Silence has a double meaning as part of the mystical experience; on the one hand, silence is the ascetic practice of preparation, a kind of fasting from words. On the other, it is the self-expression of the living light. Religious orders and monastic communities built the practice of silence and silent periods into their rules. Some distinguish three grades of attaining quiet: the silence of the mouth, the silence of the mind, and the silence of the will.

Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry