Vow of silence?

I am reading Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus in my quest for information and techniques to make myself a better brewer.  Stan touches upon the myth that all monks take on a vow of silence.  Stan states that this is not true, only that monks only recognize the importance of silence in their everyday lives, they certainly do not take a vow as such.  There are times when it is polite to allow others the privacy of self reflection or prayer or… whatever it is you need to do to center yourself.

What really catches my eye is that Stan states that we should all recognize silence in our lives.  How many of us actually take the time to contemplate, to reflect, to imagine our lives?  Why have we moved away from what it is that makes us human?  I think that with this rush to keep up with the Jones’ down the street, we have thrown to the wind what is most important.

For me, on this day, it is visualization of the beer recipe.  The ingredients, the procedures, the end result, all part of this… mediation… if you will that is brewing.  Maybe this is what Stan was touching upon… or rather, what the monks had taught Stan when he was writing the book.  Focus on what you are doing.  Do it to the best of your ability.  Don’t half ass it.  Do it, do it right, and be proud of it!  And to hell with what anyone thinks. (ok… that was not a very monastic thing to say, I will now go and be silent…)

So, raise a pint… to silence… Op uw gezondheid!  (cheers for us English speakin’ folks)