“This is my birthday present?” is a very entertaining article by Caitlin Kelly in the November 2011 issue of Marie Claire, opening a window on the surprises in store for the retreat first-timer at the Garrison Institute. “When Caitlin Kelly’s husband offered a weeklong silent retreat, words couldn’t describe her surprise: ‘The goal of silence was to shut out the world so the teachings would resonate more deeply…. “It’ll be good for you,” he said. But how would I survive not talking? No steak or single-malt scotch?…. By the fifth day, I wasn’t obsessed with the toxic minutiae of the news or mindless television. Hours consumed by Facebook were replaced by lectures on how to sharpen one’s sense of awareness. Surprisingly, I loved it….”” Well worth a read.