I had an early gig today, catering a small lunch at the church for a group of meditators. They came through ice and snow to sit for three hours in the yoga room, then broke for a meal in the dining room, then returned to the yoga room to sit for another three hours.
The meal was silent. Intentionally silent. No one even had a device with them.
They sat, spread out among the tables. One person here, another there. Their energy was contained. Not constricted, not shielded. Just soft. Held close.
I pushed a service cart around the room, setting down plates of sauteed vegetables topped with patties of lentil and quinoa, returning a few minutes later with smaller plates of fresh orange slices, pineapple.
I’m not used to serving a silent room. Usually when you put a dozen people in that space, it’s lively. Full of conversation and table hopping.
I was acutely aware of the rattle of the service cart.
Everyone smiled, pantomimed their thanks. When they were finished eating, they carried their plates and tea mugs to the bus tub and went back upstairs.
It’s interesting, the way silence can alter a space. The way it makes room for us when we make room for it. Long silences, the ones that let you go past the discomfort to arrive at that place of softness, those are my favorite.
Meditators are a nice lot.