Words are everywhere. This beautiful and ugly world is full of noise and chatter. Surprisingly many people need to share their thought with others. Somehow they are sure about the importance of their thoughts despite an evident fact that humanity is already drowning in this verbal noise. However, huge crowds of people consider it their duty to speak out. Well..the fact that I'm writing this article now is a simplest prove that I actually am a part of this crowd too) As they say, no one is safe from this danger) I am just a human finally.
I'm just a human, a girl, a woman, a dancer, a traveler. I'm a friend, I'm a daughter, I'm a thinker. This ability to think makes me mad sometimes when I would love to stop and hear the silence, but I can't. " The loudest noise in the world is silence," Thelonious Monk said. I agree when I dance because after years of practice I already don't need music, my inside beat will lead me anywhere I wanna be. I agree when I'm searching for relaxation at the end of the day but instead of this, I hear the voices of people that I met before. This is a lifetime conversation with nary an end in sight. I'm not crazy, it is just a normal brain function to think over what has been said and heard. So, I agree. But not always happy with this.
To hear the silence as silence is an ability that can be exercised with the help of meditation. It is a state of mind that gives us recovery because it is simple to belive in a prosperous future when my mind is empty and free. I was always wondering what if I would not talk at all for 10 days for example. One day I would probably try Vipassana Meditation somewhere in the world. In many countries, especially Asian ones, there are meditation centers where you can try this kind of experience: for a certain number of days a person takes a vow of silence and does not contact the outside world. All the time is devoted to meditation only. I would definitely go to one of these centers once, if such a vow of silence did not come to me itself, without an invitation.
It was in the middle of February 2020, just a month before the global pandemic because of COVID-19. I was on my way back home from Paris when I felt sick with some kind of cold. By the time my plane had landed at Kyiv, I completely lost my voice. I corresponded with the taxi driver by SMS, because neither he nor I knew the sign language of the deaf, unfortunately. The next 10 days period was my specific "Vipassana". I decided to stay on self-isolation, although no one asked me to do so. Just in case, because nobody could say if I had COVID-19 or not. So, I was alone and silent within the four walls. It felt so bad that I stayed at the same pose on my bed almost all the time, so I met the condition to meditate in one position perfectly. Of course, I have used my phone to text with the doctor every day, with my parents and friends. I was watching films. So the coincidence of my apartment with the Indian ashram is far from exact. But it was a nice rehearsal before going anywhere. It was a good lesson to understand that I completely failed in an attempt to be silent for a long time.
The illness prevented me from being quite calm. Consciousness threw me into panic fear (especially after reading various horrors on the Internet), in a feeling of loneliness, in self-pity, and even in self-blaming that I cannot easily pass this test. But to recover, both physical and moral forces were needed. At last, I pulled myself together and realized that this is not the end of the world! When I finally felt better and was able to speak again I realized that the biggest challenge was not a need to be silent, but the terrible noise created in my head by this silence. How many unfinished dialogues, doubts, and dilemmas live in our heads! They emerge from their burrows at night, when we see dreams. They may seem outside if you drink an extra glass of wine with a friend. Or they can just quietly eat you from the inside. That is why it is better to calm them down on time.
Many people like to chatter right and left, so as not to be alone with this mental noise. Perhaps this is the reason for the endless posts on social networks and blogs (well, except for the situation when the author just wants to sell something to you, and it's not me for today I promise:)) A human has to talk. It is natural, pleasant, and even useful almost always. But no matter how nice it is to speak out, we still need to understand that sometimes silence is worth it. To convey my thoughts to the end I’ll just tell you a short parable.
Once a man came to Socrates and said:
- Do you know what your friend said about you?
- Before you tell me this news, sift it through three sieves. The first one is the sieve of true. Are you sure that the thing that you're gonna say to me is true?
- Well, I have heard it from the others.
- Here you see, you're not sure. The second one is the sieve of good. Will this news please me? Will it be nice for me?
- No, not at all.
- And finally, the sieve of benefit. Will it be useful news for me?
- I doubt.
- So you see? You want to tell me the news in which there is no true and good, moreover, it is useless. Why say it then?