Pure wisdom From Focused and Fearless by Shaila Catherine:

Shaila Catherine

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“I have a deep love for silence.

It has been an indispensable asset on my own path of inner discovery.

At the age of forty-three, I have spent approximately seven years in silence.

Not everyone will need to or have the opportunity to undertake extended retreats, and concentration can still be developed in active social settings—but spiritual satisfaction is something you must discover alone.

You might stay in a monastery, reserve a room at a retreat center, go camping in the mountains, sit in a city park, or abide comfortably in a quiet room in your own home.

The place does not matter, although retreat centers offer the advantage of skilled teachers and safe conditions for the settling of the mind.

Unable to imagine the exquisite joy that arises from a quiet mind, many people presume a silent retreat would be boring, but when you enter retreat you leave behind your array of projects, distractions, and entertainments.

You can allow the mind to unwind in a secluded shelter without the need to defend your safety or maintain your social roles.

When you can arrange for a spiritual retreat, it is important to make the most of it by putting your worldly affairs in order before entering the silence.

Don’t bring entertainments with you. Give your mind a real vacation from your daily life routines.

Let silence reveal a depth of knowledge that is usually unseen in the rapid swirl of daily personal achievements.


Concentration states depend upon the “protected” conditions of a retreat. They are, like all things, impermanent—and they dissipate after the retreat.

Even so, the insights that arise due to the purity of concentration remain accessible long after the states of concentration have ended.

Concentration does not need to be permanent to be important.

In the transition back to your ordinary routine, worldly activities may seem to be moving ridiculously fast. “

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