The hustle and bustle of a big city brings a level of excitement that people crave. Portland, Oregon, a metropolitan of over 1 million people, has a lot to offer. Festivals on the waterfront, Powell’s City of Books, dozens of music venues, and every kind of food you can imagine. But like with most things, when you spend a decade doing the same thing day in and day out in one city, you begin to long for more.
I found Ventura, California, purely by accident. I needed a a different pace of life and a friend invited me to live here. Only 15 days into my new life in the sunshine, I came across a place called Meditation Mountain. It’s been around since the late 1960s. It’s a special place with its gardens and views. It’s mission is international peace.
A place like Meditation Mountain sounds very new age and spiritual. I was curious if I would find yogis and monks sitting around meditating. But I found something completely different. Something I never found in Portland, Oregon. Complete stillness.
I was shocked how good silence really sounded. The air is so quiet and clean on this mountain. I felt like I was a million miles away, yet so connected to the rest of the world with my iPhone in my hand taking and texting pictures. As I wander through life, I am always surprised when I discover new places like this, places some people may never visit because the name sounds daunting or unconventional.
Meditation is a difficult concept to grasp and I have only recently starting thinking about how this practice can be adopted in Western culture. How can meditation help reduce the anxieties and fears built up from the stress our society is currently experiencing?
I recall as a child in elementary school, each morning we observed a moment of silence. No teacher ever explained what this moment of silence was for or what we should be thinking while the moment was passing us by. When and where was this ritual conceived and where has it gone today?
It is wonderment that keeps me going each day. Every day is new and there are more discoveries to be made.