Giggles asked...Does silence count if you are listening to your ipod??
Yes it does.
When I am at the Jesuit Center I take music to listen to. It stays in my room except when I go to the exercise room. The Jesuits provide a music room that has a piano, a stereo and music to play on the stereo. There have been times I have sat in the hallway listening to another silent person play piano. So, I see no problem with listening to music in my room.
On my first 8 day retreat I was told some good advice---- when praying, try to last for an hour during each of the three daily prayer times. When not praying, don't pray. give it a break. This is not always possible, but it is more so if one has distractions.
I was also advised against bringing novels and books on spirituality (though they sell these in the book store). I was advised to read a biography if anything. I do little reading, other than my Bible.
so what do I do when not praying, eating, talking with my director, sleeping, or attending the daily mass...
exercise, walk, art work---- lots and lots of art work, math puzzles, shoot pool (and I have had games against other silent folk), play basketball, swim, be massaged, slam a tennis ball against a handball wall, and ...
listen to music especially when doing art work.
now. if I could find a way to be silent when calling Mosaic Woman each evening to say goodnight. and no, a text message just would not meet her needs.