Silence is all too rare these days.There is 24 hour news on the TV. Or if you’re driving, there’s the car radio playing just enough music between commercials to keep you tuned in. And then, of course, there’s your cell phone so that you are always available. And in between phone calls, there is texting and Twitter®. Maybe you get away for a jog or a walk and you take your iTunes® along. And then, even if you switch off your own devices, there’s still the neighbor’s lawnmower on Saturday morning, the police siren, the argument in the apartment next door, the barking dog, the imitation music in the elevator.
Finally, a moment late at night, the audio/visual stimulation is done for the day….and all you hear is your own mind going on and on and on….
When do we ever get the chance to experience true silence?
At Well Being Conference Center we are more than a mile from the nearest paved road and at least ¼ mile from the nearest neighbor. What you hear is wind in the trees, the songs of many birds, and the riffles in the river which surrounds us. It is quiet enough to hear a Pileated Woodpecker from ½ mile away or a deer. On Summer evenings the croaking frogs and katydids join in. Sure, you might hear the calves across the river when they are being weaned, or a distant lawnmower occasionally, but the point is that it is so quiet that you actually notice when a man-made sound is added to the sounds of Nature.
If you have never experienced true outer silence, you owe it to yourself to experience the power of it. In support of this experience, our cabins have no phones, no wifi, no video games, no televisions, no radio, no pool tables. But you can watch deer grazing in the meadow, or the fireflies in June, or Goldfinches flitting about in the bushes, or see stars by the millions, or see a Trillium on the forest floor, or see the wind playing in the trees on the ridge….
All of us are all too familiar with the continuous thoughts in our head. The stories we tell ourselves. The dramas we replay again and again in our heads. We spend a lot of money to take short vacations from this endless thinking. We go to movies, watch sports on TV, drink too much, take drugs, buy things we don’t need. We have our own unique strategies of avoiding being alone with our own thoughts.
But what happens when we actually look to see what’s going on in our heads. Do we think our thoughts or are thoughts just happening? Is there ever a break in our chain of thoughts? What does that feel like? How much of our thinking is actually productive? Or is most of it just a repeat of what we’ve told ourselves 10,000 times before? What happens if we stop trying to manage our thoughts? Do they run rampant or do they eventually settle down? Are we fascinated with our own thoughts or are we bored when we are alone with them? Is there an inner me inside that decides whether it likes this thought but doesn’t like that one? Or is that just another thought?
Finding our way through this jungle of our minds can be an extraordinary journey.
Well Being Conference Center offers a setting that is conducive to that journey.