Sometimes the noise is in your mind and heart. You could be alone in a silent room but the silence screams. Such moments are challenging, confusing and exhausting. Inner cacophony is hardest to handle.
You can close doors and windows to avoid outside noise. You can stop visiting places that have loud noise. But you cannot do anything to your mind chatter. Its ongoing noise can make you cry.
Sometime back I discovered a tool that helped me to deal with inner cacophony. And it was a very simple tool. I discovered the meditative effect of a repeated mundane activity. For me this happened when I had to clean a bunch of coriander with long entangled muddy roots. I started with strong reluctance. It needed my complete attention. The noise in my mind took a back seat. As my hands worked in precise movements of lifting, removing the stalks, separating the weeds or grass I had two piles on the table one with tender green leaves and another with stalks and weeds.
That day I learned an important lesson.
Many thoughts are like weeds, unwanted. And these CAN be removed.
Sometimes when life tests your patience all you need is untangling these stalks of thoughts. When you are engaged in a mundane activity, its sheer repetitiveness becomes a meditation.
The inner cacophony did not away like magic but its noise became dull. I could complete the task of cleaning without resistance and felt much better. Later, that night I sat down with my diary and wrote all thoughts I could think of in three columns ‘stalks’, ‘weeds’ and ‘leaves’.
Leaves were thoughts that needed attention
Stalks were issues that came as a package deal with the leaves but were not needed
Weeds were those thoughts that were reactions, biases, observations without any base or logic.
Now the cacophony decreased considerably, because the noisy thoughts, found a place in proper slots.
And I could deal them one by one.
I never cribbed about cleaning leafy greens since that day, in fact I feel happy when I buy spinach, coriander and more. They provide me an opportunity to connect with my inner self.