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Author: Carissa Wyant

This lesson explores how a variety of religious traditions have understood silence as a an important spiritual practice.

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Terms to Know

A process of mental focus and relaxation, generally involving silence and physical inactivity, whereby an individual attempts to calm the mind, often in order to achieve a more spiritual state of mind, or to set aside the cares that impede spiritual contemplation.

Spiritual or Monastic Silence

The practice of using silence as a means of prayer or spiritual contemplation, frequently practiced in Roman Catholic monasteries.


A Buddhist meditation technique requiring silence.


In Zen Buddhism, a sitting meditation that is conducted either in silence or while chanting.