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Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day

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Music of Silence shows how to incorporate the sacred meaning of monastic living into everyday life by following the natural rhythm of the hours of the day. The book tells how mindfulness and prayer can reconnect us with the sources of joy. “An invitation to join in quiet ecstasy, to rediscover sacred rhythms.” — Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart


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Music of Silence shows how to incorporate the sacred meaning of monastic living into everyday life by following the natural rhythm of the hours of the day. The book tells how mindfulness and prayer can reconnect us with the sources of joy. “An invitation to join in quiet ecstasy, to rediscover sacred rhythms.” — Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

30 review for Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day

  1. 5 out of 5

    Louanne Enns

    Read this little book in preparation for and on a Quiet Retreat. It was a helpful overview of the monastic hours of the day and the gifts each hour brings. A great book to read to help re-cover a sense of the rhythms of our days and years. I particularly like the chapter on the hour of Prime in that it is a deliberate "assigning of the work" for each day that begs one to pause and consider what is to be done. The reminder to not begin in the middle, but to pause and start each day anew, is sage Read this little book in preparation for and on a Quiet Retreat. It was a helpful overview of the monastic hours of the day and the gifts each hour brings. A great book to read to help re-cover a sense of the rhythms of our days and years. I particularly like the chapter on the hour of Prime in that it is a deliberate "assigning of the work" for each day that begs one to pause and consider what is to be done. The reminder to not begin in the middle, but to pause and start each day anew, is sage advice. Also helpful is taking the view that all of our work is common work (for the common good, that is) regardless of us being alone when we accomplish it. The other gem in this book is the discovery of a "monastic coffee break"- Terce. The third hour, in which the focus is on being filled with and alive in the Holy Spirit comes from the apostles being accused of drunkeness at Pentecost: "We are not drunk, after all it is but the third hour!" Terce, then, allows one to pause in their work after several hours and re-focus by inviting the Holy Spirit to bring His life and strength to our hearts and work. A lot of great insight in a small book. Certainly worth a read for those who feel like the hours of the day are their enemy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This is a warm and wise little volume, beautiful and useful even to an atheist like me (though admittedly I'm the kind of atheist who has a curious notalgic fondness for Catholic ritual and a fascination with monasteries). Using the canonical hours, also known as the Divine Office, the authors offer what is basically a framework for reflection, mindfulness, and intentional action amid the routine of an ordinary day. Frankly, if you are able to "read around" some of the more explicit Christian my This is a warm and wise little volume, beautiful and useful even to an atheist like me (though admittedly I'm the kind of atheist who has a curious notalgic fondness for Catholic ritual and a fascination with monasteries). Using the canonical hours, also known as the Divine Office, the authors offer what is basically a framework for reflection, mindfulness, and intentional action amid the routine of an ordinary day. Frankly, if you are able to "read around" some of the more explicit Christian mythology, or just accept it as metaphor in order to distill the universal insights, it's got a rather zen feel. How can you find a rhythm in your routine that prompts you to reflect on things like gratitude, celebration, purpose, crisis, forgiveness, limitations, community? And what of silence? Well, you can look at how monks have been approaching time and prayer and communal living for centuries and modify the gist into something meaningful for your own life. Sure, it's a self-helpy and "spiritual" book of the sort I don't normally read, but it's beautifully written and brief, and I think most people would come away with enough insight and comfort to make it worthwhile.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    His work feels like poetry rather than prose. "The economics of affluence demand that things that were special for us last year must now be taken for granted; so the containers gets bigger, and the joy of overflowing--gratefulness--is taken away from us. But if we make the vessel smaller and smaller by reducing our needs, then the overflowing comes sooner and with it the joy of gratefulness. It's the overflow that sparkles in the sun. The less you have, the more you appreciate what you've got. W His work feels like poetry rather than prose. "The economics of affluence demand that things that were special for us last year must now be taken for granted; so the containers gets bigger, and the joy of overflowing--gratefulness--is taken away from us. But if we make the vessel smaller and smaller by reducing our needs, then the overflowing comes sooner and with it the joy of gratefulness. It's the overflow that sparkles in the sun. The less you have, the more you appreciate what you've got. With the extraneous stripped away, you begin to relaize how you are being graced by life's gifts... ... Therefore, nothing is needed more than frugality. When your needs are limited, your vessel is easily filled, and you can delight in the overflow." David Steindl-Rast Music of Silence: A sacred journey through the Hours of the Day (page26)

