December 4 2017

By: Jackie Hook
Monday, December 4, 2017

Our theme for December is Silence. What Does It Teach Us? I recently wrote an article about this for the 2017 Fall Issue of Centered magazine. I will share it with you here over the next couple of weeks:

When I go on a retreat, I make sure I spend part of it in silence. Something as simple as greeting another person becomes a whole new experience. Instead of a head full of thoughts about what to say and how to respond, you simply look at the others and smile. Without the distraction of words, you are given the opportunity to really look them in the eyes and they you. In the silence the connections become even stronger. I remember feeling so much compassion for these “strangers.”

After the 24 hours of silence — eating together, walking together, passing one another in the hallways, etc., all in silence — our first opportunity to speak was at dinner together. I sat with someone who had just arrived. When she learned that I was from State College, the conversation eventually turned to the local happenings that had gained worldwide attention. Moving from the peace of the silence to the ugliness of those events, my body began to shake. In the past I had similar conversations many times, but never immediately after coming off the depths of inner silence, and the physical manifestation was startling to me.

   (First printed in the 2017 Fall Issue of Centered Magazine)

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