Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | June 23, 2009

Monastic Silence

It is in the silence of monastic life that monks and nuns listen for the voice of God. This same stillness and silence speaks to the taoist, to the buddhist, to the hindu, to the tai chi practitioner, a silence that reflects the truth, a silence that offers a glimpse of the ineffable, of the mysterious, of the source of life, of the answer to our existence. It is a silence which, like the tao itself, is inexplicable, but offers the person in it the peace, calm and awareness of knowing that they are residing in truth. As one of the brothers in these clips on carthusian life says, plurals become singular; there is not freedoms, but freedom, there are not truths, but truth. I realize that not everyone is called to this kind of life, the contemplative life, the life of a taoist wanderer, or taoist living in the mountains, or carthusian or trappist or benedictine. But for some, the call is clear.

In tai chi, we experience it, in the slow,harmonious, balanced movements, the truth, the answer. But we also sometimes experience what St. John of the Cross referred to as the Dark Night of the Soul, when, in silence, we do not hear the voice of God, when we are unsure whether there is a universal mind of God, we do not see that we are the tao, the source, the universe, an individual expression of the mind of the ineffable. And it is here, that in every tradition of monastic practice, that we are encouragred to persevere, to keep going, to keep to the silence.


  1. Very interesting blog you have here Mystical Mike. I will be back to read more later but for now the laundry and dinner preparations of my particular “non-monastery” are calling to me. Namaste’

    • Thank you Kathleen. It’s after midnight; having gone back to work I have to resort to doing this late. So, I visited your site and promise to give it a good look this weekend. I’m already intrigued. Happy laundering.

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