Now Hear This

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Simple golden strands of wild oats stood still in the warm spring sun.

I watched from the sidelines as a sudden breeze picked up a few strands and rustled them about, their silent sway just a graceful wave on the hill. High above me a hawk screeched a message as swallows closer to earth dove about in masterful arcs twittering amongst themselves, snatching bugs.

All the while, a sparrow narrated with his happy arias from atop a bare tree.

There were other sounds, human sounds, that rode the background with a comforting hum – planes, cars, people – that told me the world continued on as nature played her never-ending symphony.

Sound has such a profound effect on our being. From any type of music to the soft innocent gurgle of a baby’s talk, it surrounds us at every moment and always evokes a response, whether conscious or subconscious.

Even what we term silence, if you listen very closely, moves in sound.

Stop right now and really listen. What do you hear?

Absorb the sound of a bus grinding to a halt in front of its local stop. Or hear the kid on a skateboard before she scrolls past on the rough pavement. Listen to the whisper of pencil scratching across paper, the tapping of computer keys. Take note with your ears of what is happening around and bring a moment of stillness to the nonstop cycle of always marching forward to something or somewhere.

It is sound that can disconnect us, if just for a moment, from the constant chattering inside our brain, those terabytes bounding around our head insisting on attention, keeping us from moments of stillness, moments of peace, moments of the world happening around us.

Stop and tune in via sounds, and breathe in life a bit more.

Sound is energy causing vibrations in the air. It is these vibrations that hit the little tuning fork inside the ear, shakes it in its perfect pattern to be decoded by the brain so the splash of water or a dog’s bark – all via oscillating waves – can be heard.

Studies have shown sand exposed to certain sounds forms patterns and when a different sound is played, the pattern changes. Same with water: different geometric forms emerge. Sound waves therefore do affect matter. They affect our bodies, our souls.

Sound is healing. This is the principle of chanting mantras in which sacred sounds are repeated, the spoken words creating sounds to resonate in the body. It’s a method of aligning our mind to a particular form, through the vibration of the tones in the mantra. The great primordial sound, the sound of all sounds together, “om” or “aum,” can be heard in yoga studios throughout the world.

Try it. Put your fingers gently on your throat and say the word “aum” out loud. Feel the vibration? Every cell in your body does, too.

The sounds “om,” “oo,” “ah,” “ay,” “ee,” “mm,”  and “nnng” all work on different aspects of the body, so find a place alone and speak them out loud and work the vibrations into your body. Voicing harmonious sounds also brings thoughts and emotions into cohesive and graceful patterns.

Belt out your favorite song. Read a poem out loud, the lush sounds forming patterns inside your cells as your mind follows in pictures. Storytelling should not become a lost art. Affirmations such as “I am strong,” “All is well,” “Life is good,” “I love you,” when spoken out loud are more powerful with the sound waves moving through and around you.

Think further. The opposite must be true: when spewing out swear words, the negative sound waves provide dissonance, not resonance.

To heal our selves and the world, we must make it a challenge to be aware of the effects of sound. Stop when needed to listen and connect. Flow with words that bring out good. Find your self entrained in a world of harmony and grace where health

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