“A person must attain a kind of divine  absence of mind in order to experience inner tranquillity and not be distracted by outside noises while praying. One can actually reach such a state of divine absentmindedness that he no longer hears any noise, or hears it only when he wants to, or probably, when his mind is ready to come back from Heaven. And we will reach this point if we work spiritually, if we strive. Then we will hear only what we want to hear.  When I was in the army, I told a fellow soldier who was very pious, “We will meet at such and such a place.” “But there is a loudspeaker there,” he replied. “If one wants to hear it,” I said, “he will hear it; and if he does not, he will not.” When our minds are absorbed in something, do we hear other things? In the forest across from my Kalyvi, they have stripped the mountain with chain saws. When I was absorbed in reading or praying, I did not hear a thing. When I stopped, I heard every single sound.”
– ‘With Pain and Love’