  4. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Excellent audio book which I wouldn't mind owning as a written text as well, for the sake of all the wonderful quotes. This is the second time (at least) I've listened to it and it serves as a encouragement to see all work as prayer when properly, i.e., reflectively done. It also creates a desire to listen to Chant. Last time I remember going out and purchasing a bunch of CDs. This time, I just need to get them out and start listening to them again. This book is worth returning to for refresher a Excellent audio book which I wouldn't mind owning as a written text as well, for the sake of all the wonderful quotes. This is the second time (at least) I've listened to it and it serves as a encouragement to see all work as prayer when properly, i.e., reflectively done. It also creates a desire to listen to Chant. Last time I remember going out and purchasing a bunch of CDs. This time, I just need to get them out and start listening to them again. This book is worth returning to for refresher as needed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is an interesting little book about the symbolism of different angels associated with hours of the day, and it's written by a monk. But, I was hoping to learn more factual / historical information; it's a little self-helpy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chrisinny

    David Steindl- Rast, OSB, addresses the need for silence and prayer for those immersed in the secular world and meditates on praying the hours of the day. “Saturated with information but often bereft of meaning, we feel caught in a never ending swirl of duties and demands, things to finish, things to put right. Yet as we dart anxiously from one activity to the next, we sense that there is more to life than our worldly agendas.” “Today, even in our busy city schedules, we notice the predawn, early David Steindl- Rast, OSB, addresses the need for silence and prayer for those immersed in the secular world and meditates on praying the hours of the day. “Saturated with information but often bereft of meaning, we feel caught in a never ending swirl of duties and demands, things to finish, things to put right. Yet as we dart anxiously from one activity to the next, we sense that there is more to life than our worldly agendas.” “Today, even in our busy city schedules, we notice the predawn, early morning, mid-morning, and high noon each have qualities all their own. Mid-afternoon, the time the shadows lengthen, has a different character from the time when it gets dark and we turn on the lights. A canonical hour thus is more a presence than a measurement. The hours that call the monks together for prayer and chant are angels we encounter at different points in the day.” “This book is a journey through the hours of the monastic day. To hear the music of silence and to hearken to its message, we must step out of the clock time into the monastic flow of time as expressed through the hours of the day. We must forsake our usual unconscious gesture of reaction, and make the aware inner gesture of response to what is before us in each moment. With this inner attitude, we will meet the angel of each hour and come to an understanding of the seeds the angel calls us to sow, the virtue the hours calls us to develop in our own lives.” Steindl-Rast meditates on each of the eight canonical hours, the first being Vigils: “Vigils- also known as Matins- is the night watch hour, the time for learning to trust the darkness. Looking up to the night sky, we are reminded of the immense mystery in which we are immersed…. Vigils is an invitation to ‘trust in the night’, to trust the darkness despite the immense fear it triggers. We have to learn to meet mystery with the courage that opens itself to life. Then we discover, as the Gospel of John put it right in the prologue, ‘The light shines in the darkness.’ This doesn’t mean that light shines into the darkness, like a flashlight shining into a dark tent. No, the good news that the Gospel of John proclaims is that the light shines right in the midst of darkness. A great revelation: the very darkness shines.” And on Lauds: “The monastic hour of Lauds takes us out of the darkness, into the light…we now celebrate light…. Lauds, then starts us off with the attitude that the day is a gift, that everything in our life is a gift- allowing us to see that the appropriate response to this given world is gratefulness.” “If we cultivate this grateful joy, which find its voice in chant, we can be happy no matter what happens. We sometimes get this wrong. We think that people are grateful because they are happy. But is this true? Look closely, and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Denn Golsik

    A little book with big wisdom.

  8. 4 out of 5

    juan quintero

    I enjoyed this book and the lessons that are presented from the Monks and throughout the hours of the day. I purchased this book because of Sharon Lebell and was not disappointed by the content.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann Yeong

    How does one live in touch with eternity from day to day? How can we enter into Kairos even as we go about our work and busyness in our daily lives? In this lovely little book, Brother David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. breaks open the day into its "seasons", each with its own message, grace, contemplation, and action. He explains how the Liturgy of the Hours (or the 'angel' announcing each hour) invites each of us to a contemplative living out of each day. From centering ourselves in the silence before d How does one live in touch with eternity from day to day? How can we enter into Kairos even as we go about our work and busyness in our daily lives? In this lovely little book, Brother David Steindl-Rast O.S.B. breaks open the day into its "seasons", each with its own message, grace, contemplation, and action. He explains how the Liturgy of the Hours (or the 'angel' announcing each hour) invites each of us to a contemplative living out of each day. From centering ourselves in the silence before daybreak, to a conscious welcoming of the light, to making an intentional, mindful start to the day instead of just mindlessly rushing along, to finding quiet joy in the labours of the day even when the hours grow long, to a peaceful letting go of the day in the evening and a restful entering into the silence of night... this book describes how every person can live with the contemplative wisdom of the Benedictine monks even in the secular world. If we learn to heed the angel of each "hour", we would be able to live in the present always with eternity in mind. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard Southworth

