silence. This silence arose naturally, it wasn’t enforced. The incredible thing was that there were ten of us in our group and along with the two monks that made 12 of us. Twelve people who all naturally remained completely silent for over two hours! Even when we all stood to wash our dishes still silent. I found it very refreshing and invigorating. It was a wonderful moment when I connected with finding inner peace and happiness.
The eldest monk broke the silence, initially, with his eyes, asking us all silently, permission to speak. We each returned the gesture of agreement. What a graceful exchange! He then spoke and he asked if we would like to have a look at their simple gift shop. Yes of course we would. There were a few handmade Coptic leather crosses and some candles and other simple items. I still have my Coptic Cross. It is one of my favorite pieces.
As we were all speaking again, I found it interesting that each of us measured our words and only used them as sparingly as possible. I did have a few burning questions though. Where were all the rest of the monks in the monastery? Why were we only allowed to meet with the two of you? Would it be possible to at least see the others?
The younger of the two monks looked directly into my eyes. His eyes were gentle and had a depth that was wise and inviting; so refreshing for one so young. He said originally this entire monastery was sworn to complete silence, the only connection to the town was through a basket pulley system. Letters, produce and clothing and other necessary items were delivered up and down through that system. As time went on, the monastery altered their focus and choose break their vow of silence in a partial manner. Only two to four monks went out of silence at any one time. But those who choose to break their vow of silence were able to communicate with the town. This eventually evolved into the monastery welcoming visitors. The main portion of the monastery is still avowed to complete silence.
“Would I like to see where the silence begins?”
“Yes” I replied, looking deeply into the monk’s eyes with gratitude.
He lead me back through a hallway we had already been through, then through a doorway and another long hallway. At the end of that hallway, there was a turn and then a wrought iron gate, which gave way to a courtyard, the center was open to the elements, a lovely palm garden and fountain with burbling water were found there. The courtyard was circled by other buildings. The monk lead me to within three feet of the closed wrought iron gate. I could fell the pure energy of Love, Devotion, Peace and Calm emanating from this space of silence. So precious and pure. I wanted to open the gate and run into that sacred courtyard, to dive deeply into this delicious silence. The monk sensed my desire and gently placed a finger to his lips and lead me away from the place where silence begins. This space of silence is where I go to in my heart whenever I need solace and peace.
Thank you dear monk for such a beautiful gift of peace and strength!
Calm Hearted’s Mission
I’ve created this platform in order to share stories to inspire each of us to find places in our lives to slow down and become present and to embrace the silence. I believe it will be one of the greatest tools to bring peace and calm into our world.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.