The Miracle Of Silence

silence

I have two weekdays off of school this semester. I figured it would be a blessing. To a university student it should be the best case scenario. Two whole days to myself to do anything I please, during summer in a country like Canada can mean a world of possibilities. I can see myself curled up on a sofa in the grad lounge at school reading a book as I tan in the little patch of sunlight that shines through the windows. Why stop there, maybe ill just take myself to the large patches of grass around the school and lounge there as I read a book. I can feel the sunshine warm up my skin just thinking about it. However I did not  spend my first weekday off fulfilling these fantasies.

My classes run until 10 PM on Monday which I don’t mind because I have fallen madly in love with the course I am taking 7-10 PM. Knowing that I have no school on Tuesday also helps take the load off the late class. However, i slept at 3 am this Monday (or technically Tuesday) and it wasn’t by choice. I was kept awake by the dull noise of electronic drums (i know, I guess you have to be pretty high or a real dick to start playing electronic drums at 2 AM) seeping through my bedroom ceiling. I stayed home on Tuesday except for the short trip to Walmart to purchase ingredients for the soup I had decided on cooking to keep me fed for the rest of the week. I then spent a considerable amount if time making three batches of the soup once I got home from the store. Since I am living away from home I haven’t lugged pots large enough for all the ingredients I had bought to fit all at once. Class on wednesday (today) also wasnt until 4 PM which meant that I had a long time to spend with myself.

My decision to stay at home for the entirety of my time off meant that for a whole day and a half I had less than an hour worth of conversation on and offline. That amounts to quite a number of hours spent in silence. Yes, I had the music or Netflix on for a large part of my vacation self exiled from the world but I found myself zoned out, unable to hear these noises above the voice in my head. While my lips lay rested, my mind was in overdrive like a race car with a faulty break system. I couldn’t stop worrying about things i couldn’t control. Analyzing plans about my future or debating career choices.Quiet conversations everyone has in the solitude of their own company, I was having all day, non stop. When Wednesday morning came around, I was exhausted despite having slept for 9 hours the night before. So I decided to take a little afternoon nap.

At about 1 PM, I awoke to a peaceful silence in my being. Now I know this sounds crazy so I hope you will keep an open mind. It felt like my mind had gone through a cleansing process that was painful and annoying but absolutely worth it. I realized I had been extremely anxious about coming back to school due to my semi- irrational belief that the town I am in hates me (I almost got run over by a crazy driver with a death wish the other day). Additionally I had to leave my beloved bird and a lot of lovely human beings I deeply care for behind. The fact that my experience here last semester had been nothing short of hellish was another reason that I had numbed myself to my surroundings so that I did not have to deal with anything unpleasant. However one can only bottle up so many emotions before the bottle bursts. I believe that I was lucky to have the bottle burst while I was drowning in silence. As I learnt in class today, our subconscious is always working to solve our problems, consistently refining solutions. I guess my subconscious was chipping away at my anxiety when I got to Tuesday. It seemed to have really appreciated the lack of distractions during my time off. This incident also reminds me of something I have recently read on the topic of meditation. The artists way says Meditation doesn’t always require you to sit in one spot, still and unmoving, for it to work effectively. There is a reason that great monks use menial and repetitive tasks as a form of meditation. I guess having to make 3 batches of soup was exactly the kind of menial task I needed to meditate without even knowing it.

While Tuesday was a frustrating experience, I am glad to have come out of it with something invaluable. After having tried countless ways to meditate, I have found one I can live with. Not speaking a word (except to Walmart employees) for a day and a half agrees with me. Maybe I should take this successful experiment, I seem to have undertaken by chance, a level further  and journey out to the mountains. I could sweep floors as I rub elbows with the monks. Make a meditation retreat out of it! Who wants to fund me? Hehe.

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