Friday, October 21, 2011

Finding Silence In A Noisy World

I love my music. Listening to it gives me a lot of joy. However, I know that I listen to music too much. My addiction has only gotten worse since I acquired an iPod. As one of the monks said once, “Even Beethoven, if played all day, is noise”. Yesterday afternoon I was taking my daily walk. My walks begin with walking down the stairs from the 12th floor of my office building where I live in my little cubicle. As I was walking down the stairs listening to music on my iPod, I was distracted by what sounded like a roar. I took off my headphones to make sure the building wasn’t collapsing around me. It turned out to be the music that is pumped into the stairwell. For reasons I don’t understand someone also feels the need to pump music into the restrooms. I went down to the first floor and walked my daily laps around the perimeter. When I was done I went outside to grab the latest copy of LEO, a local free magazine. When I got outside there was an even louder roar of noise. It was a truck from the local company that shreds all our sensitive documents. It sounded like it was shredding nails. All of this reminded me how noisy and loud our world can be. It can be very challenging to find a quiet spot. If the world isn’t noisy enough our minds are also filled with the noise of endless chatter. It seems nearly impossible to be quiet and still within ourselves and equally challenging to find quiet and stillness anywhere. The monastery that I visit is a very quiet place. The attitude is that silence is preferred so only the most necessary talking is encouraged. Over and above that is something the monks call “The Grand Silence”. It is the hours after their night prayer that lasts until the morning work period. During this time only the most urgent need to talk is acceptable and all monks attempt to be as quiet as possible in whatever they are doing. We should all strive to have a time of “Grand Silence” in our day. We need times of quiet and stillness for our well-being. Sometimes even Beethoven needs to be given a break.

1 comment:

Abu Raihan said...

Good article