By Swan Michelle
The Art of Listening, Honest Speech and Sound Baths
There is a reverberating, un-struck depth within each one of us. Can you hear it? For a moment, pause, become aware, and listen inside to the many sounds of you. Honor first a peripheral recognition. There it is. Let it be.
Then, tune in more deeply to another layer. Be still. Can you hear your heartbeat? Your nervous system settling? Listen further. Can you hear your cells regenerating? The origin of where your breath reaches into you?
Go in. All in. Listen. Listen to what is agitating you. It too has a specifically attuned message. Take a breath and be with it’s melody. There is a song like intelligence in it’s honesty if we listen.
There is also a place where you are not identified with any stasis or melodrama, if that is what you heard. Listen for this also. This tone has a regulated message and a sound frequency. There is metastability within all of your pulsations, inviting you to go even deeper still, behind it all.
There is a non- superficial sound that is always resounding within you. We can train ourselves to go deeper and deeper yet, behind it all, to the back of the mind, behind the prefrontal cortex, underneath any excessive, persistent pulse or superficiality. There is a place untouched within you that is poignantly honest.
Once the truth is heard within, it is heard throughout. If we do not pause to hear it each day in regulation, unstable, inaccurate fabrications grow, discords play out, and we resonate with or invent illusions.
Eventually our thoughts become our words, and our words, our actions. Thoughts, words, and acting may seem separate, but only for so long. What is replayed within you will eventually come out of you.
Listening is the most substantial and subtle expression of our being. Listening will always precede telling the truth. There is no other way to tell it. Telling the truth is the result of listening. It is language of harmonization. Tuned to both listening and truth telling, our instruments, voice and being will resound sacred sound.
Sound Baths are one of my favorite offerings. I love being connected to resonance of these crystal bowls, planetary gongs, tonal drums, Tibetan bowls, wind chimes and high-calibration instruments.
I cherish studying and sharing Sanskrit and singing for others in service and for my own healing and artistry. This language resonates with me more than any other. But there is something even far more important than these things as to why I am so drawn to this art: Listening.
Listening is the most important sensory organ of perception for a musician and us all. As all humans and animals communicate one way or another, we are all instruments and musicians. We are all walking notes, cord arrangements, vibrational frequencies and tunes.
We each resonate at a very specific frequency according to what we are currently in tune with in this moment. We are perpetually playing and recording melodies in our thoughts as well as our memories, what we say, and in the message we give off by our actions. This is heard down to a cellular, genetic and causal level.
Sound eventually becomes matter. For this reason, it does matter.
What are the conscious ways in which you listen and create daily? Are any subliminal, unconscious messages entering in, unfiltered?
I love Sound Baths as we are absorbed in what we listen to and often filter out what does not resonate with our vibratory field any longer. True listening means to focus, be totally present, and initially withdraw all other movements and thoughts to the commitment of one sound, just as a Sound Bath is, until all actions become one.
I find listening, good music and honest speech interrelated.
I have been offering Sound Baths since 2010. I am not really all the way sure where I thought of doing Sound Baths, beyond being donated giant crystal bowls, teaching yoga and living in New Orleans, where melodies live in the air. There weren’t any Sound Baths in my world, and I had never heard of one until providing one.
I began envisioning after some travels to the East that since music and sound are expressed as sacred medicine, that I could create a sober, intentional, still and mindful setting in my own studio where no one talks while captivated by music meant for recalibrating consciousness.
Refining our appreciation and presence with music is a form of intentional action.
Because Sound Baths are so subtle, they promote pausing, being sensitive to the vibrations around us, and noticing how their message can affect or prioritize our listening and speech with more honesty. It makes sense. It’s not like we can really separate these components.
Clear articulation in all forms can only have come from having listened first. We can’t just be good storytellers, talking at others, as sound requires the dynamic harmony and mutual reciprocity of relationship, where the other gets their turn, and they get to speak, while you listen. We also can’t just keep taking in all of the information that we now have access to more than ever in this world. We must process and filter it, or it will overload our fragile systems. Sound Bath’s are one of many ways for holding a clear space for us to process all the things we hear.
Telling the truth is like a timeless, classic song. It remains with you far longer than anything hurtful, if we give ourselves the chance to no longer concretize their effects.
