“Silence teaches us how to speak”. ~Henri Nouwen.

My first encounter with the practice of silence was intense. A friend invited me to a silent retreat and, though I was a little apprehensive at the idea of not speaking for 2 days, trusting her, I signed up,

Ironically, the best way to describe my experience is that it was like my entire being was shouting the Hallelujah! Chorus. It was an epiphany, and I wasn’t in a hurry for it to end. When it did, I felt exposed without the covering that the ‘chat ban’ had provided, and somewhat violated by strangers’ small talk that drew me out of my inner sanctuary.

I have since endeavored to practice silence, alone and in the company of others. Both are challenging, as mental distractions seek to break the silence as much as does conversation. Guarding my thoughts and words effectively sifts which are worthwhile (and kept…

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