Listening Below the Noise
A Meditation on the Practice of Silence
By Anne D. LeClaire
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061353352, 240pp.)
Publication Date: February 2009
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When Anne D. LeClaire decided to turn an ordinary Monday into a day of silence, she viewed her experiment as a one-time occurrence. Little did she realize she had begun an inner voyage that would transform her life.
In the seventeen years since, LeClaire has practiced total silence on the first and third Monday of each month. By detaching herself from the bustle of her hectic lifestyle and learning to listen to her deepest self, she has found a center from which to live—one that tests, strengthens, and heals her. In practicing silence, she has discovered her own secret garden—a cloistered, sacred, private place where true personal growth is possible.
In this eloquent book—part memoir, part philosophical inquiry—LeClaire reflects on how silence can help us attend to the world around us, expand our awareness, and achieve inner peace. Silence, LeClaire contends, reminds us to pay attention to the ordinary moments of our existence. In silence we can learn how to listen, become more compassionate, ignite and nurture creativity, uncover our inner yearnings, and ultimately find peace and improve our well-being. By confronting ourselves and learning from the anxiety that arises when we are freed from distraction, we can become whole. With clarity and humor, LeClaire reveals how silence has brought joy to her life and helped her foster new connections with nature, with others, and with herself.
Anne D. LeClaire is a former reporter, radio news broadcaster, and op-ed columnist whose work has appeared in Redbook, the Boston Sunday Globe, and the New York Times, among other publications. She is the author of eight novels, and translations of her work have been published in twenty-four countries. She lives on Cape Cod.