HEARa is dedicated to the idea that people need the right information, at the right times, to be successful with hearing loss. HEARa’s mission is to reach out to adults with hearing loss and say—keep going. Learning about your hearing loss should be a lifelong process.

Upside-Down Thinking

I recently spent two weeks at Yasodara ashram, a Yoga Retreat and Study Centre. 

While I was there, I used an FM system in classes and satsangs.  Unexpectedly, I ran into some technology glitches. 

I had programmed my FM transmitter to hold six different FM channels.  Normally, in a city, with all the accompanying sources of potential interference, six channels would be more than enough to choose from—I’d always be able to find a channel that sounded clear and static-free.  And yet at the ashram, which is located in a rural setting, every channel sounded staticky.

One evening, Swami Radhananda, the spiritual director of the ashram, was scheduled to speak at satsang. The ashram was abuzz in anticipation. 

The first part of the satsang was crystal clear. Then Swami Radhananda got up to speak. She put my FM microphone on. I could see her lips move, but all I could hear was pure static. Whatever message she had for us, I did not receive it.

There were other technology glitches over the two week period—at times during the most important moments. 

Technology can take you to a new level of functioning when it works well.  But when the technology fails to deliver, it can be frustrating.

I asked myself, why would I be prevented from hearing Swami Radhananda?  What purpose would this serve in the divine plan?

I did all that I could to prepare.  Audiology and FM technology is my life’s work.  I’ve pursued post secondary education to learn all that I can about rehabilitation of hearing loss.  I am a strong self advocate.  I had state-of-the art FM technology with me and conducted equipment checks prior to the retreat and prior to each class. I contacted the ashram before the retreat to inform them of my needs.  And yet, at times, I still could not hear.  Why?

In yoga, a headstand is often used to help bring a new perspective.   In the headstand, you see the world upside down.  Sometimes upside-down thinking is required to see an issue in a new way.

I applied headstand-like thinking to my question. 

Here is part of the answer that I came up with.

Hearing loss can be a gift. 

Through it, I found my life’s calling.

It can be easier to go inwards and not be distracted (for example, during meditation) when I can’t hear conversations and noise around me.   Swami Radhananda said, “Silence is missing from our daily lives.”  When I remove my hearing aid and cochlear implant, all external sound is gone; then I have only to deal with internal noise. 

I can be with pain and not turn away from it.

I had a few other epiphanies along this line of thought that are not appropriate for a public forum.  Some of the questions leading up to the epiphanies (asked by Swami Radhananda):  “Why is there pain, and what is the reason?”  “What needs to be healed?”, and “What kind of internal effort is required to heal?”

I am truly grateful for this experience.

Photo credit:  ©Austinadams

Syndicate content