Awhile back, James Martin Sj posted this on his Facebook page and I had to share it with my friends here. This is part 1 of 12 of a documentary about the experiences of 6 people who spend time at a Benedictine Monastery. I wanted to give you the opportunity to watch because I think it is relatable and that we can all spend a little time in silence.
Since I have been going to a Benedictine monastery for the past 25+ years, I am pretty familiar with the idea of doing things in silence to some extent…however, I do not dine with the monks and our lunch/dinner table is loud.
My experience of silence there is usually found walking the hills, sitting in the chapel or the crypt…or our room.But as I was watching this I considered the difference between quiet and silence. Since I have the house to myself during the day if I am not working or working from home, I enjoy a lot of quiet. But I have noticed that my brain is still moving, my internal conversations are still going on. My outside may be quiet but internally I am still on, after all, there is a lot that goes into the day. However, when I am doing yoga, alone or in a room full of people, and I am in a deep pose, I am quite silent.
Contemplation is that practice which allows me to also sit in a room, in a church, in my car, in a line at the grocery store and be silent. In my pose or in my prayer, I am listening instead of talking…I am giving over my own voice…sometimes I notice it and it startles me. But for me, being silent is to be at peace. It is also something that I can carry into my day and into my interactions. When my prayer life or my yoga slack I find my anxiety builds. My foundation needs to be solid and that is the brick and mortar of my peace.
I would love to hear about your own experience with silence. Perhaps carving out some time each day for silence would be a useful Lenten endeavor?