Hearing and Being... in the Here and Now

Blissful Listening Man by Rosie

It's early... a cool morning after a torrential downpour yesterday and intermittent rain throughout the night last night. The rain has cleared out and the air is beautiful. All the windows and doors are open in my cabin.  I still hear moisture dripping from the trees, the sound of cars in the distance and the steady sound of crickets. There is a crow far away and other birds whose songs I have heard all my life but whose names I don't know.

Ten years ago I started writing a book on sound healing. I had gotten a good start on it but when I opened the center in 2005 I put it up on the shelf above my desk in my office, and there it sat. Everyday I would see the binder of the folder it was in and look forward to the day I could get back to it. Occasionally I would take it down and look through it and see if what I had begun was still relevant.  Seven years went by. All the while I was running the sound healing center, hosting events, giving sessions, teaching workshops and having other sound healers come in and teach as well.  Lots of people passed through the center for lots of different events, teaching and learning. I, however, was the one constant there! And because of that I gained a tremendous amount of experience and information and knew that when it was over I would have much more to write about- and I do. 

Yesterday I got my manuscript out again and started working on it which has brought me back to thinking non-stop about sound. I awoke this morning still thinking about it and observing the sounds around me.  I lay in bed in the quiet, my mind wandering.  Then came the birds. There was a crow close by and a seagull. I noted the different quality of sound in each of them.  I also noticed how every time one of them called out it would snap me into the present.  Sound has that ability- it brought to mind the mynah in Aldous Huxley's book Island. "Here and now, boys. Here and now." Only it doesn't need to be said because that is actually what certain sounds do- bring us back to the here and now. Some sounds take us out of the body. Some bring us back.

As I lay there not fully awake I would begin drifting off again at times and on some level became aware that I was in a semi-altered state.  [Right now off in the distance the National Anthem just started playing- a game at a school starting somewhere? It's exactly 8 a.m.] At one point it felt as if I was in a moving vehicle, a train perhaps? And my body was being carried along at an almost unnervingly high speed and then the sound of the crow would slice through my awareness and I was fully present, here and now.  I contemplated the movement and measurement of time and the development of devices for measuring time and how the use of clocks and the actual ticking away of the seconds has brought about, or reinforced, the need for control- and the illusion that we actually might have some control over time, over the events in our lives. And an obsession around it, maybe something like a collective neurosis, that has allowed a deep-seated fear of the future to surface. It is a fascinating thing to think about... how much energy is wasted worrying about not making deadlines, being late for appointments, being upset with other people for being late. For most of us our daily lives are ruled by the clock and the weeks and months that stretch before us neatly marked on a calendar. It is a frightening prospect. So many plans, so many disappointments, so many opportunities to let ourselves and others down.

A few years ago it hit me as I was driving over the Skyway Bridge (I remember the moment vividly) worrying about arriving a few minutes late for an appointment, that if we didn't have this obsession about being bound to the ticking of the clock, if we set our appointments and meetings by the movement of the sun and the moon and the stars we might be far more relaxed and less anxious. I thought, if I were to meet that person when the sun came up over a particular tree 5 minutes wouldn't matter at all.  And they wouldn't wonder where I was unless it rose high above the tree and I still hadn't shown up- and then maybe they would begin to wonder if I had fallen off my horse or been attacked by a wild animal in the woods.

How healthy is it to plan for the future? Is it an exercise in self-discipline or an exercise in futility? Or is it both- a gift and a curse? And where am I going with all this? A fast-moving train of thought!  Part of the gift is that when our fears come to the surface we have to look at them and try to understand where they are really coming from. What are we really afraid of?

A Course in Miracles has some beautiful passages on the purpose and passing of time, how we perceive it and how we choose to use it- essentially on behalf of the ego or on behalf of the Holy Spirit.
The following are excerpts from Workbook Lesson 135- "If I defend myself I am attacked."

    "A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own..."
    "A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve..."
    "The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think it will be provided for, unless it makes its own provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis, to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rest on the idea the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.
    "The mind that plans is thus refusing to allow for change. What it has learned before becomes the basis for its future goals. Its past experience directs its choice of what will happen. And it does not see that here and now is everything it needs to guarantee a future quite unlike the past, without a continuity of old ideas and sick beliefs. Anticipation plays no part at all, for present confidence directs the way.
    "Defenses are plans you undertake to make against the truth...
    "What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?"

And Lesson 194- "I place the future in the Hands of God."
    "God holds your future as He holds your past and present. They are one to Him, and so they should be one to you. Yet in this world, the temporal progression still seems real. And so you are not asked to understand the lack of sequence really found in time. You are but asked to let the future go, and place it in God's Hands. And you will see by your experience that you have the past and present in His Hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless.
    "Release the future. For the past is gone, and what is present, freed from its bequest of grief and misery, of pain and loss, becomes the instant in which time escapes the bondage of illusions where it runs its pitiless, inevitable course.  Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy instant, when the light that was kept hidden in God's Son is freed to bless the world.  Now is he free, and all his glory shines upon a world made free with him, to share his holiness."

Ainsi soit-il.
    So be it.