Silence for me means to shut off the voices in the mind in the form of opinions, thoughts or judgments. It means to completely stay in the "Now". Of course when ever we try to shut / resist something it only becomes louder as what ever you resist will persist. So the true meaning of silence for me is to be a witness for those thoughts , opinions and judgments and have a background of awareness behind. Silence means just being with what ever it is in the "now" with out getting caught up and sucked up and getting an identity out of it. When I started my spiritual journey I used to so for 2- 3 days silence courses where all you have to do is sit and meditate and be with yourselves. Initially it was scary not to talk to any one for 2 or 3 days but as I continued mind became stiller and calmer. Now my life circumstances have changed and I hardly go to any silence retreats but have realized that as long as you are present and rooted in the now with out getting caught up in the mind, you can feel silence even in the midst of noise. Meditation definitely helps calm the mind and be present ,but true silence can be achieved even while performing daily routine work by bringing the mind to the "now'.