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May 6, 2024

"Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation." --Rumi

Sanctuaries of Silence

What might happen if we listened deeply? If we really listened? In the tranquil chorus of nature, Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist, experiences silence as 'the poetics of space' and 'the presence of time undisturbed.' He provides insight into how we perceive our locations based on their unique sounds and the value of true silence in our modern noisy world. Hempton defines silence not as the absence of sound, but as a void of noise pollution created by modern life, and warns that, with the pervasiveness of noise pollution, 'silence is on the verge of extinction.' However, all is not lost. As Hempton shows, reconnecting with the silence and sounds of the natural world can be emotionally therapeutic and expansive. As we listen, he suggests, our ego disappears, and we are one with nature.


Take a nature walk with mindfulness. As often as you can, spend time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Schedule regular nature walks or hikes where you and others can practice mindfulness and deep listening. Focus on the sounds of nature, to experience the beauty of silence and the richness of natural sounds.