Justin Zorn and Leigh Marz take us on an unlikely journey—from the West Wing of the White House to San Quentin’s death row; from Ivy League brain research laboratories to underground psychedelic circles; from the temperate rainforests of Olympic National Park to the main stage at a heavy metal festival—to explore the meaning of silence and the art of finding it in any situation.
Golden reveals how to go beyond the ordinary rules and tools of mindfulness. It’s a field guide for navigating the noise of the modern world—not just the noise in our ears but also on our screens and in our heads. Drawing on lessons from neuroscience, business, spirituality, politics, and the arts, Marz and Zorn explore why auditory, informational, and internal silence is essential for physical health, mental clarity, ecological sustainability, and vibrant community.
With vital lessons for individuals, families, workplaces, and whole societies, Golden is an engaging and unexpected rethinking of the meaning of quiet. Marz and Zorn make the bold and convincing argument that we can repair our world by reclaiming the presence of silence in our lives.
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About the Author
Leigh Marz is a collaboration consultant and leadership coach for major universities, corporations, and federal agencies as well as a longtime student of pioneering researchers and practitioners of the ritualized use of psychedelic medicines in the West. In her professional work, she has led diverse initiatives, including a training program to promote an experimental mindset among teams at NASA and a decade-long cross-sector collaboration to reduce toxic chemicals in products, in partnership with Green Science Policy Institute, Harvard University, IKEA, Google, and Kaiser Permanente. She is the cofounder of Astrea Strategies. Leigh lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband and daughter.
Table of Contents
Part 1 A Shared Yearning
Chapter 1 An Invitation 3
Chapter 2 The Altar of Noise 13
Chapter 3 Silence Is Presence 32
Chapter 4 The Moral Dimensions of Silence 49
Part II The Science of Silence
Chapter 5 Florence Nightingale Would Be Pissed 71
Chapter 6 A Mute Button for the Mind 89
Part III The Spirit of Silence
Chapter 7 Why Silence Is Scary 113
Chapter 8 Lotuses and Lilies 130
Part IV Quiet Inside
Chapter 9 A Field Guide to Finding Silence 147
Chapter 10 The Healthy Successor to the Smoke Break 162
Chapter 11 Rapturous Silence 193
Part V Quiet Together
Chapter 12 Working Quiet 223
Chapter 13 Living Quiet 250
Part VI A Society that Honors Silence
Chapter 14 Ma Goes to Washington 275
Chapter 15 A Culture of Golden Silence 301
Thirty-Three Ways to Find Silence 315
Our Gratitude 329