Tune in to the absence of sound. How is it different from everyday life? Is silence really silent?
I’ve often slowed down by going to places that invite a more leisurely pace—Ayurvedic spas in India, jungle temples in Bali or lakes in northern Italy.
Recently I looked closer to home and went on a silent retreat at a monastery overlooking Big Sur. Retreatants communicated with smiles and silent greetings. I took walks, read, and did daily freewrites about my experience.
It was a relief to be free of small talk. No “Where are you from?” and “What do you do?” No labels based on credentials.
But I noticed that in the “silence,” there was sound—birdcalls, the crunch of gravel on the path, the rustle of leaves in the breeze.
In silence sometimes I mentally created my to-do list. I wondered how I would fill the day without the busyness of work, my exercise routine, or social life.
But sometimes in silence I got in touch with my intuition, unencumbered by what others thought. Silence helped me pay attention and clear the mental chatter. It gave me the space for clarity and inspiration.
I brought this memory home with me. I sit quietly every day. Some days I still think of my to-do list in the silence. But some days in the spaciousness come moments of inspiration