Monday, July 6, 2009

I've Come for an Argument, Please

A couple weeks ago, I had a pretty stunning realization: I don't know how to be, outside the context of an argument. To test the realization, I checked myself the following morning, to see what happened. My eyes weren't even open yet and the argument in my head had begun. Sheesh!

Reason follows that if I am in an argumentative internal state, if that's how I'm treating my relationship to myself, then that's how I'm treating other relationships, too. I cannot see that as a good thing, a thing that requires no work on my part.

So I talked to some friends who've done some serious internal work. Silence was suggested, and that is something I've been mulling over for ages. Seems like now's the time to go in and see what the hubbub is really all about.

From Tuesday morning when I wake until the same time on Friday morning (7.7 - 7.9), I will be in silence. Using Teresa of Avila's model of the interior castle, its seven mansions and many rooms, I'm gonna do some housecleaning. From here, the external manifestations of this inner work will be cleaning my hard drive, working on my virtual business in Second Life to set it aright and tidy, and writing. I may not end up doing any of that; I may end up doing more. I've never done a silence practice before; I'm excited to see what's in there, to see what will emerge regardless of what I think I might be doing. I guess you could say I'm closing down the storefront so I can pay some mind to the store.

I'll letcha know how it turns out. The writer in me is fair drooling over all the fodder that could come of this (as well as dreading trying to inventory and catalog it all!). Other parts of me are having different response, and I'm trying to put all of them back in the river that runs through me (that's a reference to this post: ). My baseline is to keep my mouth shut, my heart and mind open, and see what arises. I may have come for an argument (not just a contradiction, mind you), but I'm hoping I'll end up with one of the most interesting staycations ever.

Have a great week, and wish me good consciousness!


  1. good consciousness indeed!
    I have wanted to practice silence for some time and find it utterly intimidating in the Vispassna context. Choosing to do it and declaring your intention seems somehow more accessible to me. Anyhow, will you not write either? That would seem effectively, "speaking"...

  2. Good consciousness. :) It has been a very long time since I went on a silent retreat, but I remember that at first it was very difficult. But once I settled into it, the experience was very freeing. I hope that this brings you what you seek, and what you need.

  3. wonderful practice! i found it difficult, a huge relief, and so much easier to 'see'- sometimes all at the same time. as one who is somewhat 'addicted' to verbal expression (after decades of survival mode muteness) i found conscious silence to be invaluable as a way to loosen the hooks a little bit.

    if you don't mind, i would like to join you, to share silence with you for part of each day, in the mornings from 10-11. i'll think of you and everyone else in the universe partaking of silence at the moment, and the profound communication that can happen when "dialogue as usual" is laid aside for awhile...thanks for the inspiration!!!


  4. I envy you! I used to go camping at Harbin by myself for long weekends, where I was able to be completely silent (except for a bedtime visit to the cafe to fill up my thermos with coffee for breakfast). Three days of that works out to about two weeks' worth of a regular vacation. I miss it. -- Janet

  5. What an amazing thing to do! Can't wait to read what comes of it!


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