Silence is essential for the health and well-being of humans and the environment in which they live. Yet silence has almost vanished from our lives and our world. Of all the books that claim to be about silence, this is the only one that addresses silence directly. Silence: A User's Guide is just what the title says: it is a guide to silence, which is both a vast interior spaciousness, and the condition of our being in the natural world. This book exposes the processes by which silence can transfigure our lives--what Maggie Ross calls "the work of silence"; it describes how lives steeped in silence can transfigure other lives unawares. It shows how the work of silence was once understood to be the foundation of the teaching of Jesus, and how this teaching was once an intrinsic part of Western Christianity; it describes some of the methods by which the institution suppressed the work of silence, and why religious institutions are afraid of silence. Above all, this book shows that the work of silence gives us a way of being in the world that is more than we can ask for or imagine.