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Monastic Sign Language, and the Sacredness of Silence

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Centuries ago, monks who took a vow of silence still had to communicate about everyday activities in the monastery, from gardening to equipment repair. So they developed their own hand signs, with hundreds of gestures for various words and ideas that are sometimes still used today. An excellent book on the power of silence in such places is A Time to Keep Silence (Bookshop|Amazon) by Patrick Leigh Fermor. This is part of a complete episode.

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