05 September 2015

The Quality of Silence

[I am clearing out some old files I stored intending to post here and then forgetting about them. This one came from my last stay among the monks on the mountaintop.]

The Quality of Silence

We think of Silence, not being able to talk, as a limitation, but it is not. Consider the impact of the 'silent movie' - the viewer pays attention to the exquisite black and white cinematography, the nuances of tone and color, the action. Above all, they explore the contours of each face with a concentration they wouldn't otherwise have. 

Spending the better part of a week with seven strangers who have agreed not to talk is like that. By the end of the first day you know them. By the end of the last day you think you know them better than if you'd tried speaking to them.


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