Not too long ago I had the pleasure of offering a yoga and sound healing event with my friend Cindy Shaw. It was in a beautiful little yoga studio over at the Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley, and we combined some simple warm-up exercises for both the body and the voice - humming.....not demanding that anyone be a singer! Then Cindy took the participants through some simple yoga poses, suitable for anyone, while I played my gongs. This was followed by each participant getting an individual "tune up" with Tibetan bowls and tuning forks. Then we ended with me singing a simple , beautiful chant, accompanied by my shruti box (pictured on the floor next to Cindy.)
The whole time I kept thinking of how blessed I am to be able to live in this space of sound and silence, and to find people who value the healing powers of sound and silence. In a recent podcast by Krista Tippet, Gordon Hempton - an "acoustic ecologist" (he collects sounds from all over the world) said that silence is an endangered species. I agree. It's hard to find anywhere that doesn't have sounds that are generated by human beings, and this got me to wondering - what effect does constant "noise" have on our health? Does it matter?
Turns out that it does, which is at least partially why all the research shows that meditation has tremendous health benefits - from reducing stress, to lowering blood pressure, to helping with insomnia, to pain control. Meditation is a discipline which helps us to control our inner noise. You know what I'm talking about - that constant chattering that goes on in your head....and not all of it pretty....
What if there was a way to turn that inner noise off - at least for a while? (And I'm not talking about replacing it with TV - more noise!) What would it feel like to you to be free of that inner critic... that inner judge.... that worrier, planner, organizer, detail-oriented, down-to -the-last-detail-gotta-get-this-right person? Who would you be without that person? Could it be that there's tremendous freedom that lies in that place?
I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this. Scroll down and leave a comment. What do you do to turn off the inner noise?