I visited The Hive at Kew Gardens in August when I was in London. For those of you who do not know it, it is an art installation created for the Milan Expo to highlight the plight of bees. As you will see from the photo it is a big construction like a bee hive and the cool thing is that it is connected to an actual hive so that when the bees are busy the soundscape gets louder and more intense and the lights brighter and more frequent and when the bees are sleepy it gets quieter.
I found being inside The Hive an amazing experience and I took a recording which you can listen to below.
What was powerful was that the experience was one of silence but as you can hear in the recording it was not silent at all. People were chatting, kids were playing and behind it all was the continuous drone of the bees. At first I wanted everyone to shut up so we could really listen to the sounds but after a while I decided to surrender to the ‘noise’ and find the silence. As I did this everything began to sound like one sound and it became an experience of Oneness of a kind of inner silence.
We had had a really busy three days previously, a family wedding then catching up with two sets of friends afterwards and I arrived at Kew feeling exhausted and drained. One hour in The Hive and left feeling energised and ready for what was to come. It really highlighted to me just how important finding silence is.
Silence can be challenging
I remember when I lived in the ashram, which had an overall feeling of silence, a friend came to visit. I thought she’d relish the silence but in fact it was very challenging to her. Afterwards I remembered that the TV is often on in the background in her home so silence was not something she was used to. And this is often the case, silence can feel uneasy for those not used to it.
On my retreats we have at least 3 hours silence in the afternoon to let the morning’s conversations deepen and the insights and ideas arise. Many clients tell me that they didn’t think that they’d enjoy the silent afternoons but once they got in to it they loved it.
How often do you give yourself times of silence? Not just times when it happens by chance but consciously choosing to be silent. The mind needs space to slow down and rejuvenate. When we are full on all the time we never get time out mentally and eventually we get mentally exhausted. Often what tends to happen at that point is we go do something else. Something fun or diverting or relaxing. And that’s how we balance life, which is great because we do need that balance.
However if we also add some silence into our days we would feel even better.
Meditation is one way of choosing silence and a regular practise can be very beneficial in life. Silent walks with the intention to simply notice what is around you and consciously bringing your attention back to the moment. This is a great way of having silence in your life. And practising these leads onto the silence to be found in any moment.
This silence is to be found in the business of life. Just like I experienced the silence in The Hive with everyone around me. Beneath the noise and activity of life there is a deeper silence and it is within us. We may only touch it for a short time – sometimes only a fleeting moment but it is always there, underneath everything else that is going on. A feeling of an unchangeable truth that underpins our existence. Words can’t describe the actual experience of it but when it happens you know it.
For me it has a feeling of everything being perfect in that very moment. The silence holds that perfection, it resonates and permeates everything. I invite you to find your inner silence.
Join me for a Satsang on finding silence
As I wrote a few days ago I want to deepen the topics of these blogs and hear what you have to say too. So you are invited to join me for a Satsang, a coming together of like minds to explore the ideas in this blog. The first Zoom video Satsang which will be around the theme of silence and our experience of it and it will be held on Thursday 13th October at 7.00pm UK time. You can go to this link to register and you will be sent the link to join on the day.
I do hope you will join us for this conversation and share your experiences as well as bringing any questions you may have. This Satsang is for us all – a conversation of discovery. I look forward to seeing you all there.
What is your life showing you right now? Maybe this story has resonated with you, or maybe you are wondering about things that are happening right now in your life. If you feel you’d like some help deciphering your life’s journey then let’s have a chat. You can email me or give me a call on +44 (0)203 239 6155