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  • Zen Mountain Monastery 871 Plank Road Mount Tremper, NY, 12457 United States (map)

Natural silence is so scarce in our world today, that it could very well be referred to as an endangered species. Yet practitioners of all the world’s religious traditions understand the importance of silence for the spiritual path. Without it, we cannot be feel what is going on inside our body and mind, and we certainly cannot feel or make sense of one another or the world around us.

Far from being just the absence of sound, silence is alive and full of presence. It is a space free of noise and clutter, a space that allows us to experience firsthand what Thich Nhat Han calls “interbeing”—our deep interconnectedness with one another and every other created thing.

In this retreat we’ll take up various teachings on silence—Buddhist and otherwise—and discuss the role of deep quiet in meditation and the spiritual path. We’ll look at barriers like fear or anxiety that get in the way of our willingness or ability to truly engage silence, and we’ll do short meditations to help us experience it more deeply. More importantly, we’ll hopefully come away with an understanding of silence as the doorway to a realization of ourselves as we truly are: indivisible.