Tuesday, February 9, 2010

In Search of Silence

Where: Leverett, MA
When: December 23, 2009

I've been happy but far too busy this year (although I think the "happy" is directly correlated to the "too busy"), and I'm starting to feel a little worn out. I was spending some time longing for a nice big chunk of silence and inactivity - a weeks worth sounded perfect. But since that is simply never going to happen (and I'd just get bored if it did), I decided to spend yesterday noticing every time there was silence and the opportunity to rest. And it turns out, if I allow myself to focus on the times when I can rest, the times when I don't have to speak or think, the majority of my day can be spent in silence.

The moments of silence yesterday included when I was walking the dog, drinking my coffee, eating my breakfast, sitting on the subway, walking to class, taking a sip of water during class, receiving a massage from a fellow student, eating each spoonful of soup during lunch, walking home, and doing the dishes. All of these silly, regular, mundane things suddenly became luxurious pockets of silence and rest.

I happened to pick up "The Places That Scare You" by Pema Chodron yesterday morning, and read the following, which, while not directly related to the practice I did yesterday, certainly influenced the way that I approached the day. It was on the Buddhist slogan "Train in the three difficulties":

"The three difficulties are (1) acknowledging neurosis as neurosis, (2) doing something different, (3) aspiring to continue practicing this way."

Buddhism, or cognitive therapy? I don't see why I have to choose. ;)



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New York City, United States

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This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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