“In the city where J.S. Bach composed historic music, silence prevailed throughout the streets. The town was so silent, there was no need for a fire alarm as someone could yell “Fire!” from one side of the city and be heard on the other. Silence was the prevailing norm of the time. Nowadays we are so inundated with noise that silence has become the exception. This has thrown our bodies, souls and minds out of harmony with nature and the universe and further prevents us from being in accord with the One.”
I don’t know how many people are like me, but I have begun to notice how saturated with noise my everyday life has become. I listen to music or comedy albums while walking to and from class, while working out, while shopping at the grocery store, or any other store for that matter. When I drive, I’m either listening to Sports Talk Radio or some random CD mixtape I’ve downloaded. I even leave music playing in the house while I’m out so that when I return home I’m greeted by the sound. The only time I’m not listening to something is when I’m meditating or sleeping.
I would not have become aware of this travesty of the awakening soul had it not have been for a bit of trouble I experienced last week. I was afforded the opportunity to deal with ear infections that resulted in variable levels of hearing loss for the majority of the week. As the pain became less of an issue I was able to begin asking mySelf about the nature of this most recent illness. “What are you trying to tell me? What am I missing? How am I not taking care of you? What is the lesson in this situation that I can use towards my enlightenment?” The statement I quoted to begin this entry is a paraphrased version of something I read a few days before the ear infection occurred. It was meaningful and significant, but I brushed it off and skimmed over it, like I do most of the valuable teachings that appear in my facebook feed or twitter timeline. It was so thoroughly ignored, I don’t know who posted it nor did I care to learn the source they received it from. But Life has a way of making us pay attention to the necessary lessons, doesn’t it? As if to say “oh, you’re just going to ignore my plea for you to get more silence in your world are you? Ok then….” So a couple of days later, ear infection.
Yes, I believe everything that happens in my world is occurring for the benefit of my awakening. I have decided that this Everything we are experiencing is the staging ground for my enlightenment and therefore nothing is going to happen that cannot somehow contribute to this experience. This is my truth and it has helped me overcome the fear and failure of so many situations. Imagine how liberating it would be if you saw your job loss, or lack of fulfilling relationship, or traffic accident, as Life’s way of guiding you towards what you really want. How angry would you allow yourself to get at that driver that cut you off on the evening commute? How could you be so upset with the barista who gets your order wrong almost every time you visit your favorite coffee house? This is mostly how I live every day of my life. I say mostly because, #letsbehonest, I’m human and I slip into patterns of negativity from time to time. But diligent practice has allowed me to see these pitfalls as more growing opportunities. How lovely.
And the fact that using earphones all the time coupled with my addiction to swimming pools certainly contributed to the buildup of cerumem which most likely led to the infections, is not lost on me. Life uses what we give it to give us what we need. That’s all.
But anyway, back to noise. It is now apparent to me that I must make some changes in my life in regards to all of the noise I let in if I am ever going to experience inner calmness. For this reason, I am thankful for the pain of the ear infection; the discomfort and the money we had to spend to get it treated. I’ve already begun making small changes: not listening to music while I shower (yeah, while I shower yall!), turning the music off when I leave the house; I even drove a few times this week without the radio on. I’ll develop a more specific plan for this when I get back home from Chicago, but for now the awareness is enough.
I hope someone reads this and thinks of a way to turn off some of the noise in their life. After all, how can we hear the god of our hearts, the source of our inspiration, if we’re constantly feeding our minds with what other people have been inspired to create and say? Maybe some time this week you can turn off the radio or the TV and give your Self a word in edgewise for a change.