Your eyes are powerful. On a very practical level, they help you organize and process information. On a more aesthetic side, they are the sense that allows you to see the beauty in a sunrise or sunset, the smile of a loved one and the beautiful natural scenes that are part of our world.
Your eyes are amazing. But all your senses have that ability, to help you appreciate this day, this world, this life. How about your ears? Because we use our eyes so predominantly, we forget that the same vistas we see in nature are just as beautiful when we hear them as well.
The other day I had the good fortune of walking in a beautiful fall morning. It was early. I stopped in the middle of the ball field that I usually walk around and took in the scene. The trees were so vivid; golds, oranges, reds and yellows; all the colors of the fall. I focused on the scenery but then turned my attention to my ears, listening for the day as well. It was so early in the morning that I didn't hear anything. As I stood there bathed in sunlight, I couldn't hear a thing. Then something happened. The silence took on a sound. More accurately, I became aware of the sound of silence. Then that faint sound was interrupted by the sound of two birds off in the distance. They were roughly 100 yards away but their cooing and chirping was evident in the stillness of the morning. It was beautiful.
We rely on our eyes so many times that we forget the beauty of sounds. I decided to use that moment, that morning, to try something that even I had thought less of in the past. For the day, I was going to let my ears bring me to this moment. I would appreciate the gift of hearing and all the ways it could assist me in getting to this moment.
There were some easy sounds to tune in to; a child laughing with his mother as the pushed their cart through the market, the sweet sound of many more birds throughout the day and even the breeze as it washed over the trees.
The world can be noisy at times, most times, but when you tune in to the individual sounds, you get another opportunity to be brought to this moment.
Even noises that may seem disturbing can have a sooting rhythm. I was meditating later in the morning the other day and I heard a dog barking down the street. Of course his "talking" initially pulled me from practice. But then I made him part of the practice. Instead of getting caught up in the emotion of being frustrated by the noise, I decided to observe the sound. I stripped away the emotion, the angst of the sound and instead listened to it.
It became soothing. The dog's barking was rhythmic. it had a cadence and a purpose. I certainly didn't understand what he was saying but it was clear he was saying something. The tone was not of anger. Even from the distance I was able to sense that.
After a minute or two, the dog stopped and I returned to my meditation, thankful for the lesson, grateful for the sound.
Noises aren't as chaotic as we think them to be. They can all bring us to this moment, and as we all know this moment is where the magic happens.
In ending, here's a question for you? What is the most beautiful sound you have heard in the last week?
That question will have your mind going over a variety of soothing memories. Drink them in.