Listening by contemplating on the source of the ear organ is the recommended practice for this era because only sound can be heard through walls and all around. You can practice all hours of the day; even while you’re asleep or deep in a dream, you can hear sounds, including the sound of silence. The sound of silence is a sound with a source in you who hear. You first notice sounds in movement and stillness, then you realize that the object of sound neither comes into being nor ceases.
Instead of listening to the wisdom of others, why not listen to that which listens? Contemplate: who is it that listens? Listen until even listening ceases.
It helps to know that you are on track with your practice, Here are 3 similes in Mahayana Buddhist texts that enlightened beings often employ to describe mostly indescribably states of mind.
1. Find an uninterrupted period of time, whether five minutes or an hour.
2. Find a quiet place that you can hopefully establish as your sacred space for regular practice.
3. Sit down on a cushion or your bed. It helps to have a cushion or pillow below your buttocks. Sit with your legs crossed.
What types of sounds do you tend to notice? Pleasant sounds or unpleasant sounds? Music or noise? Loud sounds or white noise?
A preeminent Chinese Buddhist teacher, Master Jiaoguang, developed some illuminating and useful categories of sounds for people who practice listening as a meditation. Check and see if you…
1. Listen for the sounds around you now: people’s voices, TV, music, cars, chirps, breeze. . . Stop what you’re doing. For three seconds, still yourself and hear what’s around you.
2. Listen for the sound of silence. Turn off any noise in your control. At a time when all’s…
Typically, we reject contradictions. Buddhists, however, embrace a number of oxymora that serve as levers for opening into profundity likened to light at the end of the tunnel. The unexpected folding into of what is unfolding, and the unfolding of that which is enfolded bend our conscious mind so that…
Part IV of Meditating on Sounds:
Listening Your Way to Enlightenment
An excerpt from Master Jiaoguang’s treatise on The Shurangama Sutra:
As for the times when there is only stillness and silence, the nature of hearing feels even more boundless. Listening makes evident the entity that can hear. When we can…
Am I Listening Correctly?
Sounds cannot be eliminated. No matter where you are or how quiet it is, there are sounds that cannot be eliminated. The “sound of silence” can therefore be acknowledged as an impossible-to-eliminate sound, the sensory object of quietude.
Knowing the different types of sounds,…
With What We Do Not Listen
First of all, “the nature of hearing” is not in or with the physical ears. This nature of hearing is fundamentally the sea-like consciousness that stores all karmic interactions. It is the single entity with six functions, of which include the seeing of the eyes,…
According expert meditator and teacher Jiaoguang of China’s Ming dynasty, meditators must get to know our illusions well before we may experience bursts of insight.With regard to the types of sounds for those who practice hearing as a form of meditation, Jiaoguang elaborates:
There are sound categories of…