Discussion Questions, Storytelling, Sharing
- Share a story about some time when you were able to tap into the potential of silence as a seedbed for creativity or inspiration.
- Have you ever found it was necessary to go away just to escape the noise of the modern world? Where did you go and what kind of silence did you encounter?
- What role has silence played in your spiritual development? If you were raised in a religious tradition, how was silence regarded?
This exercise, "Entering the Silence," is based upon a practice of the Seneca (Native American) nation. The imagery is adapted from the words of Twylah Nitsch:
Close your eyes. Breathe out three times.
Listen and hear the Silence . . . Listen and see the Silence . . . Listen and taste the Silence . . . Listen and smell the Silence.
Breathe out one time. Listen and embrace the Silence.
When you are finished, open your eyes.
- Write a response to this thought by Hermann Hesse: "Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself." Sit quietly with your journal. Go to that quiet place. If you want, draw a picture or describe the qualities of your inner silence.
- Write about an experience of silence. Where were you? Was it during a particular period of your life? Did you enjoy being silent? Did you find any part of the experience difficult? What did you learn? In other words, assess your aptitude for silence.