Throughout the ages silence has been considered a way, a discipline, by which people could refine and deepen themselves. It is in silence that our reflective ability -- and our need to reflect -- is born. In silence we grow more aware: sounds, however distant, or the absence of them, bring out the hidden parts of our personality, triggering thoughts and various fleeting phenomena in our body and attention. In silence, we perceive the ineffable, that which cannot be verbalized, cannot be made concrete. In silence and solitude our individuality is affirmed. As we cease to speak, sitting or speaking quietly, within our own hearts and mind, we confront our past actions, aspirations, our most cherished dream figures. Not only do we meet ourselves in silence, but the silence heals us as well, for it is here, in the still, immovable changeless aspects of our very own self, that we find the safety to go through our pain, and ultimately the safety to meet our most sacred, private self, the self we are at the core of our being. Thus we rediscover and renew ourselves at the heart.

~ from ORDINARY PEOPLE AS MONKS AND MYSTICS by Marilyn Sinetar with thanks to Abby Seixas