Letters to Tom — Portals

Dear Tom,

I write knowing that at the moment you are in Paris enjoying a well earned vacation. I wish I was with you.

I have written you a lot about silence, the importance of quiet meditation, and prayer. No matter how hectic our lives become, it is important to escape into the quiet to converse with God. Recently I listened to a man talk about silence and the use of it to get in touch with your true self. I am sure that Sufis use similar techniques. At St. Johns we worked at incorporating centering prayer into our lives.

The technique the man suggested caught my attention. One exercise was to listen to a gong or chime after it has been struck. He suggest we listen and concentrate on the sound fading away. Then notice how you strain to hear it as it goes quieter and quieter, until you hear silence. Without realizing it you automatically become more aware and more attentive. Our senses become alive focused on the background of all noise – silence. The silence quickly disappears with our mind quickly filling the void, but for an instant we hear nothing. The man suggests that it is in that moment we enter a portal to God who is within each of us. I’d be interested in your Sufi reaction.

I know that I have experienced God’s presence in the simplest of his creations, i.e. honeysuckle, a child’s first smile, etc. I understand that the pauses between musical notes are as important as the notes themselves. If silence is the background from where all noise emerges it makes sense that God can be found where nothing else exists.

Your friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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