Photos: Getty Images
In our busy lives we so often forget about quiet. The meaning of it escapes us, as if it were some quaint notion, like needlepoint or hopscotch. Our televisions, radios, ipods and ipads, laptops and cell phones have eliminated our quiet. Our lives are loud, industrial, digital, largely lacking in nature unless we actively seek it out, and even then as farmers and people in more rural parts of the world, we’re always, somehow “plugged in.”
In retrospect, music meant something to me as a child because prior to having music on, things were often quiet. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, a loud city with bustling activity all around me. But the noise of my city dwelling childhood in the seventies was not the same noise as the noise of today – the noise of incessant advertising and consumerism, of reality television and face booking.
The beauty of quiet is that it actually allows you to unfold, as it were. To unwrap yourself from the demands of the day and blend into your surroundings. Whether that is in the library, blending into your studies, your reading or your imagination, or on the couch, blending into the cushion, at the side of a river, blending into the leaves dropping slowly into the water, or in the stillness of your kitchen, just gazing out at the sky …
What happens to us when we’re never quiet? Do we lose a sense of reality, a grounded feeling, a sense of being centered? Or is being quiet overrated, arcane, old fashioned? Do we truly need our constant chatter, twitter, commenting to become who it is we are supposed to be?
Meditation is the act of being still; you still your body to essentially train your mind to be still. Freedom from the noise of the world is key in meditation; we’re looking to detach ourselves from the mundane things which take up so much of our time and energy.
Transferring in an out of states of being; from quiet to noisy and back again is very difficult for many of us. It’s perhaps why waking up in the morning can be so traumatic.