The Noise Around Us and the Silence that Heals Us

Timothy Gallati

June 19–21, 2020

Tuition $150 + 2 nights

Note: This program has been cancelled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see updates about SMC’s response to the pandemic here.


One million years of healthy human life are lost every year due to traffic-related noise (World Health Organization).How can one quiet a noisy world?

You can push the “reset button.”

Even brief periods of silence can reduce one’s heart rate and blood pressure. Silence can also improve cognitive abilities.

This retreat guides listeners in practices that cultivate silence. We will take inspiration from acoustic ecology, sound studies, and monasticism and conduct our own listening exercises indoors and outdoors. We will reflect on information from scientific research on the effects of noise and silence; silence in community; silence in nature; and sounds outside the range of human hearing. The goals of this retreat are to help you gain immediate cognitive recovery from noise and to introduce information and practices that can help you understand and experience the benefits of silence and deep listening.

Timothy Gallati

Timothy Gallati received a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School where he studied experiences of silence in nature and contemplative practice. His fieldwork includes extended backpacking trips into One Square Inch of Silence in Olympic National Park and long-term residencies at the Abbey of New Clairvaux and St. Joseph’s Abbey.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.