Fall is a new season filled with marvelous colors of brilliance and natural purity everywhere. While sitting on Kelly Drive, in Philadelphia, PA getting in touch with sound effects and change around us became more and more apparent. The ultimate summer to fall mental and emotional yoga retreat and transition is the fusion between the environment, nature, movement and all that is beautiful, sunny and real on the planet.
We spoke about hearing the call towards one’s inner life of goals and truthful expressions. Reflection of the five universal elements of nature were discussed inclusive of earth, water, fire, air and space. Some of us did gentle yoga postures, breathing or meditation in connection with our organic environment.
Enjoying the outside the conversation turned to everyday noises. Safe in nature, hearing chirping sounds inclusive of other natural sounds bouncing off of our ears, we spoke of the city. Avoiding unnecessary noise is a healthy strategy, although nonjudgmental hearing as a focal point for attention and moment-to-moment perception allows for more strength, yet sensitivity, when we hear certain sounds.
A typical city day would create a loud humming of cars everywhere, huge trucks and machines picking up garbage or plowing, and too many squirrels on the roof. At night the loud noises of motorcycles, kids who drink too much, and over-stimulating sounds may keep us up. Other sounds include a hissing water heater, airplanes in the sky, the horrible whine of sirens, kitchen noises, or muffled voices that we’re able to hear.
What does one do? Practice tuning into the process of breathing and mindfully shift your focus to your sense of hearing. Allow noise to circulate around you without getting involved. Observe, yet work on developing awareness that allows you to detach, and not be triggered by, noises and sounds that are uncomfortable. Stay non-clinging in awareness to sounds that are annoying. Keep your sensory awareness in the present moment and be aware that all of these sounds are temporary in nature. Even the cars are quieter at night.
Develop clear hearing of the mind. Keep stillness and serenity in the midst of whatever sensations are confronting you. Challenge yourself to silent seated meditation, bringing restraint to your ears.
“There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens. With wandering talk it closes.” . . .”Only Breath” by the famous poet Rumi.
In conclusion the group visualizing the upcoming fall coolness, vividness and breeze, knew the importance of the breath, balance and muscles moving through the vehicle of yoga.
Enjoy the sounds and the noises. Remember, you can always live in the suburbs or move to the quietness of the country!