We live in pretty hectic, distracted, and materially-focused times; with everyone constantly racing to meet KPIs at work, and trying to juggle a dozen or more different potential pastimes and obligations on evenings and weekends.
According to spiritual traditions and teachers throughout history, it’s critically important to be able to find opportunities for peace and contemplation, especially in the midst of perpetual noise and chaos. And if you need a more contemporary, and less “religious” proponent of those ideas – then the famous Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge has written an entire book on the subject, entitled “Silence in the Age of Noise”
If you find that your day could use a bit more stillness and insight, here are a few tips that might help.
Consider making time for daily prayer or meditation
Prayer and meditation are timeless techniques that people have used and continue to use, for getting in touch with something higher than themselves, and bringing themselves into a sense of alignment with the cosmos around them.
Of course, “prayer” specifically invokes religion, and meditation heavily implies it. However, though, there are now also plenty of secular meditation advocates and even people who have adapted prayer into an agnostic practice of sorts.
Whether you are interested in getting some Buddhist mala bead bracelets and taking up a spiritually-focused meditation practice, or whether you are just interested in expressing gratitude for the blessings you have in life, you may want to consider making time for daily prayer or meditation.
Turn off your high-tech gadgets when you are not directly using them
High-tech gadgets are certainly a major source of the “noise” that Erling Kagge argues we have too much of, in today’s world. Between watching TV (and flipping back and forth between the channels ad nauseam), perpetually refreshing your social media feeds, and more, you may well not have a single moment to be alone with your own thoughts in the entire day.
Of course, high-tech gadgets and digital tools can also be extremely useful in many ways, and in many situations. The key is in maintaining a bit of balance and resisting the temptation to completely commit all of your mental energy or free time to these devices.
Here’s a simple compromise: plan in advance what it is you need to use these tools and gadgets to achieve, and once you’ve done what you need to do with them, turn them off for the day.
Read more books
Reading books is an incredible way of developing your ability to focus, stimulating your imagination, and helping you to delve into a variety of topics in-depth, without too much distraction from the outside world.
For many people, sitting down and reading a good book is something like meditation in and of itself.
An excellent thing to make time for during your evenings is simply curling up with a good book.
You can read a great novel just before going to bed for a few minutes, and for a few minutes again as you wake up. You can pull a book out and make progress on it while waiting for your appointment at the dentist’s office.
There are all sorts of opportunities in the day for doing more reading.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.