Did you know that the Dalai Lama gets up at 3:30 every morning and meditates for four hours before he starts his day?
No. I didn’t either.
What a waste of time!
Or so I thought.
But then I heard how that, at 83 years of age, his mind is sharp and his memory is crystal clear (he can remember the clothing worn by someone he met when he met them 20+ years ago–Go on, try to do that!)
Maybe there’s something to starting the day in silence.
While all around us is noise, it seems like quietness is a luxury. Yet, this is something that folks are paying a good price to enjoy. Just a quick serach shows me that I can pay a local complimentary therapy chain $60 for a 45-minute session in a float tank. That’s without the black-out effect of the same thing in a dark, gravity floatation chamber (which can be yours for $80 an hour).
Yes, silence is golden.
There is a reason why these therapists are able to charge this much for these treatments, The reason is that we are an increasingly disquiet people. Noise is the rule these days. Music blares. Cars rumble. Plans zoom above us. Power tools, kitchen appliances, machinery . . . and then there’s the ubiquitous TV in every home–maybe even 2 or 3. Even the ‘peaceful’ noises of bird song, frog croaks, or grasshopper humming can become a cacophony for the growing number of us who have a newly-recognised disease called misophonia, or sound sensitivity disorder.
There are few places in the world we can travel where we can escape the sounds of our planet. In even the quietest of forrests, birds still sing. In the vastest of deserts, the wind can still distratct from the peace.
But we need silence.
We need moments of nothing.
Our minds need time to focus, sharpen their thinking, become more sensitive, develop a higher level of consciousness. We need a reset.
Silence has a way of doing just that.
The Dalai Lama is on to something and it would do us well, Buddhist or not, to learn ourselves the art of being still.