Encounters with Silence

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Some years ago, when I was teaching at Mercy College, I did an experiment with my students: I asked them to sit silently while I timed them. The room went quiet – and the longer they sat the more uncomfortable they became; they began to fidget in their seats, I heard some nervous giggles; the time seemed to drag on forever for them. When I ended the experiment there was a collective sigh of relief – as if they had done yeoman’s work. They had been sitting quietly for just one minute! Continue reading “Encounters with Silence”