Seems like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it, but when you experience silence (in other words, absence of outside noise) you realise that silence has a kind of hum or whine to it. I'm happy to be corrected on this, but there seems to be no such thing as absolute silence.

Which is no reason to give up the pursuit of silence - or, at least, of less noise. It's a truism that our culture and our daily lives are more or less continously noisy, for a whole variety of reasons - including, I'd suggest, some kind of deep-seated fear of what might happen if we stopped making a racket. For example, what sort of cataclysm would ensue if all restaurants stopped their piped music? Would customers be unable to eat their food? Would they sob into their soup?...demand a refund?...attack the staff? Silence is an unknown quantity, a void, and we're not sure what we might find there...

I'm no better than anyone else at being silent. But I know the value of it. It's the "place" where I have a chance of sensing God, in a way that has nothing to do with words or activities or tasks or all the other stuff I rush around doing.

How to go there? Just stop everything, for 10 minutes or so, sit still, and listen for the God who is so often shoved aside by all our noise.