Shhhh! Quit talking for just a moment. And listen. What is the sound of silence?
Every day in every way, we are bombarded by sounds. The loud sounds of the TV and the blare of car horns. Dogs barking and roosters crowing (at least where I live!). Children crying and people laughing. We have become so accustomed to noise every moment, we’ve forgotten what quiet can sound like. Or what good comes from being quiet, sitting in the silence, listening to — nothing.
Another name for sitting in the silence is “meditation,” a word that really frightens a lot of people. We hear “I can’t meditate.” “I can’t sit still.” ” I can’t quiet my thoughts.” Or can you?
Try it for just a moment. Turn everything off. Sit still. If you need to, put on noise-blocking headphones (good for people in cities or buses or planes). Breathe. Concentrate. Listen. Can you do this? Do you find yourself fidgeting, distracted, missing something? We have become afraid of the silence, afraid of what we might hear when there is nothing to hear. Stop. Breathe. Listen.
This exercise is perhaps one of the most daunting experiences we have as humans. To completely relax, de-stress, be in our own space of silence and stillness. One can hear the voice of one’s own soul when we are quiet. What would your soul say to you if you could hear it speak?
For more on meditation, see M is for Meditation – Why? Hmmm?
The Thinker in Quiet Contemplation
Socrates said the “unexamined life was not worth living.” In this day and age of Internet, Tweeting, sound bytes and noise, how often do we stop and sit in stillness and quietly contemplate the nature of our lives?
When the television is blaring with the nightly no-good news, can you really sit and think about life and death and the times in between? Most people go forward with their lives, putting one foot in front of the other, in a rush to get somewhere without exploring where they are already, or what they are doing that they like or don’t like. They just go forward in haste and noise. This appears to work for many people. For others, chaos and constant chatter make it impossible to grow, to learn, to meditate and find one’s purpose, to live in a deep and meaningful way.
You don’t have to learn to meditate, but you might want to just sit in the silence. Sit with yourself. With no distractions. Think about where you are right this very moment. No other moment is important. Here and now. The present. What is it you are hearing? What is it you are seeing? How does the sun feel on your arm? Is that a breeze blowing in your ear?
Without the blare and glare of modern times, what is it that you are doing and feeling and thinking and sensing about your life? And is it making you happy? Is it where you really want to be?