The Sound of Silence

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL

In February 1968, the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This much-publicized event was instrumental in introducing meditation to the western world.  The approximately 7 weeks spent in India was the most productive in the Beatles’ tenure.  John Lennon said,  “We wrote about thirty new songs between us. Paul must have done about a dozen. George says he’s got six, and I wrote fifteen”.

It would be hard to argue that the environment had little to do with the Beatles’ productivity. Getting away from the clamor of normal life can open avenues of creativity and productivity in each of us.

A QUIET PLACE

Gordon Hempton is an acoustic ecologist. He records the sounds of nature all over the world. In a recent interview with Krista Tippett on her radio program, “On Being”, he warns that silence is becoming a rare commodity. It wasn’t long ago that keeping earth’s waters clean was not all that important, and being able to see the stars was not something that should concern us. Today, when those things are nearly gone, we see the importance of them. Now we are in danger of losing silence.

Silence is not the absence of sound, but rather the absence of noise. A forest can be silent even with the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves, but noise is something different. We are awash in noise everyday. From cars on the highway, to the beeping of a smart phone, noise is a part of our lives. When we are surrounded by noise our minds are being pulled in many directions. Noise makes it difficult to concentrate, to control our thoughts, or to simply rest our minds in meditation.

Meditation is an important part of our physical, emotional and spiritual health.  The Lord has counseled us to not run faster than we have strength. When we are bombarded by noise, our minds are running faster than they have strength. When we turn off the noise and rest our minds in meditation, we are able to “let the solemnities of eternity rest upon [our] minds.” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:34) Meditation clears our minds and welcomes insight and inspiration.

President David O. McKay said, “We don’t take sufficient time to meditate. It’s a great thing to be responsive to the whisperings of the Spirit and we know that when these whisperings come it is a gift and our privilege to have them. They come when we are relaxed and not under pressure of appointments.”

Take 60 seconds right now and listen to the birds in the Sacred Grove as you watch this video of sunrise on the Joseph Smith farm.

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Image Credits: Woman meditation by: Wikimedia commons, Dedda71

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