Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hearing Meditation to Increase Sound Sensitivity

Meditation has been used for thousands of years to increase awareness and can be used prior to echolocation practice to help open the mind and become more sensitive to intricacies of your “soundscape”, or the sounds around you. The goal is simply to listen intently to everything around you and process it all at one time. In essence, hear all the sounds around you as if they were all one sound. Essentially, they are. The vibrations that have come from each object, event or person making sounds all culminate in your ear drum as one finite amount of fluctuating pressure that is then registered by your brain. Your brain will work hard to process this one sound and break it up accordingly, based on where it knows the sounds to be coming from. The brain will break up the clock from the birds, from the wind, from people talking, your own breath, etc. Let’s give the brain a break for a moment and just experience the raw input of sound pressure coming into the ears.

First, sit in a comfortable place, in a position that suits your body – sitting, kneeling, lying down etc. Before “trying” anything, just take 10 deep, relaxed breaths and let your heart rate slow down as you relax and find comfort in your seat. Then start listening for all the sounds you can hear. It’s okay to focus on the sounds one at a time to start – in fact, focus on the loudest sound you can hear, and then find the second loudest. Count as many sounds as you can in the order that you notice them. Once you have found the next slightly quieter sound, listen to it for 20-30 seconds and then scan for something even quieter or more distant. This exercise will sensitize your ears and help you increase awareness of your environment.

After finding as many sounds as possible, now try listening to them all at once. Try to stop thinking “that’s the clock” or “there goes another car”, just be mindful and allow them all to congeal as one sound wave and listen to that sound wave. Once you have come to allow all of the sounds to come together, it should seem more like a song than each of these things individually. This song is a representation of the power of the current moment. By listening to this song you will start to realize the power in every moment throughout your day. Each moment is powerful in its own way, and it is up to you to realize that and make the absolute best of it. Don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes doing this as it is easy to lose focus unless you are accustomed to longer meditation. In addition to helping improve and sensitize your ears, hearing meditation can be otherwise very rewarding in that it can give you a sense of relaxation, focus and confidence. Being mindful of yourself and your surroundings can eliminate attachment to physical things and emotions that may be connected with people and things around you. Release all hatred, resentment, frustration, longing, pain and suffering and consider the beauty of the present moment and the “song” that describes it.

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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