Upon a jumbo boulder I sat,
immersed in the art and science known as:
“Thou Art That.”
Lifted heart, high time…
Dropped back to earth 
like one of the heavy boulders,
due to a noisy mind.

While Dharmadevi and I have been in the high desert, we have frequented one of the most beautiful places on earth, Joshua Tree National Park. The jumbo boulders which make up the ancient and otherworldly landscape have become my new favorite place to meditate.

Did you know that the jumbo rocks formed over 200 million years ago? Plate tectonics and volcanic activity are responsible for the majesty we witness today. The park’s beauty reminds me of what Paramhansa Yogananda says in Autobiography of a Yogi:

“Never flaunting His omnipresence, the Lord is heard only in immaculate silences.” 

(Well, He may flaunt a little bit through the jumbo boulders as they are breathtakingly beautiful!)

Aah, immaculate silence! 

Last week as I was meditating on one of the jumbo boulders in a quiet and remote part of the park, I began to hear voices and some type of noise. I was dumbfounded when I saw four teenage boys strolling around the park blasting music through a boombox! It sounded like “Plate Tectonics”, though the club music version!

Why are we so afraid of silence? Since sound is the last sense we lose before death, I think silence terrifies our ego. Perhaps we drown ourselves in noise to try to escape the inevitability of death. 

A noise pollution researcher said in 1968 it would take him only 10 hours of recording to capture one hour of natural sound (without any human noise like planes, trains, automobiles, etc). In 2020 when he repeated the study in the same location, it took 2,000 hours to capture one hour of pure silence!

Just like the beauty of Joshua Tree, God is omnipresent for us always through his immaculate silences. Yet we cannot fully appreciate his “music of the spheres” as long as we carry our karmic patterns of restlessness and a noisy mind through the beatbox of our desires and ego consciousness.

What is the answer? 

Change your radio station. 

Turn off the boombox of noise and listen to God’s immaculate silences. Meditate and bless all who cross your path.