Tag Archives: Cassidy Hall

Notes on Silence (Episode 17)

This week we have our first “return” guest, as Patrick Shen joins us again to discuss the new book he co-wrote and co-edited with Cassidy Hall, Notes on Silence. Describing the book as an “entry point” into silence, Patrick and Cassidy share with Kevin and Carl how the book functions as a companion to their documentary film In Pursuit of Silence — and how it is simply a work of art in its own right.

Silence is always over-stated — and under-said. — Cassidy Hall

 

 

Notes on Silence features a selection of essays by both authors exploring silence, and their relationship to silence, from a variety of angles. The book also includes transcripts of interviews from a variety of persons who are featured in the film: theologians, psychologists, artists, educators, and others who have many interesting things to say about silence and the noise in our contemporary habitat. Since only a portion of each interview could be included in the film, these transcripts provide a wealth of information for anyone who wants to go deeper in his or her pursuit of silence.

A monk from New Mellerey Abbey, Father Alberic, said to me, ‘Silence is a place of infinite possibility.’ Silence is also a place of infinite language, because there is no proper language — there is no official way to box it in.” — Cassidy Hall

Notes on Silence also contains a generous selection of beautiful (and deeply contemplative photos) taken by both Cassidy and Patrick. As each of them shares thoughts on one of their favorite photos in the book, they give insight into how image as well as words can testify to the beauty of silence, and of our capacity for wonder at, and in, silence.

Alas, we cannot know for certain, the cosmos demands that we surrender to its majesty, and we must take our seat at the feet of doubt. — Patrick Shen

Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:

Absolute silence would be a state of lifelessness. Our relationship with silence is always filtered through sound in some way, shape or form. — Carl McColman

Episode 17: Notes on Silence
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Cassidy Hall, Carl McColman
Guest: Patrick Shen
Date Recorded: March 29, 2018

 

Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB: Silence in the Cloister (Episode 11)

This week marks the first Encountering Silence “Field Recording” in which one member of our team (in this case, Cassidy Hall) records a face-to-face interview with a person whose life is deeply engaged with silence. Today’s episode features Cassidy in conversation with a Benedictine monk, Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB.

Cassidy Hall and Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB

Father Stephanos is a monk of Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, California. The Encountering Silence team met Fr. Stephanos online, through a small social media group for artists, writers, and others who explore the intersection between art, spirituality, justice, and authenticity. In that context Fr. Stephanos is a voice of calm, deep spirituality, and good humor. Since he lives so close to Cassidy Hall, it seemed natural for her to pay him a visit, and during her time at the monastery, to record the interview which we are now sharing with you as our 11th episode. Even though this is the third episode to feature an interview on the podcast, it is actually the first interview to have been recorded (back in October of last year).

Fr. Stephanos tells his story, from his early yearning for liturgy and community, to discovering intentional silence through prayer, to eventually discerning his call to monastic life — which in turn took him to the threshold of silence. He reflects on how the wisdom of Saint Benedict has shaped the monastic experience of silence, and the relationship between silence and love. He goes on to talk about Mother Teresa — a modern saint who “suffered” the silence of God, whose voice fell into absence as she responded to her vocation to serve the poorest of the poor.

He explores some of the “silent wisdom” of the Rule of Saint Benedict, such as can be found in Benedict’s twelve steps of humility — which on the surface seems so counterintuitive to the values of our age, but actually points to treasures such as the spiritual beauty of silencing one’s own ego, in response to the love of God. Fr. Stephanos also explores why the word “contemplation” never appears in the Rule of Saint Benedict, and also talks about the heart of lectio divina, the deeply contemplative monastic practice of meditative reading of scripture, and how silence has given him insight into the dynamics of his own personality — and into love.

Monks are men of silence, but they are also men of many words… primarily the Psalms. — Fr. Stephanos Pedranos

Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:

In the picture we see Cassidy and Fr. Stephanos enjoying a beer from the Almanac Beer Company, a California microbrewery.

Episode 10: Silence in the Cloister: A Conversation with Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
Introduced by: Kevin Johnson
Guest: Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, OSB
Date Recorded: October 25, 2017