Meditation: What is it?
May all be well in your world.
In Part Two, we looked at breath as an “anytime, anywhere” meditation technique. Today, our attention turns towards sound.
Have you ever noticed how the giggle of a laughing baby makes you smile, or, the sound of screeching tires makes your shoulders shrug as you await the possibility of a crash?
The role of sound in our lives is something on which we rarely reflect. And yet, sound plays a significant role in creating the causes and condition for our good health.
Across all cultures, sound, in all forms, is used to induce emotion, and inspire and elevate our connection to something larger, something greater than the perception of our individual existence.
Think about it. Don’t you feel great when you belt out your favorite song in the shower or shiver at the Jaws music played as the shark approaches?
In Eastern philosophies, sound plays a major role in cultivating mindfulness and focus through the recitation of mantras and chanting.
Or, conversely, sitting silently and settling the mind allows us to resonate with the pervasive “hum” that underlies the boundless, infinite space in which we exist. Buddha taught that this “hum,” is typified by the recitation (chanting) and resonance of “OM.”
OM represents the primordial sound of the Universe, the source from which all compounded items arise, dwell and cease – impermanence manifested.
This reflects the absolute nature of our existence.
Tapping into this understanding leads to a sense of calm that allows our body and mind to relax, to be more present in each and every moment, to live in the here and now - not chasing after a completed past, nor a continually arising future.
One can cultivate such an understanding of the experience of sound as a healing technique through chanting, as well as the use of Tibetan Singing Bowls (TSB).
TBS date back 2,500 years. Traditionally, TBS bowls were made of silver and tin, though various metals have been used over the years, including gold, iron, lead and others.
Essentially, they are bells turned upright. Sound is created with a wooden stick that strikes the bell (gong-like), or, a stick is gently run around the rim to generate a resonant sound that fleetingly lasts.
Sitting quietly, we follow the sound to its’ natural dissolution. One-pointed focus is given to the sound as it slowly dissipates into the ether.
This represents the impermanent nature of our existence and calms the mind, as if being re-introduced to something we have known all along.
The bowl is then re-struck as your focus remains.
It is remarkably relaxing. Please check out the Tibetan Singing Bowls on this site. As a tool for meditation, they provide an exceptional path to your good health.
I encourage you to practice the breath and sound focused meditation techniques shared in Parts Two and Three. Gain a sense of ease and comfort in your practice and feel the results.
Please know that while a final blog on meditation is forthcoming, I will be turning my attention elsewhere in my next two posts. The topics? They are a secret!
‘Til next time, be happy.