These ten weeks between St John’s Tide and Michaelmas can be taken as a pilgrimage with the Way marked by the gospel readings for each week;  moving from the sphere of angelic teachings and presence to that of the archangel and apocalypse.  The reading on the sixth Sunday of this journey is Mark 7: 31 – 37 which is a story about a deaf man who also has an impediment in his speech and he is healed by Jesus so that he can hear and speak clearly.  As pilgrims in time, we can readily observe our own need for healing in our ability to listen and to speak so that for each of us, “my heart can be pure, and pure my word” .  How can we wake ourselves up to the opportunities there for us every day to open our souls for our own spiritual growth enabling us to bless those around us rather than hinder them.

I have been delving into Otto Scharmer’s work on this again, and have also come across another inspiring approach that correlates well with Scharmer’s four levels of listening and speaking.

“Speech In Family Life” is the attention catching title of an article written by Adam Bittleston for The Golden Blade in 1973.* The virtues Bittleston asks us to bring to our speech in families (and it’s only a small stretch then into communities) are sourced from Plato, and he introduces them as counterbalancing, healing forces for hindrances to Right Speech from Buddhist teaching, like this:

                                    Hindrance                               Virtue

                                    triviality                                   confirming the other

                                    impulse to wound                    justice

                                    untruthfulness                          temperance

                                    slander                                     wisdom


This kind of attention to healing such impediments ties in with an observation by Jacques Lusseyran** when he says that he could hear beauty and virtue in the voice of a stutterer and malice in the most mellifluous voice.

 Enough of contemplation and musings dear pilgrims – let us be on our Way, with the angels behind us and the archangel beckoning us forward, refreshed with renewed inspiration to greet our fellow travellers in a manner that confirms each one, out of justice, temperance and wisdom.  We will change a great deal on this journey.

 Cheryl Nekvapil, 28th August, 2012.

 *Many of us know his little book “Meditative Prayers For Today” published by Floris Books ; there are other books by him.  The latest one about him is “Adam Bittleston” by K Gibson.

** “Let There Be Light” – Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran.

Posted by Kevin Coffey