James Finley: A Conversation on the Spirituality of Silence (Part Two)
May 13, 2019
A conversation to follow up on our previous episode, featuring the teaching wisdom of James Finley.
In today's episode, the hosts of Encountering Silence speak with contemplative teacher James Finley, following his reflection on the spirituality of silence which we released last week as episode #62. If you have not yet listened to episode 62, we encourage you to do so before listening to this episode — click here to listen to it.
“I don't know how to listen. I think I'm afraid to listen. Because listening implies an act of trust. When I get quiet, the voices of pain come up inside of me and drown me out. Thomas Merton said, 'We live in a world that has forgotten how to listen.'” — James Finley
To lead us into his reflections on silence, James offers different ways of understanding silence that he first learned from a Jesuit priest/Zen sensei; then takes us through a thoughtful commentary on the ancient monastic practice of lectio divina. He reflects on the importance of listening — both in the spiritual life as well as in ordinary human wellness.
If you’d like to hear James Finley’s first episode with Encountering Silence, follow this link: Silence and Vulnerability.
“Everything said in this monastery should come out of silence, and its fruit should be to deepen the silence... We should never forget that all of our noise comes out of silence and is very quickly returning to it.” — Thomas Merton, as quoted by James Finley
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
James Finley, Merton’s Palace of Nowhere
James Finley, The Contemplative Heart
James Finley, Christian Meditation
James Finley, Thomas Merton’s Path to the Palace of Nowhere
James Finley, Meister Eckhart’s Living Wisdom
Thomas Merton, Medieval Cistercian History
The Desert Mothers and Fathers, Early Christian Wisdom Sayings
T. S. Eliot, The Four Quartets
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Thomas Merton, Seeds of Destruction
Martin Buber, I and Thou
David Brooks, The Second Mountain
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
Kathleen Deignan, Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours
Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy
Thomas G. Hand, Always a Pilgrim: Walking the Zen Christian Path
“How do we contemplatively listen to the evening news? How can I be contemplatively present to the complexities and challenges of the real world?” — James Finley
Episode 63: A Conversation on the Spirituality of Silence: with James Finley
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman
Guest: James Finley
Date Recorded: April 18, 2019