Thursday, April 29, 2010

Being Silent

On Tuesday, my second to last day of work, we had a silent retreat at the quinta. This means that there was silence the whole day; while we worked, during meals, and in the evening. No communication of any sort unless absolutely necessary, and if it was necessary we had to communicate without words. Silence started when we woke up on Tuesday and broke after morning meditation on Wednesday.

When the silent retreat idea was first expressed I felt opposition. Oh god, the thought of being silent, not talking, not laughing, not telling jokes horrified me. All I could imagine was boredom and frustration, but as we were agreeing to the idea, I thought, how bad could this be? I thought it would be fun to try. If anything, it would be an interesting to see what would happen.

We woke up, did our morning meditation, ate breakfast, worked, did a 30 minute meditation at noon, ate lunch, worked, did a 30 minute meditation at 3:30, worked, ate diner, finished the day with a 45 minute meditation and went to bed. The schedule was written down on paper so we didn't need to talk. We had decided who was preparing meals and what jobs would be performed the night before. Everyone had solitary jobs so we didn't need to work in pairs. There was no need to talk.

I had a good day being silent. I was able to focus on my introverted self and there was no pressure to say something witty, crack a joke, or have to contribute something to a conversation. I enjoyed eating meals with everyone and just enjoying their company. It was nice to sit near good friends and enjoy their presence and not have the need to say anything. It made me feel closer to them.

The idea for being silent was so we would get a chance to be with ourselves and to see what we experienced. I experienced a lot of love. I thought a lot about my family and friends and felt happy. I was just letting my thoughts flow into me and was just being with them. I tried not to persuade my thoughts or control them so I could see what my mind would do on its own, and I was satisfied to have so many good thoughts come into my mind.

I was also glad to experience being silent around other people without the need to say something, which is rare for me. I am known to be quite talkative and somewhat loud at times. It was very rewarding to stay silent and not have the need to say anything. I think I will try to incorporate this more in my life.

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