25. Value of Silence for Health and Healing
When real silence is dared, we can come very close to ourselves and to the deep center of the world. —James Carroll
When you need a quiet spot, it is rare to be able to find one free of noise from traffic, aircraft, office equipment, home appliances, TVs, or stereos. The noise pollution of modern society grows more strident every year. The background noise in urban environments has been increasing at the rate of about a decibel per year, yet people rarely notice the increased noise because they have learned to block it out. But the stress that it causes is not blocked. Besides the immediate danger of hearing loss due to long-term exposure to the extremely loud sounds at rock concerts and of certain machinery, high levels of noise increase stress and irritability.
Rest and quiet are necessary when you are healing from illness, as well as when you simply want to renew yourself from the forces of overstimulation that are a part of life in the fast lane. It is important to find or create a place where you can achieve some respite from noise, and to use that place for relaxation and healing, for creativity, and for contemplation or perhaps prayer. It is even more important to cultivate an interior silence—one that can be accessed even in the midst of the most distracting external noise. That’s what meditation is all about.
See 11. Find Your Center—Learn to Meditate for more information on meditation.
Where or when can you experience silence? In a church, a library, in the middle of the night, in a wooded area, on a mountaintop, in your basement study. When was the last time you allowed yourself the gift of the sound of silence?
Learning to Be Comfortable with Silence
Helpful Hints for a Quieter Home