open your ears to the world

Photo by Asaf R on Unsplash

unpolished thoughts 1/18/19

A peaceful morning.

My daughter sleeps late.

While sitting in meditation I listen to the different frequencies humming in the air, from my kitchen appliances to the rush of traffic outside to the high buzzing in the back of my skull.

These sounds intermix with my breath and my heartbeat, the feeling of the ground below me, and the chatter of my thinking.

Every now and again, brief moments where the parts coalesce into a whole.

Traffic is still light outside. The morning rush hasn’t yet fully arrived. I can distinguish individual motors running at the stoplight.

Later they will become indistinct from each other and the horns will begin as impatience rises.

The clock ticks.

There is a click as some kind of electrical cycle comes to an end. The kitchen light slightly brightens.

Something amidst all of these details resonates, and my lungs fill more completely.

My pelvis on the floor becomes a little clearer, my spine a little longer.

The world continues to take its time.

Another click and the kitchen light dims again. Then another and it brightens again.

Something is faulty in the wiring. (If I ever turn on the toaster and the coffee maker at the same time, it always blows a fuse.)

A car slows to the stoplight outside my window, the sound of its engine descending in pitch as the wheels decelerate.

A whirring and sudden engagement I can’t quite describe means that someone just called the in the elevator in the hallway.

A 10-year-old in pajamas stumbles by on the way to the kitchen.

“Good morning, Dad.”

“Good morning, Maria.”

Now the kitchen comes to life with sounds of cereal.

A drawer opening and then, the satisfying resonation of silverware being jostled as it closes again. Clinking of spoon against bowl, a creaking of the chair, the flakes, then the milk pouring.

A ten-year-old jaw chewing.

My breath coming and going.

My heart softly pounding.

The energy of the traffic feels slightly stronger now unless it’s my imagination.

But it’s not as loud as my daughter mashing the cereal with her spoon.

The world continues to waken.

Another breath comes.

The light in the kitchen continues to change every minute or two. I can’t remember it being quite this bad before. We live in an old building.

I hear a little gurgling and recognize the sensation of my belly talking to me.

Time for breakfast and another cup of coffee.

Keeping my ears open as I go.


Awareness of sound is a beautiful way to grow awareness of your connection to the surrounding environment.
Here are 3 resources – if you would like to experiment with this practice:

Video: Reset Your Internal Rhythm 

Sound Meditation 

Sit in a comfortable position and follow your breath as you normally would in any meditation practice. Then use your fingers to take your pulse for a period of time to make that sound also present in your attention. 

Continue listening to your breath and heartbeat while also noticing the external sounds of around you. How many sounds can you follow at once? 

Another version of this meditation is to simply sit in stillness, listen, and count how many different sounds you can perceive in your environment. 

In this case, you are not worried about holding all the sounds in your attention simultaneously, you are simply noting each distinct sound as if you wanted to make a list. Your body sounds still “count!” Do you notice at least five different sounds?Can you hear small details and fluctuations inside of any continuous sounds?

Video: Visual Rhythm (builds on sound meditation above)


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