Welcome to the fourth day of our seven-day practice in which we expand our capacity to listen. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Read the practice below and carry the invitation with you through your day. You may find it meaningful to explore the practice in the moment, and we encourage you to integrate it into your daily life as you explore the question: What happens when I make myself fully available to listen within and around me?
“That is where my dearest and brightest dreams have ranged — to hear for the duration of a heartbeat
the universe and the totality of life in its mysterious, innate harmony.”
~ Hermann Hesse
Today we explore the ways in which whole-bodied listening affects how you take in complexity. Experiment with listening to both individual parts of a whole and the whole itself. With something more pieced together, such as a piece of music or art, it may be easier to take in the entirety; in this case, try to tune into the pieces – the individual instruments or brush strokes – that contribute to the fullness. With something more fragmented, such as a busy street, it may be easier to tune into individual parts – in this case, see if you can take in the whole.
Feel the reciprocity between the voices of individual parts and the one voice that emerges from many. Where is there harmony? Where is there dissonance, and how might it serve the harmony? Remembering that the chorus resounds through each individual voice, and that each voice is amplified through the chorus, how are you moved? How might this perspective inform all areas of your life? How might it support your capacity to navigate and even gratefully embrace the complex systems that comprise life?
Deepening the Practice
For an experience in deep listening, try joining this group of museum visitors gathered at The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, as they participate in Pauline Oliveros’ 3-minute Tuning Meditation.
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
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The Tuning Meditation is fascinating 🙂 and reaches so far inward that one cannot help but become involved with the whole body resonating
I walk my dogs each morning. Because they are ‘sniffers’, it allows time to look, something I have not done before I found Br David. Everyday lately I have become more aware of the ‘little things’ – tiny beetles by the hundreds climbing in a bush! taking photos of small parts of plants and trees. Feeling the hairs on my arms expand to catch the atmosphere on my body as I stand and participate in the ‘sniffing practice’ lol. And yesterday, we (my dogs and I) stood, watched and felt the wind movements & sounds in the trees and around us (or at least I did, my babies were busy sniffing 🙂 ). This morning it has been raining gently and the birds are singing and chirping happily, lovely. And the sound of the car tyres on the wet road as they drive past, somehow lends a comforting and securing feeling as I sit inside my home typing this. All this I have taken for granted, some thing noticed in the past yes, but not appreciated. Thank you for the exercises 🙂
This was such an honor to be with others as we individually used our voices to harmonize with the group.. My prayer is that we can each offer what we have from our hearts and voices to help this world heal.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves…
What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you…
An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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