Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finding Quiet Space

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch in the lobby of a building a few blocks from where I work. I arrived a few minutes early so I found a chair in which to wait. The lobby was reasonably quiet and the chair was very comfortable. I spent the time practicing my breathing while I reflected on a Buddhist teaching. When the meditation bell on my cell phone chimed I continued to sit there in silence. I could not help but think that in the building where I work, there is literally nowhere one can find a quiet place, with soft chairs, where one can enjoy the silence and be alone with their thoughts. Why can’t we have some quiet rooms with soft chairs where one can find some momentary peace? There could be a sign at the entrance like the ones at the monastery which say “Silence is spoken here”. Our office is an introvert’s nightmare. There’s nowhere to hide or simply be. When I look downstairs from the 12th floor atrium, and I see the hundreds of cubicles, I am reminded of the drone pods in a Borg mother ship. I have been in other downtown offices where there are quiet spaces that allow employees some solace from the demands of their jobs. I am grateful for the green space near where I work. However, the outdoors is not always hospitable. Today, for example, as I write these thoughts, it is 89 degrees outside with high humidity. In my work world, we are constantly stressing productivity. However, we do little to provide an environment that supports it. Beyond productivity, quiet places are as important to well-being as free pedometers. Well-being is not just about our bodies. It is also about our minds and spirits.

The Borg are an alien species from Star Trek. They were part machine, part organic, and greatly feared by other species. The Borg’s goal was to assimilate other species into their “collective”. The Borg had a group mind and consciousness. There was no individuality.

No comments: