A Meditation to Help You Experience the Vibrant Surround Sound of the Universe
World famous percussionist Evelyn Glennie is proof that sound is not limited to what we hear with our physical ears. Though her ears lost their ability to hear at an early age, she does not consider herself deaf. She has learned to listen with her entire body and teaches others to do the same. This is possible because sound can be felt viscerally as it vibrates through our cells.
We also experience more subtle, “unstruck” vibrations, that may not be physically audible but that can be sensed. For example, we hear our own inner mental chatter as thoughts pass through our mind, even though they make no outward sound.
When we learn to listen deeply, we discover that life is resonant with an orchestral vibrancy that is nothing short of awesome. We come into contact with a harmony that pulsates through all life. Sound has the ability to draw us into heightened presence, so that we may dissolve into the depths of profound stillness.
Today, I invite you to open to the world 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.
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, 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 dwelling on 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.
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.
Draw your awareness deeper within. Notice the sound of your heartbeat pumping, and the way its 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. Notice any shifts or gurgles within your abdomen. Even when it is outwardly still, your body is wonderfully dynamic.
Now, go deeper still. Notice the sounds of your inner chatter. 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 are you feeling? 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 within you 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 hear 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, resonating through all you see and hear for the rest of your day.
Parvati is an award-winning singer, composer, producer, yogini, author, and Founder and CEO of the international charity Parvati.org. Her work is dedicated to protecting all life on Earth by establishing the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).