News + Blog
The Ministry of Silence By Nicholas Rundle
To be homeless or on the margins of life is incredibly stressful.
In 2006 having been a meditator since I was in my late teens, I qualified as a teacher in a secular Buddhist tradition. My motive is skills training for those living or working on the edge of life. For a number of years I have been a volunteer with one of Adelaide’s leading front line homelessness services as a volunteer offering, deep and wise self-listening skills which sounds less fancy than ‘meditation’.
There is a man with low-level resentment against the hand life has dealt. We practise together using an old phrase that was turned into a song by the Beatles – ‘Let it be’. He practises this while out walking and when he is having a cup of tea. As a result he no longer defaults into anger mode. Another visitor to the centre practises the ‘3 minute space’ from Mindfulness based CBT. As a result she can now do her shopping without suffering an anxiety attack which roots her to the ground and used to cause her to flee from the supermarket. These are small yet significant incremental transformational changes.
In my other part time job in hospital spiritual care as chaplain, I mentor and support patients and staff to support listening and rapport building skills through mindfulness. A patient can find the ‘still-point’ while wired to a drip. Two women hold hands, partners for decades and breathe together gently.
A few minutes later only one woman is breathing. There is sacred spiritual connection through the ancient art of meditation, the ministry of silence, the Cosmic Christ of loving kindness.
In 2016 I won a scholarship for a Social Venture from Adelaide City Council. People can book in with me for a session (for about the price of a massage), to learn or fine tune their meditation practice. This supports my unpaid mission with homelessness. This is what I call bespoke meditation rather than a one size fits all. I also offer spiritual direction, counselling, mentoring and meditation work, often with individuals recovering from fundamentalism or from burnout in ministry or in churches where people have been silenced because of their theological questions or their sexual identity.
EREMOS readers are invited to join the open free program at the Hutt Street library 235 Hutt Street Adelaide for ‘Chill Factor’, a teaching program on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 10-11 am and/or ‘Breathing Room’, a silent sitting group on the first and third Tuesdays 6.45pm to 8 pm, or the free weekly program at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woodville.
Nicholas Rundle 0406011152 email firstname.lastname@example.org to turn down the noise inside.
Nicholas Rundle has an article on 'Mindfulness' in the latest issue of EREMOS. Become a member of Eremos to recieve the quarterly magazine, EREMOS with full access to more great articles and member only offers.