The calmness of quiet and solitude

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I’ve traveled to many places on this Earth and God willing will continue to do so throughout my life. However there are times when I wish to not travel at all. Right now is one of those times.

It’s good to sometimes sit down and to not even move. Not to work. Not to hear the television recall the day’s top stories and events going on in various parts of the globe. It’s nice to simply just be. Be in the moment. Be in a quiet room, immersed in solitude.

No computer. No cell phone. No internet. Just some books (ok, in my case a lot of books) and some art on the walls.

Funny, I haven’t taken a real good look at the stuff that adorns my shelves and walls. Why did I put it up? Was it to inspire me to do something? Some of it now looks just gaudy if not plain awful. I’m no longer in a college dorm room. A lot of it just looks like endless clutter. And yet, I can’t seem to take it down. Some of these things take me back to a different time in my life that seems so long ago. A time when I actually read physical books, picked up a guitar and played full albums on records or from tapes. A time when crayons took me to places that airplanes could not.

A time without the internet and hundreds of web pages to go through daily.

It’s nice to be alone. It’s nice to hear stillness. The quiet is soothing and has a calming effect. Ten minutes ago my mind and soul felt like they were traveling at warp speed. Now they’re coming back to the speed of sound.

It’s not easy though. There is always the urge to want to do something. It’s hard not to check your incoming emails and messages on your cell phone. It’s hard not to want to check the news. What’s the latest in the US-Iran nuclear negotiations? How did the Asian financial markets do while I was sleeping? It’s hard to feel like you’re not falling behind if you aren’t keeping up with the world around you.

However, and perhaps this is the Buddhist in me talking, giving up things really increases others. What those others are I can’t really describe.

Perhaps you can. Go to an empty room and sit still for 15-20 minutes. Turn off your phone. Be free of WiFi and radio waves. Then, see what happens and how you feel.

In fact, I’m gong to do the same.

Shutting off my computer…now.

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