Silence has many Qualities
There is silence between two noises; the silence between two notes and the widening silence in the interval between two thoughts. There is that peculiar quiet pervading silence that comes of an evening in the country. There is the silence through which you hear the bark of a dog in the distance, or the whistle of a train as it comes up a steep grade; the silence in a house when everybody has gone to sleep, and its peculiar emphasis when you wake up in the middle of the night and listen to an owl hooting in the valley; and there is that silence before the owl’s mate answers. There is the silence of an old deserted house, and the silence of a mountain; the silence between two
human beings when they have seen the same thing, felt the same thing, and acted.That night, particularly in the distant valley with the most ancient hills with their peculiar boulders, the silence was as real as the wall you touched.
And you looked out of the window at the brilliant stars. It was not a self-generated silence; it was not that the earth was quiet and the villagers were asleep, but it came from everywhere – from the distant stars, from those dark hills and from your own mind and heart.
This silence seemed to cover everything from the tiniest grain of sand in the riverbed – which only knew running water when it rained – to the tall, spreading banyan tree and a slight breeze that was now beginning. There is that strange silence that exists in a temple or in an empty church deep in the country, without the noise of tourists and worshippers; and the heavy silence that lies on water is part of that which is outside the silence of the mind.
There is the silence of the mind which is never touched by noise, by any thought or by passing wind of experience. It is this silence that is innocent and so endless. When there is this silence of the mind action springs from it and this action does not cause confusion or misery. The meditation of a mind that is utterly silent is the benediction that man is ever seeking.
‘Unlocking the Brain’ - Paralyzed Man Walks & Talks Again –
A patient who was left almost completely paralyzed from a rare disease is now walking and talking again, after a music therapist prescribed mindful listening to his favourite song every night—in this case, a tune by The Carpenters. 71 year-old Ian Palmer was struck down with Guillain-Barré syndrome last June, forcing him to spend seven months in a hospital where he was unable to walk or speak properly. The rare condition happens when a person’s own immune system attacks their body’s motor nerves, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. But when Ian was transferred to Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre, a state-of-the-art care unit in Lancashire, England, clinicians used music therapy techniques to overcome ‘near total paralysis of his body’. His specialist, Clare, taught him mindfulness techniques using his favorite records—and he began listening to The Carpenters each night. Ian was admittedly skeptical, but he can now walk 2 miles a day and have conversations with his family after the exercises “opened up” his brain. He’s never been very musical, so when Sue Ryder first suggested music therapy he said, ‘What good is that going to do?’ “I’m a typical Northern man, and I thought, ‘What’s a girl with a guitar going to do for me—get me to the gym.’” “But it really worked. Clare sat me down and explained the process. I learned that music is very unlike other therapies, as it opens up all of the brain.”
Watch a profoundly touching documentary. A joyous exploration of music's capability to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country whose minds have been revitalized and awakened by the simple act of listening to the music of their youth.
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