Why Silence?

“Behind writing, behind words is no words. We need to know about that place. It gives us a larger perspective from which to handle language.

In a silent retreat, our thoughts, memories, and feelings have a chance to come home to us. At then at some point, if we are diligent in our silent practice, our thoughts, feelings, memories, understandings – all of it settles down – and we are where we are –in this very moment. Sounds like a cliché but the floorboards are in front of us, our friend is sitting across from us, the wind and the mourning dove’s cry, the hair on our arms, the nose on our face, we are with it all. We do not end at this bag of skin. In silence an unspoken closeness rises up between you and the other people in the room….

If you do not have a group, spend an afternoon not speaking, at the same time still go about your business. At the dentist, nod; at the postman, wave; at the store clerk, smile. You will meet an acquaintance in the street, shake hands. You’ll be surprised how little anyone will notice you are quiet. Everyone is too busy talking. And if you refine your quiet over time, you will carry something much needed in our world. You will carry peace insight you.”

From The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg