Encountering Silence in Times of Crisis

This week the Encountering Silence podcast features just the three of us — Cassidy, Kevin and Carl — reflecting on this extraordinary moment we find ourselves in.

Recorded on March 24, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, naturally we are reflecting on the spirituality of silence and solitude while much of the world has embraced the necessity of sheltering-at-home and social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus.

But we also recognize that the challenges we are collectively facing during this pandemic could have parallels in almost any crisis situation — any time when life’s circumstances present us with situations where we recognize we are not fully in control, we are faced with silence and solitude that may not be of our own choosing, and we are invited to recognize how important it is to embrace our common humanity and relatedness to one another.

Silence is all about releasing control, and all about letting go and being, and melting into this vision of unity… this collective common good, this oneness. — Cassidy Hall

Carl, Cassidy, and Kevin

You’ve been trained, your whole life, to focus on thinking, words, achievement, doing… so now when you having something like silence and stillness, we don’t have places for that in our culture, forced upon you… well, it’s a struggle, because you’re fighting a habit. — Kevin Johnson

Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:

At the end of the episode, Cassidy quotes from the wonderful poem “Stay Home” by Wendell Berry. Here is a recording in which Berry reads his own poem, followed by a musical setting of it, from the CD Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music.

Silence and solitude and stillness and contemplation do not exist just to facilitate action. There is a place in which silence and solitude and stillness exist simply because they are good and they are necessary. — Carl McColman

Episode 93: Encountering Silence in  Times of Crisis
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson
Date Recorded: March 24, 2020

Featured image: Photo by Amelie & Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash.

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Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.