The avant-garde composer John Cage was influenced by Zen thinking. His most famous piece is a Zen masterwork, in my opinion. It’s called 4’33”, and it is a blank composition. The orchestra simply sits in “silence” for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

The real plot twist is that when you see this performance live, you realize that there is no such thing as true silence. The piece serves as a reminder that the subtle noises of the world are interesting in their own way if you simply give them a chance and suspend critical judgment. Cage sought to turn the mundane random sounds of a seemingly silent room into music.

By meditating in silence and cultivating mindfulness, you learn to embrace this silence in your own individualized way. Instead of filling your head with noisy distractions and a constant barrage of conceptual thoughts, you can reset and recognize the beauty of the moment.

There are lots of cool and remarkable intuitive insights to be gleaned from even the most seemingly-mundane moments. If you look at your current surroundings closely enough, you’ll find something intriguing and beautiful every time.

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