Moment of Silence


Once my hearing was taken from me and I was placed into a space of absolute silence. I could hear nothing, not even the blood rushing against my temples. I watched the people around me, their lips moving as they spoke, smiles on their faces as they laughed. I had no fear, only wonderment as I moved from a place of silence to a deeply calm stillness. First, it began in my heart then it flooded my soul. I closed my eyes and marveled at the place I was in and it spurred me into a thought of thanksgiving for the new and novel experience. I did not speak, because, I thought, speaking will require responses and I won’t hear those…. I savored, by choice, my first-time experience of pure stillness.

It was strange, I was not even aware of my thoughts and now, as I write, I wonder how much of my thoughts in the past were created by sounds that I could hear.

Picture credit:

Mark Paton

I have met with people who have impaired hearing, over the years of my life. For me, they were uncomfortable times, as I felt deep pity for those souls. I experienced, sign language for the first time and people whom I had to face when speaking so that they could read my lips. Through these experiences though, I never gave a thought to what it must be like to hear nothing at all! Now for the very first time I could, without any warning, hear nothing!

In hindsight, I realize that not being able to hear anything was only a tiny, but beautiful, part of my experience.

What about life after the encounter? Yes, I had the luxury of moving effortlessly into stillness, like it used to be when I flew gliders, above the mountain ridge in the company of eagles. The return of my hearing, in retrospect, was like touching down on the runway after and being barraged by the chatter of the world and its demands. 

Was I grateful to have my hearing restored? You bet I was! But my silent time left me with a desire to return to the stillness I experienced.

The only way I could hope to emulate the experience was to set about my morning meditating with new vigor. I don’t attain the same level of stillness, but at least I can thankfully return to the world chatter and demands after, because I realize, part of me needs that.

Featured Image of Eagle credit:

Zdeněk Macháček
Avatar of user Zdeněk Macháček
Zdeněk Macháček

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