March 28


Me and SILENCE: Master Key Experience

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Silence in a library is nothing like the 30 hours of SILENCE I embraced over a weekend as an assignment my first year in the Master Key Experience. I left the books behind — everything written went into soft focus.

Me and SILENCE – the physical, mental, and spiritual exploration – happened in the expansive openness of my mind once the gate to speaking aloud was firmly closed and I went inside. (I am grateful for the image at the top of the blog which is by Ernie A. Stephens from Pixabay.)


I have to admit I was quite startled to hear our Master Key Experience assignment my first session in 2021. We were asked, if possible, to go into a time of complete silence for at least 24 hours—much more if possible—sometime in the next two weeks.

It was highly suggested that we find ways to remove ourselves from our normal environs to avoid all distractions. We were allowed to take only 3 things with us: a pen, paper, and ourselves. What? Only me and SILENCE?

From the beginning of the Master Key Experience, we’ve been doing a sit in silence daily for at least 15 minutes. So through all these months, silence has been a substantive part of the experience, with many reporting that their sits have stretched well beyond the 15 minutes.

Daily we’ve used Charles Haanel’s suggestion for how to use the sit to deepen our understanding of his weekly lesson. Every Thursday, after reading the press release we’d written as though our Definite Major Purpose had been accomplished, we use the sit to meet (in our mind’s eye) as our Future Self a friend to enthusiastically share our success.

There were two huge differences for the extended silence: no written materials to reflect on and a reliance on ourselves for shaping the time. We were, however, encouraged to extend the exercise of stepping into our Future Self.

Me and SILENCE and only a pen and paper?

I run two businesses and my calendar for March was already quite full. But I negotiated a few changes and was able to come up with a continuous 30-hour time from 10 AM the following Saturday until time for of Master Key Experience session on Sunday at 4 PM.

I’m pretty disciplined and decided that I’d spend as much of that time as possible walking outdoors on a nature trail behind my home… and then putting on blinders while at home in my bedroom so I wouldn’t be tempted to do anything else.

Over my life I’ve done all kinds of religious retreats in silence that lasted from an afternoon to 10 days. Most of them were guided by a retreat master or books I was drawn to. Since this Silence was in a course about our mind-body-soul interactions I asked my Master Mind tribe for any suggestions about how to get the most out of this experience.

me and silence

I was really grateful when my Guide and others shared some helpful tips including the idea to think ahead of time any questions I’d like to take into the silence so I could ease into the time better.

After two business sessions, at 10 AM I shut down the computers and my office. I turned off my phone for the duration.

I sat and embraced me and SILENCE. I sank into Presence, having been helped by a bit of poetry we had in our Haanel reading the previous week from Tennyson: “Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet, Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” Future Shirley is in Creator as I am in them both…

Questions became a frame

I sank into the SILENCE. I listened deeply. After a long while I wrote out 30 questions that then framed what I thought about, wrote about, prayed about, and walked out over this precious time.

I was profoundly amazed that over the 30 hours I got valuable insights into every one of them. Some answers even came in my dreams Saturday night, believe it or not.

Insights didn’t come in this structured way of course. Four, five, six related ideas worked into each other. One major insight about “the abyss” came as I was stepping off a curb on the way back from the Nature Trail!

  • 1. Why do I say I will do something and not do it?
  • 2. What habits would be good to start?
  • 3. What habits would be good to strengthen?
  • 4. What habits would be good to get rid of?
  • 5. How can I be creative AND disciplined?
  • 6. Why do I hold weight?
  • 7. Why do I hold clutter?
  • 8. How do I best help my aging brain?
  • 9. Why is food so compelling for me?
  • 10. How can I best get every drop of value out of the time I have left on earth?
  • 11. Am I on target for a radio show for a Detective of Magic?
  • 12. How can I make sure I am following guidance and not my own whim?
  • 13. How do I keep desire running high?
  • 14. What really gets me out of bed in the morning?
  • 15. Why do I disdain some people?
  • 16. How do I get and stay at higher vibrations?
  • 17. What am I not telling myself?
  • 18. How do I step into future Shirley the fastest?
  • 19. Is fastest best?
  • 20. What is my abyss?
  • 21. What is my Achilles heel?
  • 22. What makes up my shadow?
  • 23. How best do I deal with parts of my shadow?
  • 24. What is my best physical focus?
  • 25. What is my best soul focus?
  • 26. What is my best mental focus?
  • 27. What from convent lifestyle ought I re-incorporate?
  • 28. With whom should I mastermind?
  • 29. What books should I read and incorporate?
  • 30. What are my best daily schedules, habits, routines?

