A year (or more) of silence

The other day I realized it’s been over a year since I voluntarily removed my hearing aids to go completely deaf as a literal vow of silence.

(For those of you unawares, I’ve been deaf since birth and usually wear a pair of hearing aids for some assistance. You can read a bit more about out this on my “about” page.)

The past few years have been a series of spiritual journeys beginning the day I gave up my beloved cabin on a river to live in a tiny camper roaming the continent.

Taking my hearing aids off was a part of that quest to go deeper and deeper within.

When I meditate, I usually take out my hearing aids. One day I thought I’d take it a step further and keep them off as part of an ongoing meditation.

I thought I would miss hearing voices, music (I can hear a bit of instrumental music with hearing aids — enough to enjoy it), and the general noise of the surrounding world. While it’s true with hearing aids I don’t even come close to the range of hearing of normal folks, it’s enough to be aware of certain sounds and noises.

It’s actually been blissful to be wrapped in endless silence, hour after hour. The silence has been a faithful companion, one whose company I enjoy immensely.

I’m finding in many ways I “hear” more without my hearing aids — my other senses have become more attuned to the world at large and I’m far more aware of those subtle nuances all around us that have become regular “voices” to me.

Most especially in nature. I’m finding she has a large cacophony of silent messages and whisperings — in the quiet way leaves turn in a breeze, the way an animal’s ears twitch, the communiques from the swirls in a river, the silent thunder of the skies, and so on.

In people, body language becomes more apparent (and a language all its own). It’s a language that speaks truth outside of the spoken word. It’s easier to read the joy, sorrow, worries, and such outside of vocal ranges.

The eyes speak the loudest truth. A friend of mine says he loves where he lives (and it is a paradise he created) yet I saw the truth in his eyes that his soul had left the place. Indeed, he’s been looking to move elsewhere.

They say eyes are the windows to the soul… Yes, they speak a thousand undeniable words in silence.

And there’s that sixth sense (or dimension?). I’m more acutely aware of a subtle intelligence brimming underneath every thing every where. Sometimes I hear them as melodies within and they vary in intensity and tone. Is it divine intelligence? God? The Universe? The Beloved? Or the soul itself?

Whatever it might be, it’s a blissful intensity. A constant prayer all around, humming and vibrating.

Yes, my meditations have gone deeper as a result, into other universes and galaxies, so to speak (pun intended!). It feels like it’s just the beginning.

It’s been a very interesting journey of silence and I think I’ll keep wandering that plane for a while longer to see where it takes me.

The world of men has forgotten the joys of silence, the peace of solitude, which is necessary, to some extent, for the fullness of human living. Man cannot be happy for long unless he is in contact with the springs of spiritual life which are hidden in the depths of his own soul.Thomas Merton

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