Silent Dating: The Zen Path to Love Word Count: 858 Summary: The most innovative dating idea you'll ever read about: The silent date! If you're tired of the same old "dinner and a movie" and want to have a truly memorable dating experience, try this -- if you dare! Keywords: Dating, Zen, romance, love, spirituality Article Body: You’ve heard that song, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Well, there is something sacred about silence. Enlightenment comes to Zen monks in silent meditation. With this in mind, here is an extremely bold idea for a date. It's highly unusual, to be sure, and not many will try it.Ask someone out on a date, but make this rule: Neither you nor your date will speak a single word for the duration of the date. That’s right! You both will take an oath of total silence.You will also keep all other forms of communications to a bare minimum. That means no writing notes, few or no hand signals, or any other form of symbolic communication.What you actually do on your silent date is not as important as the fact that you are dating in silence.For example, if you go out to dinner, you would not be able to speak to the waiter when ordering food. Although you might handle this by simply pointing to the menu items, the idea is to shape the date around the fact that you won’t be saying anything. Choose an activity carefully. If you go to a movie, you won't be able to discuss it.Why this idea? Why a silent date? What good could possibly come from it?Well, to be silent is tremendously difficult for all of us who live in the modern world. We live in the Age of Information. Everywhere is the constant clamor of communication. Radios play, TVs blare, people everywhere babble into cell phones, even when they have nothing to say. But if a person could just stop for a time to just listen and observe, tremendous new insights can be discovered about what it means to be alive today.Furthermore, when you share your silence with a dating partner, you are creating a huge opportunity to learn extremely subtle clues about who this person really is, and what he or she is all about. Just as a blind person must enhance his or her other senses to compensate for the lack of sight, two silent people must double or triple their other senses for reading what the other person is like “beneath the skin.”The silent date can produce truly amazing insights about other people. Interacting and observing with another person in silence is a powerful experience! Also, if you cannot be comfortable with another person in silence, it’s a good sign you can’t be comfortable with that person in any way. That’s because we all use mindless chatter to cover up for how we really feel. We all know how people blurt out anything, just to fill those uncomfortable silent moments. When you date under an oath of silence, you are forced to accept your date on a more subtle level. You see deeper into their personality and psyche. In fact, it may take several silent dates to get the full effect of this.And consider this: After your silent date is over, you will have an iron-clad reason for a second date — you need to get together again to share your experience, and talk about what you observed and felt!This can be tremendously fun! For example, let’s say your silent date involves a walk in a park. Perhaps you both stopped to observe some wildflowers, or paused to gaze upon a water pond. After your silent date, you can ask your date: “You know, I really wanted to know what you were thinking when you were looking at those colorful wildflowers?” The answer can be surprising!You see, an important aspect of the silent date is that both people are forced to project their own theory about what the other person is thinking during specific events and activities. What you thought your date was contemplating, and what he or she was really contemplating, can be dead on, or totally off base. The silent date requires that each person pay extremely close attention to the other as you both strive to determine meanings. This can only be a good thing. Too often, what a person actually says does not always reflect what he or she really means. Spoken communications are often misinterpreted. But a silent date gives the daters deeper, more subtle insights into each other. Ironically, silent dates actually enhance communication in the long run. It does that by forcing the daters to confront the process of communication from a new and more profound level.I could go on and on about the magical wonders of the silent date, but the real benefits can only be achieved by trying it. Yes, it takes a lot of courage to suggest a silent date, especially in a first-time dating situation. A lot of people will think you’re kooky. But the more profound, open-minded and less shallow people will at least be willing to give this bold idea a try.People who agree to a silent date are guaranteed to be interesting people — and better yet, you may just have the most interesting and memorable dating experience of your life. You may even fall in love.