Seeking Simplicity? Find Silence.

I’m not sure I can tell you where to find true silence. Do you know?

While we can find ways to obtain solitude that allow us a chance to process our progress, finding silence is trickier. Most of us have to settle for pleasant sounds that don’t distract us very much instead of true silence.

At this rate, my current series about “Seeking Simplicity” will take years. This series began with a post called Seeking Simplicity? Seek Solitude on October 2, 2012. Now, I have the next post in the series for you. It’s about time, don’t you think?

And by the way, this is not a rerun! The last post was about solitude, not silence — two very different things.

Perhaps seeking silence is more about the journey than the destination. And perhaps its more about mental peacefulness that a physical lack of sound coming into your ears.

If you know a place where there’s no sound to distract your brain from its simplest state, I hope you experience it frequently. The rest of us must seek out only mental quietness so we can enjoy the fruits of the simple life.

Silence Is A Lack Of Distraction

Many of us seek the simple life to eliminate distractions and help us reach the place deep within us where nothing hurts, no one is damaged and nonsense doesn’t matter. But with life’s players bustling around us and so few people concerned with inner peace, there’s always a distracting din of conversation, mindless chatter and useless noise to keep us from experiencing our lives fully.

Even when we miraculously find a quiet place to step away from it all for a few moments, our brains often won’t cooperate. Those “little grey cells” (with acknowledgment to Agatha Christie) keep creating, keep worrying and keep sending us impulses to do something, go somewhere or turn our attention to a specific topic.

Even when our world goes quiet for a moment, our minds won’t. So what can we do?

You Must Make A Choice

Most bloggers who write about simple, minimalist living suggest meditation to find and take advantage of silence. That’s something I try to do for at least a few minutes every day. But if you can’t or won’t do that, it’s not something you can be convinced to do by an article.

Instead, you’re left with a life from which you can’t possibly benefit — unless you can learn meditation or an alternative. Simplicity does no good when we can’t quiet our minds enough to contemplate its effects and consider what we’ve gained. To do that, we need solitude, silence and a few more things we’ll talk about in future posts, once I get around to them.

Are you willing to do what it takes to help your simple life soak into your core? Or do you prefer things as they are out there in the rest of the world — where people chatter incessantly, seek but never find and hope but do nothing to help themselves?

I choose to find some silence in my life and in my mind. Do you?


  1. I enjoy silence, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for meditation. It’s something I can work on, but in the meantime, I enjoy being outdoors away from the noise. I also enjoy being indoors but without any music or TV on. Usually, though, in these moments, I’m doing something. Outdoors I’m hiking or running; indoors I’m knitting or just daydreaming. I appreciate these moments immensely.

    1. I think most of the things you mentioned are forms of meditation, silent or not. Hiking and running are certainly meditative, and daydreaming is true meditation. Knitting probably is too since repetitive actions are one of the ways some people go into a meditative state. You’re doing better than you think you are!

  2. Other than the sound of the river, I often experience silence these days. Nights are another matter, however. Due to an overzealous dog (obviously not my own) that periodically feels the need to bark incessantly, I’ve taken to running white noise while I sleep. So I have silence during day but not at night. Oh well…

    1. We often leave a fan on to cover cat movements, cars coming by and other little unexpected sounds. It make a big difference. If you can’t have silence, having predictable, even sound is the next best thing.

  3. Also glad to see you back, I’ve been checking. I’m a huge fan of silence, spend a lot of time there, meditating or not. I live in the middle of a city, but was lucky to find a place removed from street noise, for the most part, my neighbors are quiet (except the musician). I’ve learned to let barking dogs and the music become white noise by not attending to them. Look forward to hearing more from you.

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