selfArchive Blog 13/17
Silence is our birthright but there are fewer and fewer locations where we can experience the absence of any perceptible sound. Even places where we can hear the wind, moving water or the living of insects, birds and animals, are becoming more scarce as our right to natural soundscapes, quiet and privacy is lost to human agency. Quiet has become an experience beloved by those of us who can still remember the absence of sound.
Noise is hard to escape. Our senses fight decibel levels on the street, at soccer matches and concerts. Whatever hearing remains is further threatened by the popular use of earbuds. More disturbing is that the assault on silence doesn’t end with sound. Noise can be found in a continuous inner dialogue that challenges us to notice our thoughts. When the chatter is automatic, we become unconscious, or unconnected to the present moment. This is reason enough for us to seek a quiet spot within our day for introspection, but there’s more. Without conscious intervention, the constant distraction that surrounds us can overwhelm our subtle human senses and cause us to lose them entirely. While common, it doesn’t have to be this way. We can re-awaken our senses.
Play, meditation, music and sport are all direct portals to our senses. When we are lost to play, we witness this sensory opening but may not understand that times of no-thought connect us to our more subtle perceptions. Losing ourselves to poetry, dance or mathematics connects us with a deeper experience. We find it within the flow of music through us or the perfect ski run where we merge with the mountain. This is a still space. If you don’t already have a meditation practice, you might not know what’s so special about resting in the stillness.
With meditation, we enter a space of non-thought where we can escape the constant bombardment of our thinking. It’s a reprieve from the busy world, an opportunity to “turn ourselves off” in much the same way as you would rest an engine. Meditation is a quiet sanctuary from our thoughts. As we rest in the stillness, our perception expands endlessly in all directions. Potential enfolds us.
Finding this place of stillness can take years of discipline—or happen effortlessly—but once we find it, we can enter the oasis at will.
selfArchive 756 | Awareness | Illustration