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Taking a break from "The age of noise"

April 11, 2017

 

More than 70 years ago, the English writer Aldous Huxley wrote that modernity is the "age of noise." At the time he was writing about the latest technology, the simple radio, whose noise he said "penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions." If he could only see the noise we are dealing with now. Between devices that never leave our person, social media, tweets, sensationalized news, "fake news", a new crisis every moment in the media and having a general inability to turn all these things off, it is no wonder that younger generations these days are pretty much born into information overload and are responding accordingly with anxiety, depression and the like. In a recent magazine article Bishop James D. Conley, he said it like this, We are living at a moment of constant urgencies and crises, the "tyranny of the immediate," where reactions to the latest news unfold at a breakneck pace, often before much thought, refection, or consideration. We are living at a moment where argument precedes analysis, and outrage, or feigned outrage, has become an ordinary kind of virtue signaling--a way of conveying the 'right' responses to social issues in order to boost our social standing...The "age of noise" diminishes virtue, charity and imagination, replacing them with anxiety, worry and exhaustion.I am torn about keeping up with the latest news, as I want to be informed, help be part of solutions to our world's problems and express my care and concern for those who are victims or voiceless. However, I am also deeply rooted in Frisco, Texas experiencing life as a mother of three small children, and my days of frontline trauma work are over as a humanitarian development worker, at least for right now. My friends have urged me to take care of myself, disengage a little with the constant grief that world "news" pulls me into, and to attend to that inner voice of love that brings me life and makes me my best. After all, in the long run, I am really the only person I can truly change. Focusing on that place of love, attending to that quiet voice that speaks life into my being, allowing my mind to slow down and focus on the neutrality of my breath--this is how yoga keeps me centered. This discipline helps me turn down the volume on all the noise around me so I can listen to what matters in my present world and be the best I can be to those in my presence. And in those moments of quiet with a heart aglow in love and light--I believe prayer can more effectively touch all those concerns I have for those far away as well. We will practice this kind of quiet this week: silencing the noise, listening to that inner voice of Love, and finding in that pregnant silence a renewed self that can spread light both near and far through our intentions. Looking forward to our time together on the mat.  To peace and silence,  Leah

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