Cleanse & Chill

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.”

 

There’s always Rumi to fall back on …

“In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”

 

Here’s Crystal Bowls & Piano artist, Ms. Amano immersed in sound checking her own crystal bowl she lugged over from Japan, relative to this particular tone of a bowl found here.So happy to get to accompany an artist so PASSIONATE about her craft … wish I could encapsulate that kind of energy she exudes into a little bottle and save it as a little elixir for those days when one feels dull and listless – don’t we all have those moments?  How do YOU overcome that kind of a slump?

 

One of the reasons so many people are suffering from stress is not that they are doing stressful things but that they allow so little time for silence. 
― John O’Donohue,

Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom 

 

Reading the above, it’s not about setting yourself up in a sound-proofed hideaway  – have you really sat still and really listened – there is no such thing as silence – there are sounds, noise all around us – In urban setting the city may never sleep and there may always be that buzz, that drone, that white and all colors of noise … Then, in nature, there are sounds of birds, critters, leaves and trees rustling, winds … Antarctica ?  Never been there but have heard that it’s quite noisy with sounds of ice melting … is it a cracking sounds or sinking sounds … I wonder … there’s always sounds of your own breath, sounds of your own heart beating … sounds of your own rivers within that flows and streams of babbling brook water that’s all within our own landscape … there is faint … sounds … everywhere … if you seek silence.   It’s not that we are looking for the vacuum vortex of nothingness … but a pause … a moment of – respite.  If the “silence” is filled with sounds – vibrations – that sound sealed as a mantra is clearing, cleansing, relaxing and … energizing.

There’s a school founded by late Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama whose study of human consciousness, sub-consciousness & super-consciousness inspired certain Californian yogis like Sarah Powers and Paul Grilley, master teachers, to find the practice of Yin yoga.  It’s amazing that this school now has a certificate program in sound healing.  Here if interested.  Dr. Motoyama’s books on Chakra theory is mind-opening – there’s that Ahhh-HAHH moment – an epiphany when you read them.  We talk about inanimate objects vs live objects … what is the difference?  It’s all about … the energy that the image, object … a thing is filled with.  If there’s energy rippling throughout you, there’s a spark … expressed through a sparkle in your eyes, crisp fresh voice, face that is animated and expressive … there’s … an aura we each emit expressing our level of energy.  And some of us, attuned, may feel that as a “vibe” or “resonance” or just plain … premonitions, intuitions and … feelings.

The sound of chimes, drums, crystal and Tibetan bowls … beautiful strumming on strings … beautiful voices, chorus …lullaby, simply humming and sweet whispering … all carry that vibrations and echos that calms our nervous system.  When you surround yourself with that kind of sounds, then you will finally hear the silence – there’s that intermittent silence, there’s that pause between the sounds that is quiet and eternal … that silence …we can tune into when we are patient with ourselves.

I am aware of some people who have issues with hearing from too much noise – if fact,

  • It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.
  • 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.
  • 1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings.

(excerpt from World Health Organization)

Not referring here to hearing loss due to aging – referring more to hearing loss among the young due to excessive use of headphones, earphones, blaring music for extensive duration of time.  Same goes for some gyms, movie theaters, concerts … with the more the better mentality to wipe out distractions – louder the better; more intense the better; heavier and deeper the better; edgier the better … really?  Does the volume really have to be set at the highest and the loudest?  Same goes for people – is the loudest, the one who makes the splash and hit the highest tone, the wisest?  We have the full range of tonality within … sometimes we are drawn to the quiet one who exudes noble sense of calm – that all-knowing seer that one is able to evoke … is within each of us if we only peer within to uncover the power we have within.

We work hard each day – I don’t really know anyone who is not working hard each day in his or her own way … sometimes, we deserve the quiet peace to regain; reunite; renew with the best version of ourselves which we all have within waiting to find expression outward in a meaningful way.  That quiet time is to be dedicated to reveal why we are here, living this life, that time of meditation is forgiving in allowing us to rediscover what’s possible when the whirling noise, the confused debris, the dark sediments settles to the bottom … so that we can again, see with clarity and act with intentions. To find that distilled essence of you who is pure, strong and kind.

That’s the practice I myself seek and that’s the practice I want to share because I feel it’s of most value … and rewarding … living this busy demanding life filled with whole range of emotions …embracing them all as we wish to be happy and free:

“May we live like the lotus, at home in muddy waters.” – Buddha

 

 

 

 

 

To the enraged girl

Okay, so to a woman who shrieked in fury – cursing xo#%*gh!! then yells “This place is driving me crazy!!! ” all because when she pressed the soap pump, the soap did not come out.  She appeared to be in her 40’s or maybe she’s in her 30’s but with such emotional outburst, add a quick 10 years in the aging process.

