*I want to preface, this is my opinion, I respect everyones decision in life to do as they wish and engage with the world as they wish. This is my version of reality.
Many years ago my wife and I attended the Tom Brown tracker school in the pine barrens of New Jersey. It was almost 12 years ago and still remains one of the most potent experiences in my life. There, I was given the gift of inner vision during a sweat lodge, and was able to see beyond the physical world without the use of any substance. It is a special place in my heart not only for that, but for the teacher Tom Brown.
In the years of diving deep into myself, there are maybe four or five moments which changed the course of my life. Often, we think we are a different person than when we started but in reality we are given simple moments in our search for self that bring us to understand one simple thing…we are the same person as when we started, just more aware. We stop cutting our hair and maybe change our clothes, but yet we are still the people we are before we started. We deny ourselves many times even in the face of perceived progress.
The school taught survival skills, but also a deep philosophy element which harnessed the power of the mind. He said, in life the two greatest demons we must slay are that of self-doubt and distraction. In life, in this day and age…self doubt and distraction are sold to us in forms of social media as of enrichment while in reality cutting our legs from beneath us. The message we are being sold, you are not good enough. Selling and buying does not mean you must pay money for a good or service, because you pay attention to a pit of self deprivation.
We begin to offer ourselves a solution, become what we want to become. The issue is not that we wish change in our lives, but yet the inception point and reason for that change. We often want to become something because we see something on the outside we wish we were. As many of you know, the change must come within. One cannot lose weight by watching someone else work out, but they can be inspired to begin the work themselves. We actively deny the internal shifts to have the easy change. As a culture we often value the look of well-being more than the act of well-being.
Working with sound over the years I have come to understand this at a very deep level. Though, it is a seemingly simple idea, I have meditated on it for over a decade and have decided that is not our behavior which dictates our being, but rather the mindset within the behavior. Some people may call this rationality, but it is much deeper than that. My vocabulary may not have the word I am looking for…so allow me to elaborate. I was vegan for many years, but life seemed to have a different idea for me. The reasons for me being vegan shifted over the years, but the idea of eating anything from an animal seemed cruel to me. But in the past few years I developed a legume sensitivity and the phytoestrogens found whiten tofu and chickpeas (my main proteins) triggered ocular migraine. After a year of finding my triggers, I had to make a drastic change mentally. I had to adjust my relationship with my food, and started to eat meat again. As a longtime yogi, ahimsa and non violence has been a huge role in my life, but when the denial of self needs creates inner harm, our relationship with the greater lessons in life are defined by how strictly we identify with the labels we placed upon ourselves. If you have migraine, you know there isn’t a cure, but an active and daily watch for new triggers. Before I made this change, I would experience three to four ocular migraines around each full moon which was for about a year. Since the change, I have had four in one year and I have also lost about thirty pounds by this change and my weight is stable.
Sound has given me new lens to look at the world. Plausible deniability often is a neo-legal term to deny actions within an organization that could imply or bring possible detrimental actions against said official. Given, as I have stated, the knowledge of said wrong doing may be known or unknown…or in the face of self-inquiry, seen or denied. For self sabotage is not only the actions we take, but those we refrain from. The reason I know these things is not because I am above the ideas, but because I am living though them. I experience deep bouts of self doubt, but I know how to move through it. I am not perfect, but I love myself deeply. I fall back into destruction to remind myself why I got out. The constant gardener works to allow the fruits of life to be more abundant than the weeds that grow. There will always be weeds, but will they overgrow that which you have planted and wish to harvest?
As a reader, you may not understand how this relates to sound healing. But to me, this is it. This is the process. Sound healing is not the act of sitting in a sound bath. It is a way of life, a doctrine to becoming something more than what we are. It is not because we wish change in our lives, but because when we are open to the world, change flows through us like a river. The sound of rain fall, a crackling fire, or that of stacking wood is brings me more clarity than any gong or tuning fork ever could. Sound, like yoga, begins when you leave the practice and the mat. It is how we relate and engage with the world and ourselves. It is the conscious engagement with a world of beautiful suffering. The science of how sound works is fascinating, but I don’t care about it. I care about being happier today than I was yesterday…and I wish that for you.
I leave you with this quote from Michelangelo, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”