Listening absolutely requires that we get to the source of something, which is striking. We investigate, and we investigate that even with more inquiry until it is crystal clear. Intuition will then single pointedly and strikingly reverberate meta-stability. Listening is the absorption of remembering the most important and most original thing beyond the many things that in the end are not going to matter to you.
Listening within can be challenging if something is disturbing. It may be why we often escape these things by creating more noise and more stories, doing anything we can to keep moving, escape and distract ourselves with distortion or lies, and eventually create an unstable, highly fluctuating life.
“Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality only brings perfect peace. When I am upset, it is only because I have replaced reality with illusions which I made up. The illusions are upsetting because I have given them reality and thus regard reality as an illusion.” -A Course In Miracles, Lesson 52
When we are not listening within, we easily lie to ourselves. Like static, lies understandably and insidiously engender fear and insecurity in us and in others as there is no grounds for trust or safety. Without listening, which is an act of attentive loving and acceptance.
Listening is the first component to one of the most powerful tools any of us has as humans: Our voice. If we do not say how we feel or what we mean, we are misleading. Listening extends clear speech effortlessly as the greatest gift we can offer another.
When we poison our speech, it lowers the vibrational field of our bodies and the atmospheres of those we share it with.The measure of our closeness or distance to another, to groups, or to our life experiences is equal to our level of communication with them.
Extending the truth comes from being clear about what it is that we want. Nonetheless, we are transmitting that daily no matter what, consciously or unconsciously.
“Music can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.” -Leonard Bernstein
When I play tuning forks that are calibrated to bring the beta, alpha, theta and delta waves of the brain into homeostasis for a more efficient synapses of the neuron-communicators. The vagus nerves, which regulates the parasympathetic nervous system, are the command center of communication to the brains waves. The two vagal nerves are in charge of a refined orchestration of the gut, mind, and heart existing in concert with one another.
The heart has more neurotransmitters than the brain, and yet when the brain is loud, it may shut down the vagus nerves’ communication to the heart and gut. This can over stimulate more sympathetic response, which by nature is louder, and related to the beta wave’s critical mind dominance over calm and the emotionally or defensively charged pre-frontal and primal cortex.
Coming back into concert with ourselves means there is an entire orchestration of harmony in all of the systems of the body, be it the nervous system, hormonal system, or digestive system, in assisting blood flow, temperature, muscle tone, metabolism and the reciprocal play of alertness and calm found in the hypothalamus. A loss in the interrelationship of the autonomic nervous system will lead to physical, mental, and emotional imbalances.
Sound Therapy talks to our nervous system naturally and specifically in an original and non-encased language. These instrumentations have little to no narrative, which can be helpful in getting chaos or cacophony to collapse softly. In Sound Therapy, specific hertz measured instruments and high in consciousness mantras break up frozen or cemented thoughts in the amygdala from their sympathetic holdings.
With intentionality, these sacred sounds, entered in while listening, can break into disharmony. Imagine an inner world with no noise. That is what a Sound Bath activates in you, so that you more optimally choose a radio station for deep and honest listening. Hearing the simple truth means it is more likely you might tell it.
What I have found after a Sound Bath is that worry, myopic and low-grade thoughts dissolve on the faces of those that participated into a landscape that sheds serenity, both creative and intelligent.
We are our own stereophonic bliss. My Sound Therapist and Teacher, John Beaulieu, stated that he found measurable amounts of nitric oxide can increase from high calibration instruments, which is an opiate molecule that brings on a natural pleasure and heightened immunity secretion within us in the thymus, along with a healthy level of melatonin. And so yes, a very real dream state is often a result of living in a well grounded truth.
The quickest way into the brainstem is through sound. Humans both process and produce sound. We can choose to upgrade or degrade our frequency through what we say, what we do, and what we listen to.
If we allow sound and speech become a mystical event again, we naturally refine our taste for what we will say and how we respond. Since degrading sounds can be vague, evasive, hurtful, deceptive, and unclear, there are also simply some things we no longer care to listen to.
Simultaneously become the instrument, music, musician, and the audience. The truth is found in you and your focus on listening.
Join me for a Sound Bath. We can practice listening to the truth together.
In listening, Swan Michelle
Your listening and your speech is your form of prayer.