We enter the land of silence by the silence of surrender, and there is no map of the silence that is surrender. . . . The practice of silence . . . cannot be reduced to a spiritual technique. Techniques are all the rage today. They suggest a certain control that aims to determine a certain outcome. They clearly have their place. But this is not what contemplative practice does. . . . A spiritual practice simply disposes us to allow something to take place. For example, a gardener does not actually grow plants. A gardener practices certain gardening skills that facilitate growth that is beyond the gardener’s direct control. — Martin Laird