“As I explore and experience my personal journey of listening differently, I will be utilizing the tool of not speaking as a means to expand the space and energy to simply listen – without the need to opine, judge or defend.”Through her blog The Silent Project (SILENTproject.com,) Kaci will recount her experiences, insights and challenges of living and listening without speaking.
“One hypothesis is that people who don’t know me or have any expectations of me will not care whether I speak or not.
I lived there for 9 weeks, exploring, spending my time with locals, traveling in buses that careen around blind curves, stumble over potholes and stop at every village, as people cram every inch of space, depositing young children on the laps of family members, friends or strangers, enlisting the support of those lucky enough to have seats, while more passengers [and frequently goats and chickens] choke on the dusty, polluted air from their perches atop the painted metal roof of the bus.
I rarely saw tourists, instead choosing to stay where the locals stay and eat where the locals eat.
Meanwhile, Buddhist monks representing numerous nationalities remain sequestered in various elaborately-designed monasteries built to honor Buddha.
My time in Nepal also included 11 consecutive days spent in silence at a meditation center with a rigorous schedule, up at 4 a.m.
Others may be curious or make assumptions about my silence but will honor and respect it.
Some may believe my choice to not speak will mean that I’m deaf.And it was here that the abbot of the Tengboche Tibetan Buddhist Monastery met with me privately to express his deepest concern: that global warming will destroy the cherished Khumbu region, sharing dire predictions via interpreter that the rapidly melting snows and glaciers will soon cause the swollen glacial lakes to overflow and destroy hillside villages, killing thousands of people.I experienced one of Nepal’s rushing rivers myself while whitewater rafting, and spent the night on a peaceful riverside beach lit by a nearly full moon.and lights out at p.m., with lengthy meditation sessions sitting cross-legged as I learned ignore the physical challenges and repeatedly tried to simply sit still.I also enjoyed 20 collective days of serenity at a nunnery in Kathmandu, surrounded by more than 100 Tibetan Buddhist nuns ranging from age 83 down to age 6, praying, studying, fulfilling responsibilities as the echoes of chanted mantras rang throughout the courtyard from in the morning until late at night.It will all be through my filter of what I’m experiencing through The Silent Project.”Kaci started The Silent Project in Australia last week.