i am back from an 8 day silent retreat. inevitably i will try and offer some reflections on it over the next few weeks or maybe months though i think it will take me a while to process and it's also possibly impossible to say anything meaningful about silence! i successfully managed to unplug from everything - phone, email, internet, texts. i didn't see news or an advert even the whole time i was there. that in itself was good for my soul. it was an extraordinary time. this is me in a typical pose sat doing nothing other than being - yes you guessed it - silent!
i was on a guided retreat so there were others with whom i was sharing the experience though we hardly spoke other than at breakfast on the day of departure. we were gathered on the first evening and one of the guides for the week, a lovely woman who you could tell knew something of the power of silence, shared a few words to set the tone for the week. poem is probably an overstatement but i wrote this piece afterwards and for me it set the direction - this was somehow what i was trying to do or be or let happen...
Whose outer and inner worlds have fused on the horizon of stillness
Who have waited like a bird watcher to receive the gifts that come towards you
Whose wounded soul has found healing in love's presence
You have been asked to say a few words about silence...
In a whisper only heard by leaning in with attentiveness,
but laced with the depth of oceans
Let the silence enfold you
There is an outer silence which is good
But you have come also to find an inner silence
That can be scary
Be kind to yourself...