Today's prompt inspires me to find a sound meditation that I know and love. I learned it from Rabbi Shefa Gold's book Torah Journeys*, and she in turn credits Pauline Oliveras. The meditation calls on us to hear sounds, and rather than identifying or interpreting, just listen. Notice qualities such as pitch, rhythm, resonance, and place in space. Hear whatever the sound offers. Allow the sounds to be.
This evening, most of the sounds are lovely summer sounds of crickets and other insects that make up "the summer chorus." As I listen, I slowly hear more and more nuances within that chorus. The different layers begin to separate from each other and my focus travels from one to another. Different tones, rhythms, distances, density. Some continuous and steady, some with rising and falling trilling, others rhythmic with longer pauses than soundings.
Human sounds are also in the picture. A steady thrum of nearby ice factory is an underlayer to the chorus. I am listening so intently to the spectrum of sound in that thrum that I am startled when I hear it change, adding a new element, more airy and metallic. It almost seems to be breathing, the sound coming and going with currents of air.
Another set of sounds come from within the house, more staccato and sporadic, some with great resonance until they are no more.
And then the meditation time comes to a close with the ringing sound of a bell, clear and high. I listen until I cannot hear its vibration any longer.
*Rabbi Shefa Gold, Torah Journeys, p. 69.
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