“There is another idea about silence in the monastic literature that moves beyond not speaking. Here a multivalent Greek word becomes essential to understanding monastic silence: hesychia, which could mean 'silence,' 'solitude,' 'quiet,' or 'stillness.' It was, and is, a simple word that took on deep significance for Christian monasticism in the eastern Mediterranean. Hesychia was contrasted with disturbance: disturbance of noise, disturbance of distraction, the interruptions of sound. There are stories, for example, of monks who say, 'The ones who pray to God should make their prayers in peace and hesychia and much tranquility.' Essential to the idea of hesychia is a dualism: the inner and outer qualities of stillness and quiet. It required monks to reflect on how to develop inner quietude in the midst of a noisy and distracting world. This question was at the heart of the monastic endeavor.”