The River Of Sounds

sublime_park_by_leonid_afremov_by_leonidafremov-da30wto

Picture: Sublime Park by Leonid Afremov

*************************************************************************************

*************************************************************************************

 

Warning: the following article might irreversibly change your perception of reality.

 

I’m listening: voices, the heating system, automatic doors, coins in pockets, steps, snaps, giggles, various accents, coughing… The list could be infinite. Have you ever wondered how many labels we, consciously or unconsciously, attach to the sounds we hear? This is the standard approach to our soundscape at any given moment. All these labels contribute to our conditioning, igniting conscious or unconscious reactions in us. What’s wrong about it? Absolutely nothing. The human experience is also based on this very common process. But, what if I told you that we have a choice regarding this “natural” behavior? What if I told you that you don’t have to label every single sound? What if we were free to listen beyond analyzing everything? Your soundscape can be your meditation. Your soundscape can be a portal to the Unmanifested, as Eckhart Tolle likes to call it in his books, to the essence beyond forms.

In this society, we’re frequently reminded about the reasons why we do something, about the goals we want to achieve, constantly projecting us somewhere in the future based on what we’ve learned in the past. Once again, nothing wrong with the traditional approach. However, I want to encourage you to try something else forgetting any expectations of the outcome. I want to encourage you to be comfortable with what’s going on right now. Let’s start with how to listen without labels at this precise moment.

First and foremost, I humbly suggest you ground yourself in the body, though it’s not strictly necessary. Feel your body from the inside. If you’ve never practiced a “body scan” you might be surprised by pains and resisting thoughts. No worries, it’s natural. Observe it as neutrally as possible, as if it was not your body, and get back to the practice. You can start by feeling the field of energy in your hands and feet and gradually feel the whole inner body. Try my guided meditation called Exploring The Vehicle if you want to get more familiar with this practice.

Once you’ve grounded yourself in your body without judging it, positively or negatively, you can start noticing the sounds around you. At first, of course, you will need to label them – at least as “sounds” – in order to give your logical mind a sense of direction. Once you’re “there” you’ll automatically let go of logic. And by the way, the sole awareness of the fact that you are labeling sounds is already a sign that you’re becoming more conscious.

This practice is a great fit for any given (present) moment. Once your focus is mainly on your hearing – it won’t be necessarily stable, but it doesn’t matter – start to let go of labels and judgments towards any surging sound. If you get carried away by a train of thought, jump down the wagon as soon as possible and gently go back to listening. It’s totally okay. Moreover, you will discover a completely different soundscape than before, since every moment is fundamentally unique. For some, it might be helpful to focus on one sound at a time, and once it’s extinguished jump forward to the next.

At some point, you’ll manage to let sounds smoothly flow through your awareness. Imagine them like a homogenous river of information. Of course, there’ll be fish, eels, rocks, weeds, and water. Yet, you can focus your attention on the river itself, on the whole. Therefore, you will, gradually and naturally, let go of the label “sounds”. Hold this sensation, go back to it, cherish it. In this way, the observer and the observed become one. A sense of peace appears; a sort of silence becomes accessible. Even in the middle of the noisiest environments, you have access to a new dimension. I will not spend too many words to describe it. Try it yourself, experience it.

The same perspective can be adopted when listening to music as well. All kinds of music, as long as you devote your complete attention to it. You risk feeling like you’re listening to one of your favorite songs for the first time. No wonder: your sharpened awareness, devoid of the habitual mental commentary or digressions, connects with the essence of whatever you are listening to. You become The River of Sounds. And swimming a little bit further you connect to who you truly are. Pure awareness. One with everything.

 

Herons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s