The growth of cities have seen the shrinking of work spaces and living spaces. As more people attempt to capitalise on where opportunities are to be found, cities get painfully packed. Industrious planners have toiled for years to compact as many brilliant minds as possible into smaller square feet of space. Without a hinterland to run to, it could be difficult to find a quiet place to muse, to work and ponder.

However, escaping inwards could be an answer to find a quiet space within where you can come to yourself, clarify your thoughts, or just sit in awareness. This ‘retreat in daily life’ can be taken in a closed room, or a noisy bus. Nonetheless, free meditation support groups have asserted that if one can achieve just ten minutes of stillness, it is beneficial for rooting oneself in the causes that one lives for, gives greater impetus, increased motivation to strive for the end goal you have in mind, or achieving a greater awareness of self.

An increasing number of youths have also embraced meditation or forms of meditation as a compass to guide them through life. Even though, doing nothing in the midst of meditation is one of the hardest things to achieve in our rapidly paced, urgent world. Never mind also that attention spans are becoming shorter (see article by Daylon Soh—Death to Brainstorming.)

25 year old Kiyoko Ong, a member of Singapore Soka Association said, “Most importantly, it teaches me to respect all human beings as everyone has buddhahood or Buddha nature in them. That’s the first step towards compassion.”

Upon examining some religions and belief systems, one finds that meditation, or some form of pursuing silence, quiet, reflective thinking, is the basis of most of the worlds’ oldest religions. Here’s a look at how different belief systems embrace the pursuit of inner solitude.