Skip to content
Home » The Gift of Silence: Nick Seaver at TEDxBeaconStreet (Full Transcript)

The Gift of Silence: Nick Seaver at TEDxBeaconStreet (Full Transcript)

Nick Seaver

Nick Seaver – TRANSCRIPT

A few years ago, my wife and I did something a little crazy, or really sane, depending on how you look at it. That was just 18 seconds of silence.

That wasn’t a glitch of me freezing. What if I told you my wife and I spent 18 months in silence? Not because we’d had some epic marriage argument. We actually chose to do this. So why in the world would anybody do this? For most people this sounds like a nightmare. As the saying goes: “My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I don’t like to go there alone.”

We live in a culture where silence and solitude are literally the worst form of punishment. Once you’re in prison, you have to do something bad there to get put into solitary confinement. It’s just kind of crazy, if you think about it. Alone in a room you’re actually really safe.

No wild animals, no one can attack you, no car accidents. So why is it so scary it’s an ultimate form of punishment? It’s because we’re left alone with our own minds. We’re left alone in a bad neighborhood. A friend of ours who spent time in the Himalayas described the life of a family there. This 16-year-old boy would wake up, leave the yurt, and sit and watch over the yaks.

And watch the yaks. When he got bored, he’d take out his flute and he’d play it. And then he’d go home at night. And that was the busy season. Most of the year was all about huddling around the fire and trying to stay warm.

Pages: First |1 | ... | Next → | Last | View Full Transcript