One day, last week, wearing my mask, I went to Costco to buy some Kona Coffee (my favorite). In their famous food court, I watched a table of six teenagers sitting, eating either pizza or Costco’s famous hot dog and drink combo, or in two cases, both. Picture this scene. These six teens are at one table, eating their food, oblivious to any other shoppers, equally blind to the six others at the table beside them. One characteristic which they all displayed was they all wore headsets attached to an iPhone or some such device. I sat there just watching them eat. No one said a word. They occasionally would look around but quickly return to the privacy of their iPhone. Then suddenly, as if by a secret code known only to them, they all got up at the same time and left. I asked myself what it was that I had just witnessed. I still don’t know, but this event triggered a meditation on silence and solitude, charisms that are the core of Lay Cistercian spirituality (silence, solitude, work, prayer, and community). Here are some random thoughts from a broken-down, old, Lay Cistercian as he reflects on reality.