“We are so accustomed to noise, that we are not able to appreciate silence anymore.” Those are the words a very wise old man told me in Lake Shrine, a very peaceful mediation area in Pacific Palisades, just an hour away from the heart of LA.
I agree completely. Every day we are exposed to noise, from conversations, the drones of cars, the ringing of phones. We don’t know it, but we never truly experience silence, and for that reason we have missed a lot of things.
We tend to dismiss silence, branding it as useless, strange, and boring. We look at people who are quiet and think that they are odd. When we are alone in our home, we turn on the TV so that we can hear voices. What we forget is that sometimes we need silence, for it has the power to make us realize a lot of things that are hidden from us.
I have to say that silence actually speaks a lot, teaching us about ourselves. Have you ever been somewhere so quiet, with no sound to be heard, and felt like the silence is very loud? I have, and I can say that it allows you to think. Rather than believing that silence is useless and boring, I’d like to say that it actually speaks to us, telling us about ourselves and the world, making us think more than we are able to when we are surrounded by noise. Through silence I discover parts of myself I have never known before, I find new ideas that have been buried for so long, and most importantly, tells me what is important and what is not. A few hours of silence can help us sort out our problems, because most of our worries are actually not that important anyway.
Of course, I’m not saying that noise is bad, and that we should all stop talking. I like good, interesting conversations more than anything, but sometimes we need a break from all that. Sometimes we need quiet. Sometimes we need a time to think. Sometimes we need to let our worldly problems go and just appreciate life. :)
Here are some pictures from Lake Shrine. It’s a truly wonderful place. We all know that LA is a bustling, busy city with plenty of stress, and this little sanctuary is a treasure.