Some people might assume that it’s impossible for d/Deaf and hard of hearing people to meditate (perhaps more accurately, guided meditation). But as someone who enjoys meditating, I can assure that it’s not impossible.
Even though there are obvious challenges when it comes to using guided meditation (such as whether it’s possible or not to hear or understand what the audio voice is saying), I have managed to find a system that suits me.
And this comes after years of using different apps and techniques, which after a while, ended up being more of a struggle rather than relaxing.
So I would like to use this opportunity to share how I meditate and how it suits me and my own deafness.
You can listen to the podcast:
…watch the video…
…or read the transcript below.
Today I want to share with you my experience as a deaf/hard of hearing person on meditation. It’s what I do, almost every day I try to do my best to do every day.
But I just love to meditate, but people will think how can you meditate, if you are deaf? It’s not possible, but I want to share with you my experience on how I do that.
However, if you want different ideas on how you can meditate, if you are a d/Deaf or hard of hearing person and you want to meditate.
And if you want some ideas, I think maybe I should do a separate video and if that’s something that interest you, click like and subscribe and click on the bell icon and then I’ll maybe get to do a video on what you can do.
But for now, let me share with you my experience.
And the key word of the course is my experience. So don’t take it as an expert guide. Don’t take it as something that everyone does. This is my own thing I just want to share with you.
Maybe you can learn from it regardless of whether you are d/Deaf or hard of hearing or hearing doesn’t matter, you might pick up something from it as well.
So because my deafness level in medical term is more of a moderate to severe, according to my audiogram. I can hear various things. So I guess that means maybe I should go with the voices to listen to the guided meditation which is probably the most common form of meditation.
You do your breathing exercises and your techniques. And there’s an audio, a voice speaking to you on what to do step-by-step. Sounds easy enough and I guess I’ll… Well, maybe because I can hear that kind of work. Maybe I should just go with that.
So the past few years, I have used those popular apps, the big names are Headspace and Calm. Those are the apps that provide guided meditation for you.
And I’ve been using them especially Headspace for a couple of years, maybe three years. And it was on and off, but I got the hint of it, I got the use of it.
And I then decided, “wait a minute, it’s not actually working for me”, because it took me a long time to realise that I actually have to work harder than other people to listen to the voices. You have to strain, you have to really really focus on the voice when the the guided meditation going on.
What is Concentration Fatigue?
How intense focus and concentration can make any d/Deaf and hard of hearing people exhausted with fatigue?
And that’s not relaxing, meditation supposed to be relaxing, but that was anything but relaxing.
Which is frustrating because I can’t hear that and obviously you can’t lip read and that was money wasted as well.
So that means, you know what, I just stopped it. I stopped doing that and I guess thought what else can I do?
So I read up on the topic more. I read into the topic of mindfulness and meditation and learnt about the topic understanding the benefit of it.
All these things different techniques, how other people do it, and just try to get as much knowledge as possible. And then gradually I came up with my own way of doing it.
So after a lot of reading and learning and practicing , then I decided to do it in a way of “unguided meditation”. But using either white noise or some kind of relaxing meditative music as well.
If you don’t know white noise, it’s one of those static kind of sound, like everyday sound could be like the sound of the washing machine.
That constant sound or the sound of the shower or rainfall, thunderstorm, that kind of sound effect, which is continuous. And you hear that all the time. Some people find that relaxing and helps them to focus.
And then there are other music specifically designed to help you focus as well. So if you want to find those sounds and music, you can use various tools there are apps on iOS and Android that are free or you pay for it. You can find them there.
You can find on YouTube, those music just play in the background with the headphones on. You can find it on Spotify as well there are albums and playlists.
Recently, I have become to use more often the Brain.fm app or tool, it uses like a scientific approach to music so that it can help you to focus better. And it’s really really cool tool.
So this is what I do in the morning and this is how I meditate. After I do all the routine that I need to do:
- I sit down on my chair.
- I stick my headphones on.
- I set my timer to 15 minutes. And it’s either to make sure that the phone vibrate on the table so I can feel it or so that the music fades away and I know time is up. That’s when I do it, I do it for around 15 minutes most of the time.
- Then when I’ve got all that setup, I choose my sound and music that I play for and I get into the zone, get comfortable, get the volume comfortable, which for me is obviously louder than other people but it suits my comfort level.
- And get started with your breathing technique and get into the zone and that’s it.
- Then you start that process of meditating.
- Once I finish, which is again, when the phone vibrates, the timer is up or the music fades away.
- Then I just reflect on that for another minute, just sit still for a bit and just to soak it in soak that nice feeling that feel good factor and that’s it.
And that’s what I do.
So like I said, this is how I do it. You could use that same technique if you want to, if it helps you I would love to hear from you if it helps you a lot.
Just make sure that you be consistent with it. The first few times you do it, it will seem a bit weird. It doesn’t make sense, It doesn’t work for me. I thought like that, in the beginning. I thought this was a complete waste of time.
But then I really got the benefit of it.
Because without going into too much detail; let’s face it, life is tough. You will be mentally challenged. We face barriers as d/Deaf and hard of hearing people almost every day.
So it’s important to look after yourself. It’s important to be not just physically, but mentally well as well. And you want to do the best you can to look after yourself.
And for me, I find meditation helps me with that as well really sets me off to start the day as well.
So give it a shot. But what I should say to you, just be patient and be consistent as well.
So like I said, this is how I do it. And I can appreciate as well that for those who are more profoundly deaf, it will not work for them. And that’s why it made me think whether should I create a separate video and show you different ways that you can meditate?
And if that’s something that interests you, like I said, click on like on the video, subscribe and do what you can, let me know in a comment. And I will do that maybe I should get to that but it’s only going to help you as well.
So let me know don’t forget as well that if you want to support me and support this channel support creating more content like this to help you.
You can join me on Patreon for just a few dollars a month. I’ll put the link in the description, check it out.
I would love to see you there as well. In the meantime, I hope to speak to you again soon.
- What is ‘audism’? Plus my personal experiences of facing audism - October 27, 2021
- ‘CODA’ movie review: my thoughts on the latest deaf movie to be released - October 13, 2021
- Deafness as a ‘hidden/invisible disability’ - October 6, 2021
Alyssa Luboff says
Thank you for this post, Ahmed. I’ve been wondering about meditation resources that are out there for people who do not hear or who have limited hearing. I recently posted a guided meditation on YouTube with visuals that includes very accurate closed-captioning, which I hand-typed. I wanted to let people know that it is out there. I’d also love your feedback because I hope to include closed-captioning on new meditations in the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djcRhHDxrUI
Ahmed Khalifa says
Using visuals would be one aspect of meditation that I would encourage. The tricky part is when eyes are closed and you are in your element. Normally, there is a gentle voice to guide you, but opening our eyes each time to read will mean that we are constantly looking and being distracted.
I really appreciate the effort that you are putting to manually create CC. Even if it’s not to provide guided meditation, you are still educating people and having captions help.