Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Dose of Pleasure Thursday – Sensory Pleasure: Sound

“How does your experience of one sense affect all the others? In addition to being the conduits of pleasure and pain, your senses are the midwives of intelligence.” --Michael J. Gelb

Did you have fun developing your sense of sight last week? Did you see things in a different way? I certainly hope so, because that's the point of all of these posts – to make a difference in your life by filling your pleasure tank.


Have you ever heard a song that causes you to get to your feet and start moving your body? Or perhaps you've heard a song that reminds you of a time in the past and completely changes your mood. Or maybe hearing your dog barking when you come home is a sound that brings a smile to your face. All of these examples of the power of sound. Sound can produce pleasure.



Becoming More Mindful of Sound Pleasure

Try this simple sound meditation. Sit in a comfortable position and take a deep breath in through the nose and let it out through your mouth. Do this a few more times to quiet your mind and relax your body. Now ask yourself – What do I hear right now? The sound of traffic, the tinkle of wind chimes, the wind blowing through the trees, a baby crying, a dog barking, a bird chirping, an airplane flying overhead...Stop and notice the sounds around you. Resist the urge to label the sounds as good or bad or judge them in any way. Just notice what you hear. Notice the sounds in the room you're sitting in and the sounds that are happening outside of the room, outside of the building you're in. The longer you sit in this meditation, the more you'll notice that life is a symphony of sound.



Make Noise

I won't get into a lengthy discussion about chakras here, but I say this – opening up the throat area and making sound is a good thing! When I work with yoga clients, I often have them make sounds during practice. You don't have to be a yogi to do this – just take a deep inhale and exhale with the sound of MA. You can do the same thing with the sound of AH. MA is a bit more calming and comforting while AH will liven you up a bit and open your heart. If this sort of chanting isn't your thing, try making sounds instead of using words to convey how you feel. When you're eating a delicious meal, let out an “mmmmmmmmmmm” and when you're shocked, sound out an “oh!” The more you practice vocalizing, the easier it will beocome to speak your truth.



For Your Hearing Pleasure

In addition to practicing the sound meditation and vocalizing, here are some other ways to enhance the pleasures that sound brings into your life:

  • Tibetan Singing Bowls (click here for a selection of reasonably-priced quartz crystal singing bowls) produce lovely sounds. One of my favorite things to do is put a singing bowl on my chest as I sound it so that I can feel the vibrations throughout my body. It turns into a sound and feeling funfest. If you don't want to shell out the money for a singing bowl or a set of them, try this fabulous Tibetan Singing Bowl iPhone application – it's the same wonderful sound at a fraction of the price.
  • Visit the online Temple of Sacred Sound for a fun, interactive journey through a variety of sacred sounds that will have you feeling uplifted in no time.
  • Calm your mind and visit your peaceful place with these music meditation videos from one of my favorite sources for healing sounds, Voices of Eden.
  • Enjoy healing sounds along with drumming beats in this free download from Sankofa Song.

  • Try these exercises that will help you experience the power of sound for yourself. You'll learn how to clear your heart, list, and expand your capacity to deal with life.



Play with expanding your ability to listen this week and notice how it raises your pleasure quotient. A pleasant side benefit of the practices listed here is that you'll also become a better listener. Improved communication leads to happier relationships which leads to more...you guess it...pleasure. Enjoy! Next week we'll discuss smell. Until then...


Have a pleasure-filled day,

Diane


Diane Cesa is a yoga practitioner and teacher, lover of life, tea drinker, adventurer, eternal optimist, nature fan, blogger and self-proclaimed pleasure maven.


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