    Excellent Book. I had always thought that all of the monastic services were essentially just so many prayer services during the day. Even though much of my own practice comes out of the monastic tradition I just figured that there was no way for me to do that many prayer times each day so I did not pay attention to what they were about. Steindl-Rast took me on "a sacred journey through the hours of the day" and in the process I learned that each of those "hours" had a special focus, and they wor Excellent Book. I had always thought that all of the monastic services were essentially just so many prayer services during the day. Even though much of my own practice comes out of the monastic tradition I just figured that there was no way for me to do that many prayer times each day so I did not pay attention to what they were about. Steindl-Rast took me on "a sacred journey through the hours of the day" and in the process I learned that each of those "hours" had a special focus, and they worked together to help us incarnate the spiritual principles into our active lives. I still will not be able to practice each of those "hours", but I will refer to this book often to discover new ways to live those principles.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emsiclaire

    This was the kind of book I need to start better knowing David Staindl-Rast's work. "Music of Silence" is a beautifully crafted Book of Hours (there are so many citations from Rilke's poetry collection too) for everyday' spiritual path of joy, serenity, inner dialogue with God and ourselves. Through this book you can experience gratefulness every our of the day; you learn to «Stop, Look and Go», according to Staindl-Rast's preciuos philosophy of life hour by hour, before dawn until night. Since I This was the kind of book I need to start better knowing David Staindl-Rast's work. "Music of Silence" is a beautifully crafted Book of Hours (there are so many citations from Rilke's poetry collection too) for everyday' spiritual path of joy, serenity, inner dialogue with God and ourselves. Through this book you can experience gratefulness every our of the day; you learn to «Stop, Look and Go», according to Staindl-Rast's preciuos philosophy of life hour by hour, before dawn until night. Since I am deeply interested in the the history and charisma of the Benedictine Order and its interfaith unique approach, I find in this book a starting point of incredible value for a daily spirtual practice in this antique and rich tradition, now available for all.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen Floyd

    I actually own the 1st ed; didn't realize there was a 2nd. Which means I'll probably have to acquire the latter to see what the differences are! A beautiful, accessible little book for laymen/women about the monastic hours, what each means, and suggestions for incorporating at least the awareness of them into our lives and the rhythm of our days. Steindl-Rast urges the importance of living in the present moment instead of staying stuck in constantly reliving the past or anticipating the future, s I actually own the 1st ed; didn't realize there was a 2nd. Which means I'll probably have to acquire the latter to see what the differences are! A beautiful, accessible little book for laymen/women about the monastic hours, what each means, and suggestions for incorporating at least the awareness of them into our lives and the rhythm of our days. Steindl-Rast urges the importance of living in the present moment instead of staying stuck in constantly reliving the past or anticipating the future, so that our lives are actually lived.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicos Hadjicostis

    The "Music of Silence" by David Steindl-Rast and Sharon Lebell is a modern spiritual masterpiece! It shows how to introduce the secret meanig of monastic life into our everyday lives. Ideas such as gratefulness, present moment awareness, aliveness and more, are introduced in a way that is both profound and simple. To be read and re-read many times.

  14. 4 out of 5

    C.

    This book was used in a Religion course at the university where I worked. I've had it for several years without reading it. In a fit of sudden inspiration, I took it up. It is was quite good and led me to find out more about Brother David's work. He can be found at Gratefulness.org, a wonderful website full of inspiration, including meditations for each of the hours he speaks of in his book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tandava Brahmachari

    Lovely tour through the hours of the day from a contemplative, monastic perspective. I felt like I would have appreciated a bit more guidelines of what to do with it all, but it was nice, regardless.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark Gonzalez

    I love it. It allows you to be mindful of the present. Perfect reading when you feel busy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aggie

    about incorporating a monastic life in your daily life... the rhythms of the day and the angels that beckon us then..

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    This is a wonderful book, which I recommend to everyone who wants or needs to think about the way he leads his daily life. A book to reread every other year when old (bad) habits return.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    I have been re-reading this book for decades and it still inspires, quietens and deepens; new and remembered gems of wisdom with each reading. Beautiful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Lovely and luminous, Steindl-Rast guides readers through the monastic hours and encourages attention to them in every day life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen Fenker

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teddy Kinzer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Krista

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  27. 4 out of 5

    James

  28. 4 out of 5

    Olga

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angela Carlson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

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