How Do You Hear? Part 2

How Do You Hear? Part 2

In the first part of this series of writings, we explored the idea of “What Do You Hear,” which reflected aspects of selective hearing that reflect one’s own dynamic life. We choose to focus on certain sounds as we do in life. It is akin to walking the most beautiful beach in the world….giant cliffs, wondrous wildlife…the sky partly cloudy with the warm sun hitting your face…then you stub your toe and the entire magic of your surroundings is usurped by your little toe. The magic is sweet away for your mind has shifted to pain, rather than beauty. Which begs to question can pain and beauty co-exist? Well then, they must because life and pain are growth. We experience growing pains from the day we are born until the day we die. But it goes deeper, for the relief of pain and suffering is simply in living a conscious life…day to day.

            So in the first part, we question, what do you hear? But even deeper, when we focus on what we hear and filter the “noise,” how do you hear what you hear? This isn’t about the science of hearing, but how the mind interprets it. The best example I have come upon for this idea are the words “mother” and “father.” Literally, every person in the world has an emotional attachment to these words regardless of the interaction with the parents. Some people have had wonderful experiences with parents while others have not. Some may have been adopted and the idea of parents is not set in the traditional fashion. Happenings of abuse, disease, and death all contribute to these words.  I believe these words are the most emotional words in our languages for these relationships form the bonds of understanding where we come from, but sometimes it is left a mystery. Every single person in the entire world has their own interpretation of what those words mean to them.

            Sound healing is a practical application to life, it is yoga. How you hear something is a reflection of your entire life up until that point.  All your experiences reflect a subconscious bias to the sound and how it is heard…thus how it is processed within your being and how it goes into the conscious mind. The mind is a volcano and only our conscious thoughts are the lava that flows from our minds. But the volcano is as deep as the earth itself….and the mind is deeper, stretching into the farthest reaches of the universe. Words are biased, so we must go even further into the words. For how you hear is diverse as well. Hearing with your ears is one way we process sound. Yet, we feel what we hear. For example, this is an obvious one…but worth noting to make the point. If someone comes behind you and startles you…your body jumps and your heart may jump or your belly may clench. This is a more obvious example so let’s go back to the words “mother” and “father.”  When these words are spoken what and where do you hear it in the body? Where do these words speak to you? And thus, why do you hear them in those parts of the body?

            If you attend sound baths on a regular basis, I believe it is akin to asana in a yoga practice. But yoga begins when you live the practice and integrate the philosophy into your daily life. It does not mean you won’t say fuck once in a while or create a snap judgment. It simply means your understanding of the mind is not yet where it needs to be. Changing how one thinks is a hard practice….for many times you feel like you “are doing the work” and should be pure. But your mind (unless grown consciously) has twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years of subconscious groundwork. You are a mountain and you are trying to replace only the base. Redoing one’s foundation requires two things….constant forgiveness and patience. Part of you enjoys those thoughts…and that’s okay for if you are conscious of those thoughts, at some point they will go away for recognition is the first step to reconciliation. I sometimes have terrible thoughts and think I am beyond them. For I am, but they still come for it is my foundation. Like waves crashing on the beach, these thoughts attempt to usurp the moment and take me with it into the rip current. The thing with the mind is that, like those waves, is that it is constant with what you once were.

            The beauty is within the present moment, for right now will become your past and what you do today creates the new foundation of what you will be from this day forward. Each day we have the choice to become greater. On some days we feel as if we stepped backward…but life is always forward and each step we take brings us closer to understanding ourselves. Sound healing is not about singing bowls and gongs…it is about yourself and how we fit into the world. Sound healing invites us to understand our value in the universe and bring us into greater understanding of self, others, and the divine. We listen with our ears but hear with our entire being….we feel sound in our souls and deep in our bodies by way of emotion, bliss, joy, and trauma. Hearing is holistic while listening is local for the depth of our being is not reflected with the words we say but rather the feeling we put behind them. This reflects also in the instruments we play for others for how you play is more important than what you play.


To be continued.

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