Another woman witnessing this angry woman nearby and my rolled eyes met mid-air and we both looked at each other for mutual assurance –  it’s really not so bad, is it? – I had to comment “Life is Good”. Shrug. With a quiet nod, the other woman and I agreed. There are rough spots though, sure, but …

We both stared at this furious woman apparently enraged because the soap did not come out when she pressed the pump – each other thinking the same – what’s with this woman having a breakdown over such trivial occurrence.  It’s just life. Your mother might have said – there are starving children in some parts of the world including some parts of this great country and kids with no soap in detention centers and you are losing it over this?  Can you just count your blessings, girl?  (have no right to be judgy I know… everybody has a bad day but … it’s only 9am)

Then as I quickly left the scene, the dark negative vibe being too much to bear – I felt  that heavy vibe working like a repellent where she stood – nobody wanted to be in her space.  Yet, though once out of the toxic space she occupied,  I started to feel a deep sense of compassion for her.  Anger is usually a manifestation of … fear.  What is it that she fears?  Initial disdain for someone going into hysterical rage over such little matter, then, turned to concern.  What made that woman so angry over such a little matter ?  Obviously, in her world, it’s not a small matter. Maybe it’s yet another insult to injury for her that particular morning ? A built-up of betrayal of expectations – cumulative effect of things not quite going exactly as she anticipated when this one little bump took her emotions over the threshold of tolerance? So maybe it really wasn’t about the soap or lack of it (actually there are many sinks so she just had to move over to one with soap – and maybe report the lack of it to the housekeeping…it’s cool).  Why does she have to fume over what I see as no big deal … Could it be that she is enormously … stressed?  Should we just shrug it off as PMS? Does stress have anything to do with your emotional health?  And due to chronic or acute stress, is she perhaps not well rested?

Could it be that she’s  really sleep deprived or has she been mistreated somewhere before she even got to this gym. OR ?  What? Speculations and possibilities abound in the multitudes when a girl makes such an impression with that primordial scream and rant. In public.

Anger is an emotion that when tapped into positively, really gets us to ACT to make changes.  It’s powerful and we are drawn to it for that reason – irritated and frustrated a two year old may rather just punch someone in fit of anger than … hold back and practice self-calming techniques to self-regulate and practice Ghandi like non-violence “Ahimsa”  – and we’ve grown up since those days in the playground fighting over toys and turns at a playground  – or have we not?  Anger politically can be the energy, the force to overthrow repressive, authoritarian government for example.  But anger, can also be channeled negatively as in road rage; abuse, grudge/revenge terrain of no-return … anger can be painful, destructive and unfortunately a self-perpetuating loop.

We have a choice – everybody gets angry when we feel that we are not respected but should one lash out against the less fortunate and the weak? Or even an inanimate object?

Is sleep deprivation making someone so cranky, popularly referred to as a … hot mess – more prone to breakdown over little challenges that we all face on daily basis ?  And is that sleep deprivation caused by thoughts that are incessant and nagging at her?  Is she unable to erase anxious thoughts ?  Is she feeling insecure, unstable (with emotions), or in any way … uncontrollably angry?

We own all our emotions and to have the full range of human emotions like a painting using full pallet of colors – is what makes life, each, so enriching – BUT – like weather patterns it changes; the color palette changes and we are that artist to design and create a different picture.  Best not to dwell and be consumed by the dark and hostile emotions but rather, find a practice to reconnect with your authentic true self of joy that is of birthright.  That Self is patient, loving, and … beautiful.  Hope she finds that beautiful Self within.

EQUANIMITY

If I had to offer one gift from practice of yoga, that would be cultivation of equanimity …  May she find that gift also – she only need to step out of the locker room, apparently driving her crazy –  into a studio down the hall to find some peace.  I promise that little monster inside you will be driven away once on the mat.  It’s an invitation.

We have a choice.

In how we respond.  We can be reactive to things not going exactly as we expected or planned.  We have a choice in how we respond to stress.  We can internalize it and suffer, grow more depressed and anxious as days wear on; we can be reactive and externalize it to destroy (things, people’s feelings, relationships, self-worth/image) OR I propose another choice – to accept and to connect with our inner strength and resources; then connect with others, our human tribe.  There’s kindness, there’s compassion in the hearts of many.  I have faith in our humanity.  Shift your perspective – If everything turned out exactly as we planned, how boring might that look like?  It’s then not a journey of unknown destinations full of surprises and new learning.  Rather now it’s a fake dream destination –  now just a tourists’ trap, just another mediocre program. measured and exacting with an end-result we coded like for a robot – I rather that – the life we weave is more textured, more lush, more enticing, more enriching, more and more … just so much more than that.

May you liberate your mind from toxic limitations where irritations and frustrations enslave your mind from acting out the heart’s true desire to be calm even in face of adversity – remaining kind, generous and abundant with … love.   Maybe shift the mindset to seize the unexpected moment as a teachable – learn-able lesson to better prepare for an adventurous road of life ahead.  That bumpy road is filled with joy as much as misery sometimes but … it’s one of many dream destinations.

It’s really not so bad – I can get you some soap.

If there’s a next time.

 

It’s crazy loud and Tokyo Shibuya-ish crowded as the vibe intensifies  … but you can still find peace within.  It’s always there within.  In a crowd.  In a loud turbulent place.  Anywhere.  Just reach inward and you will find it, that peace, that harmony that resides within.