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Page history last edited by rsb 8 years, 7 months ago


** Silence

As an aside, it was amazing to me how well silence works out.  


No one spoke but everything got done.  


Between the lot of us, we kept the place perfectly clean with no verbal coordination.  Every other eventuality that came up was handled much more effectively than could have been if we were allowed to speak.  


Example: Once I saw a black widow spider by one of the sinks (the bathroom had three sinks, three toilet stalls, two showers).  I stopped in front of it, knowing that other people in the room had seen it but not yet taken the initiative to deal with it.  Or maybe they hadn't seen black widows before (I had seen tons of these things in 29 Palms when I was stationed there).  Or, possibly, they may have seen leaving it alone as the best course of action.  It was not the best course in this case for a variety of reasons. 


I couldn't kill the spider because that's against the rules, and we were all very serious about this.  So I took a removable plastic sign from the wall, and grabbed a wax cup, and everyone knew what I was doing, and I put the cup on the spider, and slid the plastic underneath.  One person opened one door, another opened another door, the rest cleared a path for me, and after a few drops and a couple broken legs, the black widow made it outside with it's life and no one was ever in any danger.  If we were talking about it, half the people would have been telling each other they are doing it wrong, the other half making less useful comments, and no one would have coordinated.  Silence works.


Everything on the meditation grounds was clean and functional.


The meditation center was beautiful.  Just gorgeous manzanita, oak and pine trees, old ones, all over the place.  Beautiful views.  I only got to see the mens half of the center, of course.


The family of deer that grazed daily in the mens walking area were mostly unafraid of the silent humans, slowly walking by, moving with the sound of gongs, from meditation hall to dining hall to their rooms.  


When we walked from our room to the meditation hall, we saw other meditators filtering on in silence, averting their eyes from one another, sometimes stopping and lightly stretching before taking off their shoes to enter the dim hall.  On hours scheduled as break/rest time, we would walk along the walking paths, or sit quietly, sometimes with a cup of coffee or tea if the break adjoined a mealtime.


Silence made everything much more striking and beautiful than it would have otherwise been.


Next: Hard Work

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