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Activity 4: Square Inch of Silence

Activity time: 14 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Optional: Distribute pillows/mats so participants can sit out of arms reach of one another, to minimize the temptation to disrupt the quiet.

Description of Activity

Participants create a personal "square inch of silence," and reflect on situations in which they might like to try it.

Say in these words, or your own:

We are going to see what it might be like to create our own "square inch of silence"- a moment of retreat and reflection. In times of anxiety, anger or simply distraction, it is an excellent skill to be able to find a calm, still center inside oneself.

Invite participants to get comfortable, out of arms reach of one another, on the floor, a chair (or, on a pillow or mat). Read the meditation in Leader Resource 1 slowly, leaving pauses between sentences for participants to experience their square inch of silence. Ring a bell or chime at the end of the meditation and invite participants to open their eyes.

Guide participants to reflect on the experience, with questions such as:

  • Was it hard to remain silent?
  • When are times during an average day when you experience like silence? How about "almost" silence?
  • At your home, what noises would you need to silence, in order to create a quiet space?
  • Is it possible to practice this mediation in situations where there isn't quiet around you? How could you do it?
  • In what situations would it be helpful to know how to create a small space of silence inside yourself?

Including All Participants

Participants who tend to be physically active may benefit from having a quiet, manipulable item, such as Silly Putty or clay, to engage their hands during the meditation.

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