Listening to Silence – Being Tired of Noise – 2 Jul 10


I am really enjoying being here in Germany, where I can hear the silence. In the last two or three days I noticed how big a difference it makes. We came from New York and now, in Germany, I could hear the silence. Here is wonderful temperature and we don’t have air-conditioning, it is not necessary. In New York it was necessary and you had it on 24 hours, even if you switched it off sometimes, you hear the neighbours’ air-conditioning. When you sit in your room or when you go out and sit somewhere else, you feel like you are sitting in a factory, machine noise is all around you.
My personal experience is that this irritating noise makes me tired. I love peace and silence, that is my nature, and if you are 24 hours in the influence of this noise, you can feel that it is scratching on your nerves. I know my need for silence and the importance of silence for me.

I like to be in nature or as I was in the cave, when you hear the sounds of nature or when you just hear nothing. And in that big city it was just impossible, if we sit in the room or if we go out, there is always noise.

Normally I don’t talk much and I hear and listen more but how much can you listen? Sometimes I don’t want to listen, I want silence. It also makes tired if there is an ongoing process of listening to and hearing something. So I enjoy being here, it makes it possible to relax.

Today we came in a short train ride of four hours to Bern, in Switzerland. It is beautiful nature, already on the way and I am sure we will enjoy our time here. Switzerland is itself known for its cleanness and nature.

7 Replies to “Listening to Silence – Being Tired of Noise – 2 Jul 10”

  1. In New York, every building and every apartment, like every person, has its own unique personality. Some apartments, even in the busiest sections, are very quiet and peaceful, even though nearby ones may be noisy. Although my apartment in mid-Mahattan is small, it is very quiet and peaceful. Like you, I also love having plenty of silence, and I have it. My apartment is in the back of a building, and outside my windows I mainly see many trees, so many that I don’t even know how many. Above them I see two lovely steeples of old churches. You wouldn’t know from looking at NYC buildings from the front, but there are often many trees in the middles of city blocks, and I see these beautiful trees outside my window. If I didn’t know where I was, I might think from all the silence that I’m in a country cottage. So my point in saying all this is that it is perhaps not accurate to assess New York City life by an experience of one apartment. The situations of different apartments and buildings can differ very radically. Maybe if you visit NYC some time again, you will locate a much quieter and more peaceful place to stay.

  2. That was one major thing that jarred me in India– all the noise! I would wake up to the sounds of a loudspeaker from the school volleyball tournament nearby or music and chanting from the temples in the area. And going into town, you constantly hear loud and constant horns from cars, rickshas, and motorcycles! It was so shocking and abrasive to me at first that I was just exhausted from it. But after some time, I have adjusted to it and it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I think that could happen in New York, as well.

  3. Yesterday I was discussing vows of silence with Purnendu here at the Ashram. In London where I live it is almost impossible to experience silence as the city is busy and noisy 24 hours a day. I have got used to the noise but sometimes when I want to be quiet or silent I get frustrated by how this is viewed. Being quiet or wanting to be alone is often viewed as a sign of sadness and depression, in the West it is generally not accepted that people may need to experience life on their own for a while and not be under pressure to discuss it with someone else. Maybe this is why we have such a problem with mental illness which is something I have suffered from myself in the past. However we do use forms of meditation to treat depression so there is still some positive influence coming through.

  4. Silence also can be a mirror for the deepness of relationships and friendship. I experienced, that those people, with whom I don’t feel bad without talking, are closer to me, than the ones, where you have to talk, because you can’t hold out the silence.