The Sound Of SilenceJune 16, 2008
Notes on listening
Have you ever heard of the sound of Om? Many people toss it around, but how many people know what it is? For a long time I was one of those who never knew what it was. Om is the sound of the universe. It permeates everything. I liken it to a giant electric generator somewhere in the south pacific. This generator generates all the electricity necessary to run our universe. When it is running it also makes a sound. That sound is pronounced AUM. You can hear the sound of Om once you are in a state of meditation. The quieter and stiller you become the more the sound becomes apparent. If you just let it happen you can hear it. Once you focus on it you will loose it. It’s like the fabric of the universe weaving its net of energy throughout the world. I remember the first time I heard it. It was the sound in back of the silence I had discovered. This sound vibrated through my entire body. My chakras opened up and filled with energy (prana). It was like my whole body was resonating with this energy.
Calming and stilling the mind is what meditation is all about. Imagine what it would be like to be able to train the mind to seek its own stillness. The primordial quiet of the mind is its natural state. We have let the outside world, through our senses, dominate our minds. In order to get closer to our own true nature we need to withdraw our senses as we approach meditation. We need to pay more attention to our internal environment. Its almost like spending billions of dollars to go to the moon when we cant feed the hungry.
One of the eight paths of yoga is the withdrawal of the senses. This is usually accomplished by concentrating on something internal like the breath. When we can internalize our direction and provide a suitable environment for the mind to still we are on our way. The meditation area should be as quiet as possible, away from aromas from the kitchen and dimly lit. Our posture should be erect and comfortable. Clothing should be loose. Sit on the floor, a cushion or a straight-backed chair. Set a timer for about 5 or 10 minutes to start. Do some pranayama or breath control before meditating. Simply inhale for a count of five, hold the breath for a count of five and exhale for a count of five. That is one round. Do five or ten rounds in order to balance both sides of the brain. Then place your focus on your breath. If you are in a relaxed state you will automatically feel as if you are breathing from your lower belly (just like a baby). Try to have the idea of being soft inside. This way the breath can start to fill the lower abdominal region then move up to the middle abdominal region and up toward the lungs on the inhale. Reverse the direction of the breath on the exhale. Let the breath be your leader. Just watch it as it fills and empties your body. Be a witness to your own breath. If any thoughts other than the breath manifest, just let them go and go back to watching the breath. Stay with your breath even if it seems to stop. If it appears to stop just sink into the exquisite quiet that pervades your psyche. Now feel the expansiveness of your being and listen without listening for the sound of Om.
Meditation is the most powerful tool you can employ in your quest for self-development. Spirituality will manifest through the practice of meditation as will the uniting of your mind body and soul. There are many techniques for meditation. Pick one you are drawn to, stick with it and discover your unique potential.