Noise

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Noise

Postby uragamuni » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:51 pm

Today is was reading some news and found this article (found via news.google.com):
http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2010 ... index.html

I felt quite identified with the comments of the Mr Prochnik because I'm always craving for a silent, quiet place where I can see my toughts... People around me seems to be undisturbed, no matter how loud and/or persistent the ambient noise is. All day, every day... How do they endure it? Even some people seem to be terrorized by silence and immediatelly turn on something (like a radio, not to hear some program but to "make noise"!) if by chance we are blessed with a silent moment...

The article focuses on how noisy are the americans (that definitely shows that the author has never been in Argentina), but I believe applies everywhere).Two paragraphs specially attracted my attention:

There's a reason people are turning their iPod volume too high. People are responding to several generations of mounting infrastructure noise. We are so loud in part because we have to create our own personal noise so that we don't feel like we're being held hostage to the grind and clash of the environment. I went to Florida, where these people were using their cars to blast super-loud music. But the places where these people live is horrifically noisy. When you're dealing with that kind of environment, I can really see the temptation to blast something that at least you like.



and

I was asking my eldest at one point what he thought about his generation relative to mine. He said: "We're the most distracted generation in history. We all seem to have attention deficit of some degree." Maybe it's that we've become so accustomed to noise that it's an addiction -- it's a 45-second hit of distraction -- we crave noise as a way to keep from feeling like we're drowning in information and stimulus.

I saw a study this past week about our problems multitasking. It found that when, for example, you're reading a book and a fire truck goes by, the brain is so overwhelmed by the external stimuli that it can't link up with the goal-directed activity [reading the book]. You're incapable of doing it for a considerable time afterwards. So think of the way we're always being blinded by sonic and visual surprises, and the implications for deliberative thought are scary.


I can see myself in both situations (trying to cover external noises or being distracted by mounting ambient stimuli) many many times. How about you?

Best (silent) wishes...
Mario
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Re: Noise

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:53 pm

Hi Mario

I hope you get the chance of attending a silent meditation retreat at some stage.
metta

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Re: Noise

Postby Mukunda » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:27 am

uragamuni wrote:I felt quite identified with the comments of the Mr Prochnik because I'm always craving for a silent, quiet place where I can see my toughts... People around me seems to be undisturbed, no matter how loud and/or persistent the ambient noise is. All day, every day... How do they endure it? Even some people seem to be terrorized by silence and immediatelly turn on something (like a radio, not to hear some program but to "make noise"!) if by chance we are blessed with a silent moment...

I was asking my eldest at one point what he thought about his generation relative to mine. He said: "We're the most distracted generation in history. We all seem to have attention deficit of some degree." Maybe it's that we've become so accustomed to noise that it's an addiction -- it's a 45-second hit of distraction -- we crave noise as a way to keep from feeling like we're drowning in information and stimulus.
I can see myself in both situations (trying to cover external noises or being distracted by mounting ambient stimuli) many many times. How about you?


Some time ago, I turned off the television and the radio. I now listen to music less than an hour a week and only occasionally watch a television show with my partner. I spent much of my day in relative quiet. I share my life with 5 parrots, so absolute quiet is impossible. I find that I get disturbed by noise, but I have made it a part of my practice to go out in public and make an effort to practice mindfulness in the midst of the activity. And you are quite correct, many people are very uncomfortable in silence.

I think mankind's problem is addiction to sensory stimulus, which technology finds ever increasing modes of satisfying. Of course, in most addiction processes, a tolerance is built up, which in turn means more stimulus is required. It wasn't too awfully long ago I found myself watching a giallo on my TV, surfing the web on my computer and answering emails and texts on my blackberry, and I realized the insanity of it all. :juggling: So now I make a concerted effort to be more discerning in what stimulation I'm exposed to, and therefore, what I allow into my mind.
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Re: Noise

Postby Clueless Git » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:00 am

uragamuni wrote: Even some people seem to be terrorized by silence ...

'Lo Mario :)

Possibly because they are terrified, when constant distractions cease, of what goes on in their heads?
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Re: Noise

Postby chownah » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:03 pm

Many years ago I was living as the caretaker in the communal house in a mountainous commune where people owned their own homes off in the woods and only the communal house had electricity and running water (lucky me!). My bedroom (where I also meditated) was tucked away in a niche of the attic and the adjacent niche turned out to be the kids TV room where they watched cartoons (with no adult supervision) early every morning that they did not have to go to school....this time slot also happened to by my morning meditation time....no doors...only hanging cloth between us.

It was really difficult at first but I persevered and after awhile I could actually mediate with a half dozen kids watching cartoons just two draped cloths away.

I really think that noise need not be a game stopper.

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