Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Power of “the Quiet Time”

Two years ago, I entered into the family of Initiatives of Change (IofC), and observed the dedication of numerous people around the world, who had served tirelessly for many years and were still committed to humanity through IofC. I began to wonder, how is it that I did not know about this movement earlier? Even so, I am so grateful and delighted at this stage of my life (I am 78!) to discover and connect with it. I am thankful to those who have introduced me and to those who have shown hospitality and received me into this great family.

While doing my Doctor in Ministry Degree on Forgiveness, my thesis director mentioned about the philosophy, the vision and mission of IofC and encouraged me to look into it for ideas and resources. Though I did not follow up on his suggestion immediately, at the completion of my thesis I did so and found out all about it. It was like finding a great treasure. One of the subjects that attracted me to IofC was the practice of “the Quiet Time" and the personal transformation it brings. I was introduced to the Quiet Time, in reading a booklet "The Sound of Silence: How to Find Inspiration in the Age of Information" written by Michael Smith of England. It was written in a clear, understandable, reflective and inspirational style. I read it many times and each time I would find something new and creative. I recommend this booklet highly to those who have not yet experienced "a Quiet Time."

In journeying with IofC, I recently read another book, "BEYOND WALLS: Through Initiatives of Change" written by Suresh Khatri, who had the privilege of witnessing and has taken the trouble to write remarkable stories of transformation of people who had participated in learning about “the Quiet Time” in the IofC Centre in Panchgani, India. In weekend conferences, people of all faiths are able to find a change of heart and respect for all other believers, through “the Quiet Time.” Each story has reminded me of something that I have done in the past which I have not recognised and confessed. As Rajmohan Gandhi noted: that "readers will see from the stories the possibility that hurts can be healed, that steps towards justice and reconciliation are satisfying and often rewarded."

Very recently I participated in a Zoom conversation: “The Living History Across Generations”, in which Jayashree Rao shared her life and work with IofC in its Grampari Rural and Ecology Centre at Asia Plateau in Panchgani, Maharashtra State, India. She emphasised the transformation that took place among men and women with whom she worked in different villages by practicing “the Quiet Time." It worked so well, that the Quiet Time became part and parcel of their daily life and resulted in many miracles. Listening to their stories and their transformation gives so much importance to the Quiet Time. I was inspired and encouraged to advocate this practise among my family and friends. If we really desire change in our lives, we don't need to search for it, we have it within us to discover through the Quiet Time. I would like to end this article with a quote taken from “New Preamble to IofC International's Constitution” adopted by the Global Assembly dated July 23, 2011:

“An honest look at one’s own motives and behaviour is often the start of personal transformation. . .”

Mangalam Lena, Toronto