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Encountering Silence

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A podcast about anything and everything concerning silence.

A podcast about anything and everything concerning silence.
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A podcast about anything and everything concerning silence.






Valentines Day & Ash Wednesday — Silence & Paradox (Episode 10)

For this episode, we felt drawn to reflect on a couple of "liturgical paradoxes" coming up now and in April: that the Christian holy day of Ash Wednesday corresponds to Valentine's Day; and that Easter Sunday falls on All Fools' Day, April 1. Valentine's Day originated as a Christian memorial (for Saint Valentine), but in its secularized form it is a day for celebrating romantic love — complete with flowers, a nice dinner out, and of course, plenty of chocolate. But this flies in the face...


Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD: Howard Thurman and the Inner Authority of Silence (Episode 9)

It's easy to see the connection between silence and spirituality — but how does silence support the quest for justice, for a world that moves beyond racism, sexism, or the other social barriers that divide us? Anyone familiar with the wisdom and words of the great American preacher and writer, Howard Thurman, knows that the silence of contemplation and the silence that empowers the struggle for justice is, in fact, one silence. God is always speaking, Spirit is always speaking to us. And...


Silence in Conflict (Episode 8)

What role does silence play in human conflicts? This question recognizes that silence may have a positive role to play — in helping to prevent or resolve conflicts — but that it could also have a negative role to play, as one one or more parties to a conflict use silence as a "weapon" to prevent reconciliation. “When silence is done 'right,' silence can disarm us. Emotionally, physically, disarm us. It strips us of our ego. It takes us to that sacred center and allows us to try to learn...


Patrick Shen: Creating in Silence (Episode 7)

With this episode, Encountering Silence features our first conversation with a special guest — Patrick Shen, the director of the luminous and thought-provoking documentary film In Pursuit of Silence, which he describes as "a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence and the impact of noise on our lives." Incidentally, the three hosts of Encountering Silence first met each other through Maggie Ross as a result of her being interviewed for this film, so it's fair to say that...


Our Silence Heroes (Episode 6)

Who are your "silence heroes" — persons, living or dead, famous or obscure, who inspired or mentored or otherwise encouraged your encounter, and/or ongoing relationship, with silence? This is the question that the three co-hosts of this podcast explore in this episode. Cassidy, Carl and Kevin talk about the spiritual leaders, mystics, poets, writers, and other key figures who have helped us to "meet" silence more fully in our lives. When you really meet silence, when you really encounter...


Encountering Silence in Relationships (Episode 5)

What does it mean to encounter silence in the midst of our most intimate relationships? Unless you are an absolute hermit, other people factor in your life. From children and spouses, to nephews and neighbors, co-workers and companions, to be human is to be in relationship — and sometimes, relationships can be noisy places indeed. In this episode we explore some paradoxical approaches to silence — for example, Kevin speaks eloquently of finding the silence even in the midst of a baby's...


Encountering Silence as Adults (Episode 4)

Continuing the conversation that began with Episodes 1 and 2, we now turn to the question of how our relationship to silence can evolve over time. We take a closer look at how encountering silence has nurtured our faith in God — and how monasteries, churches, museums, the wilderness, and even a documentary film has played a role in our lives as each of us has "pursued" silence (or, perhaps we should say, how silence has pursued us). We explore how silence has been a teacher to each of us,...


Encountering Silence During the Holidays (Episode 3)

The Holiday Season can be joyful and/or stressful, which means this is a time when silence remains as important as ever. Join us for this special episode where Cassidy, Kevin and Carl talk about how we nurture a contemplative dimension to our holiday experience, without getting moralistic or legalistic about silence, but also retaining a sense of just how vital silence is to us at this time of the year. In this episode, we explore how silence is devalued in our culture (and why we need to...


Encountering Silence In Adolescence (Episode 2)

How do we encounter silence in our teen years? Alone, or with others? In the woods, or at a church? With a sense of ecstasy, or perhaps even a healthy dose of "adolescent angst"? In this episode we continue the conversation about "meeting" silence in the days of our youth, this week focusing on our adolescence. Like in the previous episode, such encounters carry a variety of meanings and invitations into deeper reflection, including: The relationship between silence, nature, solitude, and...


Encountering Silence in Childhood (Episode 1)

What do you remember about encountering silence in your childhood? In this episode we explore our first memories of "meeting" silence in childhood, moments in time where, whether in solitude or with others, whether near or far from home, whether shaped by emotional confusion or a sense of simply being present, something graced and mysterious intruded upon our awareness and brought us face to face, not only with the beauty of silence, but also with the mystery of our own deepest and truest...


Pilot Episode: Meet the Hosts of Encountering Silence

Meet Kevin Johnson, Cassidy Hall, and Carl McColman. We are the hosts and co-creators of Encountering Silence. This podcast emerged from our friendship, the friendship of three people with a shared interest in the many important ways silence makes a difference our lives — looking at silence in terms of spirituality, of health, of art and aesthetics, of psychology and wisdom. Silence matters, and yet it is a difficult topic to talk about, let alone to deeply and truly understand. We realize...


“Coming Soon” Teaser Trailer

Coming Soon: A Podcast on All Things Silence. This little snippet of audio bliss comes from the very first day that the Encountering Silence team — Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson, and Carl McColman — actually recorded what would become our "pilot episode" (scheduled to be released next month, December 2017). Here we are still finding our way around our respective microphones, and discovering our collective "voice" as the hosts of our new podcast. This may not tell you a lot about the content...