I have been reading the book One Square Inch of Silence, an account of acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton’s quixotic quest to protect profound silence at one single spot in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. A student of sound and creator of amazing soundscape recordings, Hempton fears for our minds and our planet with the disappearance of truly quiet places. By protecting the audible tranquility of one square inch (marked by a small red stone) – that includes automobile noise and park maintenance equipment but most particularly airplane overflights – he would in effect protect thousands of square miles from sound intrusion.
Reading the book has altered the way I am looking at my days. I am learning a lot about decibels, and human hearing, and what noise does to us. This weekend I went on a brilliant 4 hour hike on the Arroyo Burro Trail in Los Padres National Forest, where, for the first time in a long time, I saw absolutely no other humans. I took in the sounds of sycamore leaves falling to the autumn ground, and winds rustling through different kinds of foliage, and bird wings flapping. But indeed, every five minutes or so, there was the sound of an airplane overflight or some other far-off, unidentified machinery.
Seeking Inner Silence
Reiki, like meditation, can be seen as a method for creating inner silence. We stop listening to the chatter in our minds and start listening to our deepest energetic source.
To practice Reiki well, we have to tune in to our own sensations and experiences, as well as those of our client or whomever we are offering the gift to. If we don’t, the Reiki can still work, but we are impeding rather than aiding its flow. Plus, we aren’t reaping as many of the beautiful benefits of offering.
Even if I am not plugging into stillness, I often find that Reiki just blows open my inner chatter anyway. It steps in and says “Excuse me, were you busy being your worried, neurotic self? Well let me show you this beautiful, glowing radiance that you’ve been ignoring. Kablowie!”
One common experience during a Reiki session is that my senses are more attuned. With the stillness in the room, and the calmness of my client (or healer), and the deep connection to source, suddenly I hear and smell and feel things I didn’t before. The whir of machinery, the whisper of pants, the shuffle of feet, the feeling of my toes on the carpet, the press of my back on the table, the breath across my nose, the ache in my shoulder, the smell of my shampoo or the cleaning products in the room, or even the smell of a memory emanating from the person on the table, strange as it sounds).
By asking for help from our teachers and touching the universal life force – ki – or Reiki, we can find our own inner one square inch of silence.