Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Power of Sounds to Unify Mind

Some of my most profound experiences during sitting meditation, come from connecting with outside sounds. 

Sounds coming to meet the ears, and acting as bridge between narrow self and limitless outer world. 

This morning, listening to tick-tack, I had fuzzy sense of awareness being somewhere between clock, and ears. Gone, the mind-created boundary between physical body and the atmosphere surrounding it . . . and in its place, the sweet freedom from not not knowing, 'where is sound?' 

I am curious, when you sit, and you close your eyes, how is your experience of sounds?


  1. Thank you for introducing this topic. When I sit, I am aware of my tinnitus (ringing in ears). I always have the feeling of being enveloped by a warm blanket. If I am sitting outside, this extends to the nature sounds of my environment whether birds or water, etc. Holding an awareness of indoor mechanical sounds as a bridge is an intriguing perspective.

  2. Funny you should post this! Just last night during my sitting at the Shambhala center, I became intensely aware of all of the surrounding sounds and I had a very similar experience that you describe. The sound of the air conditioner, the june bugs buzzing, a fire truck in the distance....instead of distracting me from my meditation, they seemed to bring me more deeply into my meditation. I think it's because they kept me grounded and absolutely, completely present in the moment. It was quite wonderful!

  3. Thank you Judy, for sharing your experience. A friend of mine who does a lot of prolonged silent retreats, has used the same metaphor of being enveloped by a warm blanket.

    I love the idea of holding both internal and external sounds in awareness!

  4. Nate, yes, the grounding power of sounds, that bypass thinking mind :)

    Thank you for your continued sharing. A beautiful example of online sangha interactions.