My Week of ‘Noble Silence’

Holding a transparent plastic pouch, my cellphone zipped inside with a white label displaying my name in bold letters, I followed the line as it snaked toward the front of the meditation hall. With a small knot in my belly, I inched forward and approached the small stage where five meditation teachers sat silently. When it was my turn to stand front and center, I placed the bag into a deep wicker basket — piled high with other phones in plastic bags — waiting for the reverberating gong of a Tibetan singing bowl to announce its surrender. I walked back to my meditation cushion, took a deep breath, and felt a wave of lightness come over me.