The peace and power of quiet

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

road-in-forest Silence, it turns out, is even better than it sounds. Maybe you are a country dweller living so far from town that, come morning, you actually still wake to the proverbial rooster. If so, the crowing may come as welcome confirmation of what you already know – it’s great to live where the sounds of the day are largely the sounds of nature. For the most part, they stay well in the background, with the exception of, maybe, the local rooster population.

If you’re a city dweller, though, it’s a whole different matter. Car alarms set off at 2 a.m. Or any other time during the day or night. Quarrelling neighbors going at each other. And most of all, the constant din of traffic wearing away at you.

A couple of recent studies focus on noise and find that it is more than a minor irritant. Some see it as a health threat that extends almost everywhere. A recent study documented noise exceeding healthy levels in 98 percent of Manhattan’s public space.

Another study of 4.6 million adults in Switzerland looked at the effects of noise on individuals living in the flight path of an airport. The study found that exposure to the nearly constant thunder of airplanes leaving and landing is not good and can result in serious health consequences, including heart disease.

There are a few good solutions.

You could meditate and try to shut out the distractions and slow down the pace things are going and whether you use eastern meditation practices or those of the western Christian traditions is up to you.

It would be good for all of us if we learned how to slow down and how to eliminate the hustle and bustle from our lives, even for a few minutes a day.

Reducing noise in our lives, and especially here slowing down that inner noise caused by all those small little things and worries, is a good thing for both out mental and physical health.

Those are solutions that do no require any physical actions such as moving to the countryside if you happen to live in a town or city, and also do not just target the noise that we are bombarded with from the outside, but there are also other methods to cut down the latter.

In the field of noise abatement some good solutions already exist. For instance, we don’t need to relocate everyone living in the flight path of a big-city airport. Some well-placed sound insulation material in the construction of new homes, or in the retrofitting of old ones, could do the trick. The thing is, it’s easier for practical answers to surface when, first of all, we start listening to our inner self, and second of all, heed the inspiration that comes our way. While the inspiration from the gods, from divine truth, is purely spiritual, it appears on the human scene in ways that are both practical and tangible.

Getting to those practical answers tends to go more smoothly as we employ spiritual discernment, especially the kind employed by masters in the field, and there are masters in this field in all faiths. This more often than not equips us to sort out which ideas and approaches to keep, and which ones to set aside. Discernment is also needed for many other things such as what to believe of stories in papers or on the Internet and which not. If it appears to far fetched check and check again before you start worrying about this or that unduly.

Try to be still in meditation and then take matters from there.

© 2011