If you do what your Irish Mammy says, you will always find your way home. Day 2: The Inward Journey: Finding silence.
On the Day 1 post we identified the difference between black and white noise.
White noise relaxes the body whereas black noise depletes natural energy resources causing illness and disease.
The problem with black noise is twofold.
Primarily, it blocks out what we need for healthy survival and secondly, like a magnet it attracts negativity onto itself.
A lovely way to demonstrate what I am talking about, is to do a fun exercise called Chinese whispers, with some of your friends.
It goes like this.
- Write down on a piece of paper a message that is long and full of irrelevant and relevant facts, for example you could say that
‘Mr and Mrs Brown went to the shops to buy cheese, tomatoes, bread and ham for their tea. On the way they met their friends Maura who was a doctor and Donal who was a house husband. They asked them to solve a family problem that was bothering both of them for ages.’
- Then whisper the message to the person next to you and pass it on, you can only say the message once and the last person to get the message must write down what they heard on a piece of paper straight away.
- If you have two groups doing the whispers , it is even better.
- Then ask the first person to read the original message and compare it to last message written
- Check out what words are
- Left in
- Left out
I often do this exercise with groups and the outcome is always hilarious.
There is such a difference and the reason for this is to do with neural transmissions below the brain, in an area known as the reticular activating system (RAS), which is an interconnecting neural pathway in the stem of the brain.
The RAS is responsible for the brain sleep-waking pattern and interpretation of all information coming into the brain and decides what incoming stimuli is important and what is not. This decision is often based on past experience, learning and the strength of the stimulus.
So here is the vital thing to understand about RAS and Black noise.
We do not see and hear everything that is going on around us and. And that which we do perceive, is changed, molded into a meaningful whole.
The RAS modifies the incoming messages we receive, to support existing beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us. Anything perceived as meaningless or irrelevant is omitted.
Consequently, if we do not see and hear everything that is going on around us and if the brain is trying to understand and make sense of it all, is it not unreasonable to assume that the information we receive through our senses can be very wrong at times, including the negative beliefs we have about ourselves which continues to attract negativity into our lives.
Note to self
Thus what does this mean to you and me sitting here today?
Well I guess it means that we could be blocking out the good stuff, the white noise that could be energising and invigorating our days and providing us with a sound night’s sleep.
And what are we going to do about it?
Right now, we will stop this sabotage.
Today, on Day 2 it is time to start obliterating Black Noise into oblivion.
One way to do this, is to experience stillness.
One way to find stillness, is through meditation.
First let me explain what I mean by meditation.
Meditating takes about thirty minutes of your time: – fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen in the evening. During this period you will allow your mind to rest, recharge and renew itself, through the practice of mental stillness and breathing. We will consider this in more detail in the next post.
References to meditation can be found in almost all known religions. Irish monks in the middle ages achieved altered states of consciousness through fasting, meditation and prayer. These reflective individuals followed the guidelines outlined in The Bible which tells us to ‘be still and know that I am God’.
Yet despite the existence of Meditation since antiquity, several misconceptions about its practice exist. The great teachers of Meditation have explained to me that knowledge of theory does not necessarily guarantee possession of the skill. Meditation can only be learned or realised through practice. ’The guidelines in the next few following post will help you to practise meditation.
Many people today believe that they are unable to meditate because they cannot rid their minds of idle chatter which as we now realise can lead to Black Noise. Silence is perceived as awkward and many are eager to fill it with sound either through talking or half-listening to the banter on the television or radio.
When you start to meditate you will become aware of subtle transformations within your psyche. Experiencing the abiding silence within you settles the mind. This allows you to give full attention to what you are doing, which means that you become energised rather than drained by activity.
Try not to confuse meditation with sleep. It is not a passive activity but rather an active form of staying awake and alert. In meditation the mind is not allowed to wander and become lost in its thoughts or emotions, instead it is trained to focus and concentrate on a single sensation or sound, generally referred to as a mantra.
Note to self
Imagine a brick wall, one side is white, full of contentment and bliss ,the other is black, with blasting confusion of negativity.
Now ask yourself which side you would like to be on?
It’s a ‘no brainier’ really, when you think about it.
So, let’s start next Wednesday opening our lives up to the stillness.
When on Day 3. We will continue The Inward Journey by setting up a meditative environment.