Feel the silence within
This may seem a contradictory exercise. To find the silence within does not imply that you should find a place of silence. External noise is very much part of living in a state of nature, as this short clip demonstrates:
And while the night is quieter in the UK both from natural as well as artificial noise, attention brings to life sounds that would otherwise be missed.
Over the summer we were woken a couple of times by this sound:
We keep our window open, and there is a short roof that birds like to perch on. The barn owl became one of those visitors. Despite the sleep disturbance, we felt somewhat privileged to be visited, particularly as we’d noticed that this sound is increasingly less frequent:
However, trips away from home are an orchestrated cacophony of sounds like these:
I find myself cutting off from them and blocking out the noise as it simply hurts my sanity. But I don’t like feeling disconnected from fellow humans in this way. Nor do I like the growing lack of awareness that occurs when this response becomes habitual.
How cut off from the world are you? How many journeys have you made where you intended to make a stop on your way home, but found yourself home without remembering the actual journey?
Today’s exercise is about paying attention.
If you are able to get close to nature – take a walk and pay attention to the sounds around you. Try to distinguish one from all the rest and if you feel particularly motivated, try to identify one new sound – a bird or animal call perhaps?
If your day keeps you closeted within solid walls, listen to a favourite piece of music, or even something new, but pay attention to the individual instruments and distinguish each from the other. If you’re not an orchestral expert, try to identify one new instrument.