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Protect Your Peace

We are exposed to so much noise. This noise takes many forms. Some of it is silent, like our perpetual reading of stuff on our phones and computers. This noise only feeds the inner noise—the continuous worry, planning, regretting, remembering odd bits of things that happened in the past—basically what in neurology is called the default mode network.

The Buddhist practice of Noble Silence encompasses both the inner and the outer noise. Of the two, the inner noise is even more important. How are we to tap into our innate peace and wisdom with all this mental chatter going on day and night, ceasing only in the deepest level of sleep? But there is a relationship between the outer and the inner noise. Theoretically, one could have inner silence in the midst of outer noise. But this is an advanced practice. Most of us need some time to just be quiet. To just be.

If we are to find inner silence, we need to spend some time enjoying quiet. No beeping phones. No blaring TV or radio. No “silent noise” from reading the news. No chit chat conversation.

The Buddha said we need to put a sentinel at the sense doors. One important way of doing this is to treasure quiet. This is not something heavy and austere. It is something light and enjoyable, though it may take a little getting used to.

Honor your peace. Value it. Treasure it. Protect it.

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