"So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."


T.S. Eliot


Silence as a Way of Knowing

Back to Facilitation for Individuals

One of the most inspiring lectures I ever attended was given by Christian de Quincey, at Schumacher College in Devon. After a coffee break we all found our way back to our seats, waiting for the lecture to start again. And waiting. And waiting. On the board it only said ‘Silence as a Way of Knowing’. I don’t know how long it took for the coin to drop. Christian remained entirely silent for at least an hour. I looked through the gap in the curtains, at a Sycamore tree on the lawn. In the silence, shared between twenty or so people, the tree started speaking to me. Many times since then, I have experienced how full and rich silence is and how little we have of it in our culture.

This workshop then will create a silent environment, so that we can sharpen our hearing, through our ears and other senses. Together we will create an expansive field in which we send out our hearing to other places. What is said when we cease speaking? The main objective of the workshop is finding a different way of relating to self, others and the world around, and see what opens up.

There will be some spoken words and instructions for exercises including sitting in a circle focussing on a central spot, being out in nature, focussing on a specific plant or stone, and gazing with yourself. Questions for inquiry may include: ‘How does silence make me feel?’ ‘What does the song of the world sound like?’ ‘What does this being have to say?’ There will also be guided movement sessions to anchor our experiences in our bodies, and times for verbally communicating our experiences as well.

If nothing else, you can relax and dream into the silence. Who knows what will happen?