Neil Island is absolutely peaceful and quiet but not in a boring way. As soon as we stepped off the ferry, we were part of a great community of non-party, nature-loving travelers. And Marie-Christine is one of them. We were immediately spellbound by this contemporary semi-nomadic French woman whose radiating smile is not her only asset. Marie-Christine has a gift.
I don’t know how she does it but she puts a huge smile on everyone around her. Her positivity is infectious. So, of course, we’ve been spending a lot of time with her adding noticeable depth to our crow’s feet. It’s funny the bits and pieces you find out about people when you spend enough time with them. I’ve been like “Wow, you have a house in Brittany?” and “What do you mean, you had your own public relations company?” Yes, Marie-Christine is a woman of many talents.
She sold her successful company 10 years ago to pursue something she thought more worthy: silent meditation. And she made that into a living too. “Well, silent meditation, that’s nice,” we said with big question marks all over us. “Isn’t meditation always silent?” I asked a little confused. “It’s different. It is a love meeting with yourself,” she explained. “Alrighty then – sounds kind of kinky,” Tony replied. “No, no, no,” Marie-Christine started laughing, “It’s a way of finding your inner silence, a way to love yourself – and not in that way.” Hey, we are not the only ones with a dirty mind.
Every time she gives a silent meditation workshop in her house in the French countryside (which can last several days), her suspicious neighbors keep borrowing salt, milk, and flower. Anything to catch a glimpse of the sinful ongoings inside. Clearly, all the excitement makes them hungry for baguette.
Her house not being the most ideal place to work though, Marie-Christine travels around to find other places that speak to her. Of all places, India seems to be talking the most, and, time after time, she’s been coming back to the country that is the complete opposite of silence. But, apparently, that’s not the point. What most people consider silence, the absence of noise or speaking, is different for Marie-Christine.
“You talk a lot, how can you do SILENT meditation?” a German lady asked her in the restaurant. Marie-Christine must hear that a lot as she just smiled and replied, “Even while I’m talking, I can be silent. In fact, I’m silent right now.” With that said, her eyes sparkling, she put a hand on her chest and declared, “You see, I’m in peace with myself.”
Don’t you just love her…?!