On Silent Retreat
I’m not on silent retreat. But Havi is. She was also on silent retreat when I was in Portland at Rally. She [verbed] the Rally on silent retreat. And it was ok. In fact it was more than ok, I learned that few questions really need an outside answer. I found all the permission and answers with myself.
Then there is the other way to be on silent retreat. This is a good thing to have handy for all the small vulnerable places that you hope will blossom.
This post though, is about the former.
The first time I was on silent retreat was last year in the teacher training, along with 60 other people. It was my birthday weekend and I didn’t say anything all weekend, except on my birthday I said “I love you” to myself and believed it.
The second time I was on silent retreat was this year and I was the only one. Everyone thought it weird. It was ok though, there were some jokes and uncomfortable silences, some provocation, some sighs. We giggled and I wrote little notes. And then someone shocked me out of it, by a knock on a door and a demand, I lost the center of my attention, but somehow this was ok too.
I learned that you can still be funny if you are on silent retreat and laugh at all the jokes.
That you can still connect with other people, you find other ways to connect than mindless chatter and gossip.
You ask yourself, what really needs to be said, because it better be important if I’m going to laboriously write it out on a post-it note.
You notice at first all the gossip and chatter in your head. And then slowly that quiets down too.
Turns out that when you don’t say much, you find the important things much easier to say.
Turns out, not much needs to be said to be understood.