Silent dialogue?

Over the hours I wrote a very detailed description of who Future Shirley is as I dialogued with her, really got to know her better, and found ways that I really am already her.

I revised my daily schedule and thought about what props I will need through the day and evening to keep on track. “What would the person I am becoming do next?”

I faced some big fears and stared them down. I brought back the intense feelings I had when recently watching the compelling movie I AM: You Have the Power to Change the World which I’d written about here.

I felt healing and forgiveness as I walked in a shaded mini-forest where spring greens were just beginning to show in mosses along the trail and along the muddy banks of the bubbling brook, renewing myself as Nature is. In the last hours I read and re-read what I’d written and then sat in gratitude, feeling enormously blessed.

I got to bring parts into daily life

I came back to my packed life full of resolve and armed with new strategies and insights. The next day I was delighted to have tweaks to my routines work. That first day back I kept my SILENCE diary at hand and referred to what I’d been inspired to write down.

Clearly the experience challenged me, refreshed me, and strengthened me. My sharing it on our tribe’s Hero Zoom mid-week helped me see my experience through other eyes, and strengthened me even more. I’m even more grateful for the Master Mind aspect of our sharing our journeys. It was another Master Key Experience life-changing experience!

me and silence

Every year this Master Key Experience assignment to embrace extended SILENCE is a profound and treasured experience, and every one is unique. As I grow and deepen I find the silence filled with far less thinking and much more listening and being. But that first “me and SILENCE time” was foundation-building and essential.

Want to have this experience, too?

After decades of searching–I’m so grateful to be part of the Master Key Experience where we learn from others and 4000 years of wisdom all the ways to enrich our lives through SILENCE.

I understand if up till now you’ve not had something like this and have been missing out. I skimmed life, too. So if you’re ready to stop skimming and to join a powerful Master Mind of like spirits, we can help. The Master Key Experience (MKE) course and its scholarships happen only once a year, starting the last Sunday of September and you can get started today.

On this website, put your name on the waiting list for the next Master Key Experience course, and then download and try one of our powerful tools: the 7-Day Mental Diet.

You know what they say–if not now, when? If not you, who? Enriching your life with SILENCE has a key, and no one can get the key to YOUR experience but YOU. No one can get through what’s locking that door to your total effectiveness but YOU–it’s a YOU-shaped key. No one can make it work except YOU. And we can help you turn it in the lock. Come join us!

Read more articles by Shirley Koritnik

About the author

I'm always curious and "detective-y." Since 1993 I've used thoughtmanship and products from my brand partner to sleuth out ways high performing business professionals like me can uniquely strengthen their own mind-body connection. A former teaching and broadcasting nun, I'm prepping my next classroom--an international Detective of Magic radio show about the authentic magic we perfect in MKE. I became an MKE Guide to help others dramatically improve their lives as I have after decades of searching.

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  • A great post about one of the most precious experiences of the MKE training. I love the fact that you present it as a progression, starting with the idea of asking meaningful questions, then regularly running new silence sessions less and less filled with thinking and more and more filled with being. Thank you Shirley for this inspiring post which I Hope will create the desire in more and more people to experience the silence!

  • Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your experience and it motivates me, even more, to do my own silent retreat for a longer time thank you!

  • Shirley, I just love the 30 questions you listed, and I hope you don’t mind. I stole the last portion of your post and made it my own. Oh, dear! LOL 🙂

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