Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Words to Get in the Way

He and I exchange very few words. He, even less than I. Yet, there is no doubt about the love between us. Yesterday when I came up to his floor, I found him alone and sitting at an empty table. "Dr. Bob, Dr. Bob", I whispered. He kept his head down, for a while. I waited, kneeling down by his side. 

Body being breathed, I honed in on the rhythm, and watched mind empty itself of expectations. There was space, lots of it.

Dr. Bob lifted his head up, and turned towards me. "Dr. Bob, it's me, Marguerite." His eyes and mine locked. I let him know "I am happy to see you", and smiled. Dr. Bob smiled back and let out a raspy "Yes." He motioned to grab my hand and squeezed it with much feeling. 

Being with Dr. Bob reminds me of the times when I have been on silent retreats, and of the close bonds formed with other fellow retreatants, most of them strangers, without even exchanging a word. 

We should all be more like Dr. Bob. Less talking, more heart.


  1. Reminds of the man who sat behind me in a 10 day Vipassana in a chair while I sat on the floor. He inspired me, and when the day came when we could talk, I turned around and thanked him for his inspiration, as he was often was there at 3 am, starting early. He grabbed my hand, said Thank you, but you inspired me...and broke down crying, saying, "No, really... thank you." We talked before, on the evening before it started, he was a nurse, and he knew the hell I went through with my strokes.

  2. You are right, silence bonds people like few conversations can. Thank you for writing about your experiences.

  3. Was Once, thank you for sharing your story. You always come from a place of such deep knowing.

  4. Jonathan, I would add mindful, well intentioned silence bonds people. Angry silence is another story.