My music studio is now set up to create music in surround sound – something I have wanted to do since I first started to compose and produce, simply because it is the way we all experience sound. Throughout the day and night, we are literally surrounded by sounds, whether we are conscious of them or not.
We think of sound as frequencies we hear with our physical ears. We are touched viscerally by sound waves through their vibrational resonance in our body. We are also touched emotionally by sound waves that we cannot physically hear but that we can energetically sense. Unstruck sounds are frequencies that are subtle yet still can be sensed. For example, we hear the thoughts that pass through our minds, our inner, mental chatter. Though there is no particular object vibrating to create that sound frequency, we still can “hear” it.
The voice of the Divine is like this to me: everywhere, in all things, pulsing, flowing, alive. When we learn to listen, life is resonant with an orchestral vibrancy that is nothing short of awesome. The power of this sound draws us to stillness and lets us dissolve into the depths of profound silence.
Today, I invite you to open your ears and being to the worlds of sound both within and without.
- Sit quietly where you feel safe and comfortable. Close your eyes and keep your spine erect, your back free from a wall or chair.
- Bring your awareness to your breath. Take three long deep breaths. Let them be natural and unforced.
- Then begin to listen inwardly to the sound of the air moving through your nostrils, into your sinuses, down your bronchial tube and into your lungs, then releasing back from your lungs through your throat and out your nose.
- Become aware of how the rhythmic flow of your breath is like waves. Let it naturally flow, gently in and out.
- Then, notice any sounds around you, one by one. Just witness them. Do not attach any narrative to them. For example, if a bird is chirping, you do not speculate about what kind of bird it is, or start to think about another time you heard a bird. If you hear a car driving by, just notice that sound without worrying about where they are going or evaluating the driving.
- Begin with the most obvious sounds. Then allow your awareness to become more subtle. Instead of the car engine, hear the sounds of the wind in leaves or the quiet rustle of your clothing as your belly expands and rests back with each breath.
- Draw your awareness deeper within. Notice the sound of your heartbeat pumping, and the way the pulses echo through your body, including behind your ears. Hear the way blood flows through your body, just as you would if you held a seashell up to your ear. Noticed any shifts or gurgles within your abdomen. Even when it is outwardly still, your body is wonderfully dynamic.
- Now, go deeper still. We think of sound as frequencies we hear with our physical ears. You can hear the sound of your footsteps, or of the wind or of cars passing by. But there are also unstruck sounds that are subtle yet still can be sensed. For example, you can hear the thoughts that pass through your mind, that inner chatter, even though no object moves to create that sound vibration.
- Notice, what thoughts are running through your mind? Perhaps your mind is replaying conversations or sounds you heard in the past. Perhaps a song has been stuck in the back of your mind. Again, just notice them, without getting involved.
- Go even deeper as you let go of the sound of your thinking mind. Is there an emotion underlying it all? What is the nature of that sound?
- And deeper yet, what underlies that sound? Is it silence? Or is it something more profound, an ongoing unstruck vibration?
- As you sit, sense that your body and all its sounds are a part of a larger universal orchestra of sounds. The sounds you heard within and those in your environment are part of sounds that extend even further still – through your city, country, planet and the cosmos.
- Everything is sound, pulsating in various vibrations. Though you cannot heart them, sense that you are part of this vast, intelligent symphony.
- As you rest in your breath, become aware of your place within the whole. Feel deeply relaxed and at peace.
- When you are ready to move on, take a few deep breaths and gently bring movement back to your body, wiggling your fingers and toes.
- Open your eyes with the intention to remain aware of your interconnection with the whole and the underlying vibration through all you see and hear for the rest of your day.
Parvati is an award-winning musician (I Am Light, Electro Yog, Yoga In The Nightclub), yogini (YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine), author (Aonani of Avalon, The Three Supreme Secrets for Lasting Happiness) and founder of the not-for-profit Parvati.org. All her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS). More info: parvati.tv; parvati.org.