There is no question, we live in a very noisy world. Screeching traffic, overhead planes, rowdy neighbors, endless background music. In the midst of this hectic, fast-paced modern buzz how do we find some peace?
One idea might be to run away from it all. Leave town and find that log cabin far out in the middle of nowhere. Or sign up for a ten-day silent meditation retreat in the countryside. Or as I was just reading about in the UK Guardian perhaps you can book in for a session at the quietest room on earth? In an attempt to recapture some of that elusive peace, George Foy took his quest for silence to the extreme by signing up to enter what The Guinness World Records calls the quietest place on earth.
At the Orfield Laboratories in Minnesota there is a small room, so heavily insulated that it is 99.9% sound-absorbent. However far from finding it to be a haven of peace and tranquility, most people find it unnerving with many being overcome with claustrophobia, hallucinations or panic attacks after just a few minutes in the room. As Mr Foy found, this place wasn’t quiet at all. Every sound is magnified to such a degree that even the sound of the blood rushing through your veins is enough to cause you to flip out.
Mr Foy’s conclusion:
“My desire for silence changed my life. I found that making space for moments of quiet in my day is the key to happiness – they give you a chance to think about what you want in life. How can you really focus on what’s important if you’re distracted by constant background noise? If you can occasionally become master of your own sound environment – from turning off the TV to moving to the country, as I did – you become a lot more accepting of the noises of everyday life.”
I agree that making space for moments of quiet in each day is the key to happiness. However I’d like to suggest an easier, practical and infinitely more successful way. As Mr Foy discovered there are no places of pure silence anyway. The true place of peace does not lie outside of us. In fact it is much closer to home and much more easy to experience on a daily basis.
There is a place deep inside of you that lies behind all your thoughts. It is the silent witness of everyone and everything. It is a field of peace and balance, undiluted by the boundaries that give rise to noise. This is a field of bliss and when you recognise this state you begin to bring blissfulness into your life. Whenever you meditate (even those thought-filled meditations!) your individuality contacts that pure intelligence at the source of your thoughts. The mind settles to the deepest level, the body relaxes more deeply than sleep and the noisy mind finds a place to rest and rebalance.
In meditation we conceive peace. We construct peace. We become peace. We radiate peace.