The purpose of maintaining external silence is to encourage the development of internal silence. When we are quiet and able to focus on the workings of our mind, we inevitably become aware of the noise and chaos of our personal mental narration. Time dedicated to silence, especially in the setting of a spiritual retreat, creates a profound opportunity to observe and experience the triviality and meaninglessness of this constant mental activity. By careful self observation and self-inquiry we can grow sufficiently detached from identifying with the passing content of our mind that we effortlessly lose interest in it. Only when the thinking mind is silent can spiritual transformation occur. With this perceptual shift, an entirely new and unfamiliar world opens to us.