Lets try something new. I’ll comment on Marika’s blog posts with another blog post. This will make it easier to respond, generate a larger audience and increase posts per day. Yes, I’m pigbacking on somebody else’s work. 🙂 So without further ado, I present a new sporadic feature: Echoes to Ramblings.
In response to Ramblings 14: Something.
Movement encourages thought in people. Certain children with disabilities need to move to be able to think. Most likely something to do with sensory-muscle feedback allowing for mental procedures to flow.
If by meditation, you mean clearing your head of thoughts and concentrating on your own body’s functional thoughts. Yes. I don’t subscribe to the Buddhist meditation of trying to join the void. I don’t believe in a void or a collective soul. Also unstructured meditation is actually dangerous. A Buddhist friend told me how a close friend of his mediated without the supervision of a priest, and was quite violently attacked by something. Most likely a malicious spirit (read as: demon) according to him. I prefer prayer with intentions for that reason. Prayer in solitude achieves a similar role to meditation, plus it gives a silent outlet for ideas, wishes and concerns. Whether there is a God and whether He listens on the other side, is a question I leave for philosophers and theologians to ponder. I believe He exists and He listens to the cries of His adopted children.
Stillness is indeed incredibly difficult. Stillness being the absence of the chaotic motions and thoughts, is difficult in a universe whose physical attributes can be described in terms of the motion of matter and the transfer of energy. Silence, lack of distractions is needed and concentrated effort to push away and ignore distractions. The best time is when there are fewer people. That is why I love mornings. Few distractions, stillness and silence are assured. I get to reflect in the mornings. Plus you get to see the spectacular sights of light interacting with shadow as the sun comes up.
We live in a busy, bustling and noisy world. Ever since the industrial revolution and the explosion of commerce and industry, we have learned to make more and more noise. To the point, we get uncomfortable as my friend Marika pointed out. We get so used to the background chatter and noise, that when it disappears we feel lost. But should we?
Silence when not permanent, is as need as the darkness at night. At night we need to relax. We need the lack of visual stimuli (in the form of the lack of light) to properly function. Our eyes relax, recalibrate themselves. Our brains go into organization mode and sort out the events of our day. Silence lets us to look into ourselves and shut away the noise in our life. Should one fear silence like one fears the absence of light, when all you need to do is speak or flick a switch to bring back sound or light? Silence can be oppressive and harsh. Sitting in a room with a stranger can be hard. Your mind tries to figure the stranger’s thoughts and intentions. Sitting in a room with a friend, who you deeply trust is different. In this case, you share a delicate, intimate and vulnerable moment of introspection where you both trust each other enough to let your guard down.
Learning to accept and embrace silence is difficult. I learned to start to accept silence two years ago I went on a Taize retreat in Montreal. I remember sitting on the floor of an ancient-looking church. All around me hundreds of other people sat around me. Between each hymn we sung, we sat in silence. People, strangers from different Christian denominations all sitting in silence in a church. At first the moments of silence felt oppressive, alien, cold and unwelcoming. But after each hymn belted out at the top of our lungs, the silence become welcome. Silence became a time of peace, relaxation and reflection upon the reason on why we had all gathered here. We came together to be friends and neighbours. And to come a step closer to be closer to God. Ever since I tried to set aside a time for silence, for prayer and for reflection. It is still something I struggle and wrestle with.
Today, I’ll be going to a Latin Tridentine mass held at the Newman Centre at Uof T. From what I’ve been told the experience of attending such a mass is very uplifting. One reasons why are the moments of total silence and solemnity in it.