(This blog is from the mystical side of my musical/spiritual practice)
I use music daily before meditation to awaken my relationship with the Divine, chanting sacred sanskrit verses with my harmonium. The effect is always uplifting, energizing and centering, but yesterday was revelatory. I could feel that within my voice was the connection I was searching for—a ribbon of sound through which I could commune with the mystical Beloved.
My heart opened in wonder. I never thought I could go deep with the sound of my own voice to such a degree. Not with the ego, “wow, my voice sounds great!” but rather enjoying from my soul beyond the ego. I connected deeply with the holy vibration of sound, and then into a stillness beyond sound in which the mystical Beloved resides.
Everything in this world is created from vibrations of energy, from seemingly solid matter to the more subtle waves of light and sound. Through sound, our voices have creative as well as connective power. When we create sound, we have the opportunity to attune with the cosmic creative energy that lies behind creation, which in my case that day was the mystical Beloved. This attunement to something greater than ourselves comes through intention, willing receptivity and focused attention, the same way a performer tunes and coordinates themselves to an ensemble around them.
As I finished chanting, I had a new thought:
Can I commune to the stillness beyond sound not only through singing, but also through any sound I make?
In meditation I practice Kriya Yoga, which involves focusing on a specific sound made with the breath. Could that sound work as well? Turns out it can. I was fascinated. My concentration grew.
I took it a step further and asked myself, “what is the vibration of absolutely stillness?” Usually my mind is active with stray thoughts or even the earworms of whatever music I’m learning. But I discerned that beyond even my thoughts and inner sounds lies a deep stillness that is not dead, but incredibly vibrant.
Intuitively I could tell that within this deep stillness is that which I’m looking for—the source of Divine Love that I ache for with all my heart. Between each thought, each breath, each note of mental music lies a whole ocean of stillness to explore.
I know with absolute certainty that I’m able to pull that stillness into my words, my voice, and my music. For behind every thought, behind every sonic intention, lies this sacred stillness. Even if you were to plunk out a single note on the piano, you’d need will power to place your hand on a key. Behind even that simple act of will can be a whole universe of deep experience.
Though it took me 23 years of meditation to get here, I hope I can save you some time! Try this:
- Sit with a relaxed, upright spine. Tense and relax the body to become very still, to not make any outward sound.
- Notice the activity in your mind: the verbal thoughts or echoes of music. Search for the stillness that lies behind them, like the backdrop of a scene or the silence of a recording studio.
- Ask yourself, “What is that stillness? What creates that stillness?”
- Dive as deeply as you can into this mystery, for what you truly seek lies within that stillness.
- Hold onto whatever tiny bit of stillness you can. Even a tiny drop of deep experience can powerfully color your creative speech and music.
- Pull that essence of stillness through your thoughts, sound, speech, and even movement. Infuse it into every word, every note from the very heart of your intention.
Dive deep. Enjoy what you find.