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Are you good at silence? I find it very difficult. I hate sitting with confreres who sit in silence, not conversing at all. Silence makes my brain fill up with distractions.

Anyway, what is silence even for? Does it help you relax? Does it help you pray better? We're told that silence allows us rest in God. When I’m "with God" myself, I seem to be always occupying my mind with other things - examining my conscience, trying to remember what the heck he wants me to do next, about who needs my time, and how.

Maybe silence isn’t 'for' anything. Maybe we just need it, full stop. What’s so special about the mere absence of sensory stimulation? Maybe silence is better than much of the ‘noisy music’ being served up in so much of life today.

When was the last time you experienced true silence? Should we all make the effort to escape our noisy world and get some peace and quiet a bit more often? I tend to think of silence as an absence, a lack of noise, rather than a positive condition. Surely, silence isn't just not bad for your brain, actively good.


i need silence!
i need it to know what i really think and feel
i need it to be free to enter a neutral space - to quiet my mind -
to let my body relax

right now there is silence
i can hear the wind gently
i feel it on me
the water rolls in
pale late day sunshine

yes, there are problems
things to be done
but for this moment
in silence
i can experience these other things
give my mind to them
I like silence. I can sit without talking for hours.

Though I do like music.

And between the sound of traffic and the birds -- from the crows to the mourning doves to the twittering small songbirds -- it's seldom true silence.
As a Quaker, silence is both familiar and important to me.