Finding your passion by listening, sounds and silence...

"Silent and Listen have the same letters.  To listen we need to be silent." hear our vocation.

Vocation for me equalling passion.

Another clue in our journey : )

 A sister of The Little Sisters of the Poor said these simple yet profound words at a talk I went to years back.

I actually heard this information at the same time I was keeping a "Listening Journal" for a graduate class  in music. 

Serendipity : )

Keeping a "Listening Journal" is a great exercise to help to stay present and pay attention.

The other day I asked the 3rd grade class I was substituting for,
What is your favorite sound?

Here are some things on their list...
: )
a burp
Church bells
The ice-cream man truck's song
The sound of a soccer ball when it is not full of air and you kick it.
God talking to me
The Bruin's Goal horn
A propeller plane landing or taking off
My dog
The wind
A waterfall

One of my favorite sounds is the song of the The Black Capped Chickadee.
(It reminds me of being small, up early, waiting on the front sidewalk for my friends to come out to play.)

What are some of your favorite sounds?

: )

I went on a silent spiritual retreat when my son was 3 years old.
I went for 4 days.
My husband (now Ex) thought I was going because I must be training to be a nun.
Why would anyone want to not communicate for days?

Although we did not personally communicate at the retreat,
(except for when we first arrived and got settled and found out what to expect)
we did go to daily Mass, classes, and had personal spiritual direction if needed.
There were many topics and subjects to contemplate.
(And I do remember on a few occasions getting spoken to with others for talking in the hallway : )

When the last day arrived, 
I found myself to be very relaxed and at the same time exhausted.
I remember telling someone that when I got home and she said,
You must have a busy mind!

That I do.

But, I must say,
when days got stressful after that, there were many times I could go back in my memory to those days of silence, contemplation and prayer, and it would calm my nerves in that present moment.
It was a reserve,
a well
of peace.

In my life,
I have come to understand silence as a double edged sword. 
Many times, over the years, when I was teaching a group of middle school aged students and we were all talking and working on a project, often the conversations would all cease at the same time, for whatever reason.
One or more of the students would notice and say, "It's too quiet in here, someone talk!"

 Silence can make you feel uncomfortable.

I have seen silence used as a way for people to cope with difficult relationships.

Silence can make you feel invisible.

 The other side of the
silence sword
(trying saying that 10 times fast)


All of these lead to feelings of
joy and meaning and purpose.

But, no matter what side of the sword you are experiencing or inviting into your life,

Silence is powerful.

I have come to respect the power of silence.
I have respect for how I use it, how I need it, and what it tells me.

: )

I googled "silent retreat" and got a few good articles that I would like to share.
For the best silent retreats around the world, I found this article from the Wall Street Journal
Don't Say a Word

and for strictly the United States,
The Huffington Post published this,
Silent Retreats

Additional resources...

 I had the opportunity to meet author
Anne D. LeClaire
who wrote
Listening Below the Noise
A Meditation on the Practice of Silence
at my favorite bookshop,
The Titcomb Bookshop

Anne has practiced total silence on the first and third Monday of every month for over 17 years.

Most recently I found

From Davidji's photos

Hayhouse Radio.

Finding your own spiritual Guru is such an individual decision
but the minute I heard his voice, I was hooked.
He is super laid back, but very insightful.
He has truly helped me become more and more comfortable with the practice of meditation and has helped me realize the benefits it brings to my daily life.

I treasure listening, and I treasure sounds.
I treasure silence.

: )
Delve into some silence.
What do you hear around you?
What to you hear inside you?

: )


  1. Sometimes I crave for silence...I also have a busy head...;-)
    I love the song of the blackbird ,it reminds me of summer...
    I also love the sound of the wind rustling the leaves in big trees...
    And the sound of the waves on the beach...
    I find it very brave of you to be silent for a few days; you never know how you are going to react... Thanks for this inspiring and interesting post!
    Love from Mirjam.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. I try to meditate every day and silencing my mind is the hardest thing in the world. But I'll get it eventually ;) (hope so)

  3. Thank you Mirjam for your feedback! : ) It means a lot! Yes, going on the silent retreat, I had no idea what to expect, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it! Also, the food was amazing, so I remember really looking forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner! We would listen to a recording of a particular subject at meal time, because we couldn't talk!! It definitely took some getting used to but it truly was an amazing experience. : )

  4. Nini, Isn't that so true!! It takes a lot of discipline, (which is on my to-do list!) and it is a hard thing to master...I am not sure if we truly ever master it, but we get closer and closer the more we practice. I want to blog about him at some point, but I found Davidji on Hayhouse Radio, and I love his radio show and his meditation sessions. Honestly, he is the first person I have stuck with in a somewhat weekly practice!
    Good for you for trying every day!
    Thank you for your comment! : )

  5. P.S. Nini, I am not going to wait, but post about Davidji on this post! : ) Thanks again for your feedback!

  6. It's great you found someone you resonate to, all you have to do now, is stick to the routine ;)

  7. Routine for me is the hardest part!! But, I am working on it!! : )