Saturday, March 06, 2010


Ever since I am in Indonesia, it seems like there is constant noise around me. Airco humming, Cockatoo screaming, motorcycles & cars honking, hawkers shouting and a mosque nearby practically yelling. Even in the middle of the night, which is really terrible.

Over here, people are constantly connected with others. Texting, Blackberry, Messengers, Facebooking. It is interesting, my friends and I used to say that once someone moved back to Indonesia, we are going to loose contact, because the internet connection is not good in this place. But when I look around, it seems like people has trouble disconnecting from their devices. There are moments when I was out with friends when I thought, "why bother? They are going to spend much time on their devices anyway."

The other day after I left my ENT doc and was told to do an audiogram, I thought about few days earlier I was thinking how I missed moments of silence. When I was abroad, some times I woke up in complete silence. How I long for those moments. Wonderful peaceful moments. Even when I went for silent meditation over here there were more noises than in low land.

It is interesting that Balinese and Javanese Hindu practice day of silence every Nyepi, which other Hindu traditions dont practice. It's a day of silence, fasting and meditation. Perhaps we need to return to the old tradition, even only for several hours in a year. To speak less (if you cant avoid talking), to reconnect more with our spirits.

There is a movement to declare March 21st, the beginning of Spring, as World Silence Day. Inspired by Nyepi, several NGOs based it on ecological reasoning of cutting carbon printing if we all cut down our use of electricity or motor vehicles for 4 hours between 10am and 2pm on that day. Think how green it is for our earth.

Imagine if the spirit of Nyepi catching on through out the world. Less pollution. People start to hear themselves thinking again. Perhaps they also start talking about this new sensation with those around them. Who knows where we might end up?


colson said...

No traffic, no House or Hip-Hop, no Church bells, no brawls and fights, no crowds and sportgames, no rattling of knives, forks and spoons in restaurants, no heated conversations, no blaring radios or TV sets - the silence of the Tundra or the quietness of a monastry ("Into Great Silence" - -

Might be a grand idea. Though after one day I really, really need my car..

triesti said...

You are Dutchy, you practically were born with a bicycle attached, you definitely can live without a car:)

Anyway, a dutch acquaintance of mine went to 3 months Buddhist silence meditation in Thailand, she said there were times she didnt want to go back to NL. And I thought 10 days was long enough :D