Nestled in Quietude

Contemplative Quietude is the best catalyst for growth in the Recollective Resolve of the spiritual life in the Unborn. Indeed, it is that Recollection itself, fully awake and aware of its vibrant Self-expression. It is the very pinnacle of illuminative wonderment and ecstatic-joy. It is the very vivifying realization that every breath we take ensues as a direct and prior and abundantly imageless and transcendent Sourcehood. Contemplative Quietude is therefore the Absolute Awareness of the Reality hidden in the very depths of that Source of Mind. It is privy to the gnosis behind this Selfhood, obscure to the carnal mind but with an Absolute Certitude that transcends the reasoning faculties and even guileless faith itself. Yea, it is an extraordinary depth of Self that bears a gnosis too profound to ever be grasped in images or shallow concepts.

Dionysius the Areopagite describes it in the following fashion:

And then, abandoning both what is seen and those who see them, he enters into the truly secret darkness of unknowing, according to which he closes [his eyes] to all perceptions open to knowledge, and enters into Him Who is altogether untouchable and invisible and beyond all things. Beyond all things, and belonging to nothing else, whether to himself or to any other, he is, in accordance with what is greater and by a complete cessation of all his own activity of knowing, united to Him Who is wholly unknowable, and by knowing nothing, knows in a manner beyond intellect. (Alexander Golitzin, Mystagogy A Monastic Reading of Dionysius Areopagita)

Therefore, Contemplative Quietude exceeds the ken of ordinary knowledge and vain spiritual speculation, beyond the discourse of all mental-chatter and into the very beyond-ness of infinitude itself. To be able to enter into this boundless realm one must first sever all ties to their former ideations of what constitutes a self. It’s a real death to all phenomenal forms and an admission into higher-modes of being. Make no mistake about it, it means desertion and destruction of all that one once held dear, especially those relational obstructions that hindered growth in the Unborn.

Being centered in your Unborn-ness the skandhic-cage will thaw-away like melting snow. This Perpetual Recollection, in restful quietude, of the Unborn is paramount. Anything less will end in abysmal failure. Perpetually Recollecting the Dharma of the Unborn Buddha Mind successfully secures the Mind of Emptiness (śūnyatācitta). Quietude in itself does not necessarily mean being centered exclusively in moments of silence. There are many modes of quietude. My favorite is listening to my many albums that supply the necessary ambiance for this quiet. A recent one is by Sherry Finzer entitled, Transcendence: Flute Meditations from the Tank

Normally the flute is not my first choice for listening pleasure, but the ambiance on this album is out of this world. These are recording sessions done in a huge abandoned Water Tank; the all-expansive acoustic resonance from her instrument of choice, a Yamaha Gold-Brass Alto Flute, is simply captivatingly outstanding. Her own words on this technique:

While on tour with guitarist Darin Mahoney in September of 2019, we made a visit to Rangely, CO to experience the amazing sounds of The Tank. It was here that I was finally able to realize my dream of creating a totally improvised solo flute recording reminiscent of Paul Horn’s albums, including the most inspirational to me – Inside the Taj Mahal. Transcendence was captured inside The Tank, and you will hear accompaniment from Mother Nature (The Wind), various sounds created by The Tank, key clicks from the flutes, and breath.

Constructed around 1940 as a railroad water-treatment facility, the Tank was moved by a utility company to Rangely in the mid-1960s for use as part of a fire-suppression system. The plan was never realized, as the underlying shale proved unable to support the weight of the filled tank. However, the bed of gravel upon which the tank was placed bowed its floor into a gentle parabola, giving it its remarkable acoustical resonance.

In 1976, sound artist Bruce Odland was shown the place by two Rangely locals. Odland understood immediately that he had stumbled upon a treasure. “I’d never heard anything like it,” he said. “I’d never heard a sound last that long…

I cannot recommend this album enough as it resonates that spirit of quietude. The following is a chosen track, Evening Prayer, from the album.

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2 Responses to Nestled in Quietude

  1. scott says:

    Another incredible and thought transforming series of pith instructions. Thanks also for the tip about the ‘Transcendence’ album. Just picked it up at Bandcamp and it is truly as transcendent as claimed. Haunting, beautiful and wordlessly sublime winds!

    On the themes explored in this series, a single thought cannot be laid to improve on what is written. Except to personally affirm the deepest truths of the benefits of an ascetic lifestyle. During this unspeakably horrid year (for most of us anyways), there has been a great deal more opportunity given for quiet reflection, study, evaluation and application. This has resulted in a great deal of seemingly sudden (many decades of painfully slow progress actually) dramatic changes in the existence of this being for the better on just about level.

    Sometimes and often, adversity bestows profound teachings and rare opportunity if one is receptive and perceptive.

    Without getting too specific, it can only be confirmed the resultant changes are a series of small and large miracles in and of themselves. There has been a wholesale chopping of hosts of defilements and obstacles; resulting in a small measure of attainment of some deeper and mysteriously wondrous transformations of body, speech and mind.

    A more accurate View slowly dawns with diligent practice.

    It can be attested that the evidence to support your thesis presented here is overwhelming in the affirmative.

    Gratitude and homage offered with great humility.

    • Vajragoni says:

      Keenly insightful–your words bring me great joy! So glad you picked up “Transcendence” at Bandcamp–it’s my favorite by far for 2020!
      May the Dharma-Protectors continue to guide you and keep you in their peace and protective embrace.

      In gratitude,

      Vajragoni

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