Modern living requires us being involved in a ceaseless cacophony of traffic, cell phone rings, email bleeps, buzzers and blares. We’ve become unwitting receptors for pollution!
The noise pollution that fills our daily lives can be washed away with a regular practice which restores wellbeing by stepping away from the stimulation, and its resulting emotions of anger, fear and anxiety, and allowing the spirit to heal.
Emptiness is the Sound of Silence
Though it may seem to be counter-intuitive [not what you think it might be], emptiness, as in the sound of silence, can be exactly the element that fills our hearts and minds. Whether through meditation, yoga, or a quiet time spent in a garden, silence can heal the spirit from the onslaught of the daily barrage of sound, stimulation and demands.
The effect of noise on our bodies is stimulation: constant noise brings relentless stimulation. The physical response to noise can negatively affect many systems in our bodies: blood vessels constrict, adrenal glands work overtime, the water we are made of vibrates. Many people find themselves exhausted before their day even begins because their bodies never truly rest.
Create Sacred Moments
So, as an ordering process [like daily practice], to bring ourselves back to balance we need to create sacred moments – they become an antidote to the daily onslaught. Every one of us, of course, will have a different go-to-recipe for silence that’ll calm our nerves: and open the door to our Bliss Nature.
The Zen practice of meditation teaches us to let go of thoughts and feelings, distractions and demands. Even a few minutes a day can greatly benefit peace of mind. Others of you might find a connection to nature by relaxing in a garden or at the beach, listening to the soothing rhythms of nature: in Japan it’s called “Nature Therapy”!
Returning the Self to Simple Being
Yoga relaxes the body and releases toxins with simple, slow stretches. Zen teaches us stillness in tranquility and silence. Each of these methods returns the self to a simple sense of being that lasts for hours beyond the minutes we spend in the space provided in their moments.
“Unplugging” from the modern lifestyle can be the antidote to what ails your soul, so start looking for your form of emptiness and reap the rewards in as little as ten minutes a day.
“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.” D.T. Suzuki (author of “An Introduction to Zen Buddhism”)
Image: Gray White Abstract by Elena Ray [Twitter @OldChineseMan]
Here’s a Refresher on “thrive” . . .
When you think “thrive”, think of all the seemingly small, but necessary daily elements of life as nourishing the miraculous organ you are as a human being. At our essence we are a living organism, on a living Planet, in a living Universe. So, here’s something else I’ve been teaching this for over 20 years : the miracle of our self as an organism, and how we help it maintain balance [or some kind order in the chaos of living]: silence is essential – the teaching never changes, results of practice are always the same . . .
All we are on a physical level as a human being is air, water and food. And physically, our body’s 10-13 trillion cells replace themselves every 100 days [just over 3 months]. How about that for a “slow flow”? And how do we help our organism to replace and renew?
Why we do what we do to thrive: learning to be “you”
I’m a teacher, so repeating myself goes with the job! Small steps, small changes . . . one day at a time: in 100 days from now you’ll be a new you! I’ve said this to you before, I’m sure there’ll be many tellings again. [ Read more about this in my blog . . . thrive | Rest and Relaxation #1 ]
And, so, let’s talk about repetition and commitment as well as practicalities and practices: we could take the attitude of “What’s the point in showering we’re only going to get dirty again?” or “Why bother washing up when we’re only going have to redo it when we reuse the dishes.” Come to think of it, what’s the point in eating, when we’ll be hungry in a few hours time? And of course, sleeping’s unnecessary, too . . . we just always end up feeling tired again, don’t we? I don’t think I need to say anymore, do I? Some things in life just need to be repeated: and diligently.
A single change doesn’t always effect a permanent transformation. But taking things one step at a time in your day eventually leads to trillions of new cells of “you-ness”. You could try my very simple program “Steps to Silence” : a 7 day short program in spending more time in silence.