image_11Jeff and I attended a silent retreat this past weekend at New Camaldoli Hermitage, a monastery in Big Sur, where we lived three days in silence and contemplation. Without cell phone service or Internet I thought I wouldn’t survive, but what I discovered is that by disconnecting from the daily drumbeat of life I allowed myself the space to connect with the sounds of my head and heart. Mother Teresa says that God speaks to us in the silence of our soul.

My reflection: My head is constantly filled with the noise of daily life, whooshing and whizzing through my brain. This is especially true during crises, like when Jeff was sick and addiction had him by the throat. Even in times of stability and health, my mind is a whirlwind. What I learned this weekend is that through silence, I was forced to look inward, where it can be scary and unsettling, to face myself and touch the breath of God within.

Today’s Promise to consider: Today, I will take a moment to be completely still, to quiet my mind and spend some time in solitude. I will make an opening in my spirit to experience God’s closeness – a closeness that our busy, modern lives so quickly obscure.














0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Dear Libby & Jeff,

I find it so intriguing that you went to a retreat. I have always wanted to go to one like what you and Jeff experienced. I’ve been to Big Sur, though. It’s beautiful.

I try very hard to tame my mind every morning while I’m in prayer. It really helps to turn off all tv, internet, cell phone, etc. and sit in complete silence. You’re right. It’s sometimes scary to contemplate the thoughts in your head, but if I try to keep it a positive experience, it helps tremendously.

Some day, I plan to go to one of the retreats such as the one you and Jeff attended, at the Monastery. It’s on my bucket list.

I admire you and Jeff for experiencing the retreat. I hope I get enough guts to actually attend one 🙂

With much love,


9 years ago

That sounds like such a great experience and it must have been great for both of you to go together. Its something I think everyone could use.

I tied yoga a couple of times and one particular class had a period of meditation. It was impossible for me to quiet my mind and relax. I kept looking around the room at the others and wondered how they did this, this of course might have been half the problem I should have just kept my eyes shut. It made me realize how restless my mind is most of the time. The fact that I couldn’t even enjoy total peace and quiet at the end of a busy day was sad. It also may have been, as you said Libby, just a fear to face what’s inside. I think we have learned to bury our true thoughts and feelings for so long it might be frightening to face them.

I often wonder if an extended period of time in silence and contemplation such as your retreat would help teach me how to quiet that monkey that always seems to be there. It might allow me to discover my inner spirit.


Beryl S Bissell
9 years ago

A lovely meditation, Libby. I lived as a cloistered nun for 15 years and have a natural affinity for silence, but there are times when, as you’ve experienced, our minds assume control and we find ourselves locked into a cycle of worries or plans or questions. On my first 10-day silent retreat without access even to books or a bible, by the 4th day I was certain I didn’t belong there and thought of leaving. I felt unworthy and hypocritical to assume I could join those proficient meditators. I hurled myself out of bed, which felt like a prison, onto the floor and prayed for help, when I suddenly felt lifted above myself and could see me through the eyes of God as beloved and that my efforts were worthwhile. Thanks for sharing your experience so beautifully.

9 years ago

Such a gift to you both — to be able to share this as mother and son. And with us.

I ‘ve done centering prayer ( on and off) for nine or ten years guided by work of Thomas Keating.

“Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation.”
― Thomas Keating, Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation

I am leaving soon to be part of a retreat -not a silent one– but there will periods of silence. Saves my soul and refuels my spirit. Sometimes, VERY VERY HARD to hear/accept — what the silence offers. But when that happens : freedom from suffering.

You and all who come here refresh my soul. God Bless you and Jeff Libby.

9 years ago

Dear Joy,

I love reading your posts. They are very inspirational. Thank you for being part of this forum. And, as always, thank you Libby for bringing it to us.

God Bless you Joy, as you begin your retreat, soon. I am going to look into attending one. You, Libby and Jeff have inspired me to search.