It was unexpected. The group had decided to meet in person. Two of us had been on retreat so the others were eager to hear of our experiences.
We stood around the breakfast bar drinking tea and catching up. We then went into the living room. The house had been restyled since we last met for silence. True we had met periodically but usually to eat.
I became aware as I did the silence. It had been almost three years since we met like this. I had grown accustomed to being silent at home, me and the laptop. But often I got distracted and made a coffee while the camera was off.
Here I was afresh experiencing what it was to be a living room with four others sitting quietly for 15 minutes. I was aware of my breathing, I was aware of their breathing. I was aware of their presence I was aware of my presence.
I wondered if I would last 15 minutes, it seemed a long time. It felt intimate. I wasn’t as comfortable with it due to the absence. But staying with it I settled and then I fully appreciated what I hadn't realised I missed, the power of silence generated when meeting with others.