We are living in a very stressful time with all the successes of Western civilization, Western education and technology, the miracles that the West has performed! And it continues — there is no end to it. Yet people have not become more peaceful and contented. In fact they feel even more stressed by it all. So the problems of modern society in the West are coming not from a lack of anything, from tyrannical governments or from anything terribly wrong, but just from the level of stress in the mind — the speed, the nervousness, the tension, the tendency to get caught up in things and having no way of letting go, no understanding of the nature of things. So people end up taking drugs, drinking a lot, seeking sensory deprivation, trying to bury their heads in the sand; they go off to remote islands in the Pacific or do anything they think will help them find some inner peace…..[However] The silence, the cessation of suffering, is now; it is here and now, in the mind; we don’t have to go anywhere to get it. One can bear with conditions because the silence is not from denying or rejecting, but from understanding, from letting go, and from realizing that all is subject to arising and ceasing. In that movement is a stillness and peacefulness that all of us can experience and know directly for ourselves.
Ajahn Sumedho, The Still Silence