Meditation and Silence

If it is correct, that real silence does not exist, where am I going to find it? And why do I want to find it, anyway? After all, it seems that most people in this mad, mad world are actively going about intent on destroying it.

I find silence in music, the wind and the river. It follows me about, as I walk and stumble through the world.

And I find some of the silence I need in daily meditation.

I started this practice about five years ago, during an earlier bout of sciatica that had kept me fairly immobile for six months. When I can’t do anything else, I reasoned, at least I can sit and watch my brain doing its thing . . . which is essentially what meditation is.

The Zen Buddhist teacher, Suzuki, said that it is in meditation that we can meet ourselves and be fully awake to the experience.

At first, I was very fastidious in my search for the silence that might exist somewhere in me.

I did all the incense stuff. I bought a Tibetan singing bowl from a shop in Blackpool that imported them from the rocky fastnesses of Tibetan monasteries. I rang all the bells. I set aside a part of a room in which I could be quiet.

Everything was as tranquil as it could b.

But the inside of my head was just so noisy. It was a madhouse!

It was only when I stopped to observe this internal world that I realized what a chaos it was. I sat, and watched a mind apparently out of control. In meditation, you just watch, without judgement and without getting caught up in the stories.

I don’t think my mind was that unusual or different

It just kept jabbering at me. Nothing creative or important . . . just odd words, or snatches of music, or bits of conversations, or images, hopes and dreams. All of this mess was in my head, not out there in the real world.

But, neurologically, all of it is in my head. Light comes into two holes in my head, and my brain makes it into pictures, which I experience as being out there. Little movements in the air enter my head through another two holes, wobble some tiny bones, and my brain turns it into sound.

It seems really bizarre, but the universe is just waves of different frequencies. It is not pictures or sound till you are there with your brain and the holes in your head.

I find myself calmly confused. On the one hand, I have a sense of my thoughts being unreal, background noise, yet, on the other hand, there seems to be no other ‘reality’ than that which is created and observed by my brain..

So, which is true? Do I create the universe, or am I created by the universe as a brief, flaring match in the darkness?

Any ideas? Drop me the answer in the appropriate comments box. If you’re really out there, that is . . .


About stevehobsonauthor

I am blind, and I hate it. It stinks. But life is still sweet. I have multiple sclerosis, and that stinks too, but life is still sweet. These are my musings.
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4 Responses to Meditation and Silence

  1. stephen says:

    true silence, i’m told, does exist. i saw a film about antarctica, and there are places there where there is no sound, outside of one’s own head. a bit far to go. it is the noticing distraction and returning to the breath that is the practice for me. thanks for sharing this.


  2. Elfe says:

    We think of silence as an absence of sound but I wonder if it is more of a quality of deep peace that can on rare occasions manifest either innerly or outerly. I’m blessed to live deep in the country and there are times on still nights when the silence is so heavy it is palpable. But to be aware of it I have to be in a deep stillness myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elfe says:

    Lol, I recognise the state you describe. It tends to be my default state too. Probably true of most people living in the digital age. As I see it a perception of inner (or outer) silence requires one to be anchored in the body and most of us aren’t a lot of the time. We anchor ourselves in the mind. Focusing on the breath supposedly helps loosen the grip of the mind although it’s never worked particularly well for me. I’ve been more successful focussing on the colours behind my eyelids or just sinking down into sensing the whole body – the latter can be difficult though if one has aches and pains. I think each person has a path of least resistance. Maybe it is sensing the movement of air on one’s skin, or listening to the high-pitched tone in one’s ears or tuning into one’s heartbeat or letting one’s attention rest in the space of the heart. Whatever works.

    Liked by 1 person

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