Deep listening is an effective method of alleviating stress. When I decided to meditate, I ensured I was in a comfortable environment-quiet and serene. A quiet and serene place boosts meditation thus enjoying the art of deep listening and reflection. I chose an open porch that is near the flower garden. I placed a chair on the open porch of our house because the place reminds me of the great memories I have had with my family. In this case, I chose to undertake the activity in the morning as this is how I love starting my day. I began by closing my eyes then took many deep but slow breaths as I focus on the cycles of my breath while sitting in silence with my back straight; my arms and shoulders relaxed, placing my hands on my lap.
A personal touch started by imagining a color that I loved and imagining it flowing through my body from my head to my toe. Slowly, I repeat the mantra "I am going deeper, one, I am going deeper, two, I am going deeper and deeper, three." Doing so, the body feels relaxed. I mostly count my breaths and avoid any thought that tries to come in while I do so. I did this repeatedly until I began feeling more relaxed and focused. Immediately, I let my mind be free without focusing on anything other than the sounds and smells that surround me.
I heard the sound of my neighbor chopping down a tree in their compound and then remember myself at my great grandfather's cabin. I remembered the house being without indoor plumbing, having a wood stove and the horses neighing from the barn. I remembered myself going there to spend three weeks in the woods. I spent time with my great grandfather sleeping outside under the stars. Every day we would leave peanuts on the porch and wake up seeing squirrels eating them. This made me nostalgic and began missing my late great grandfather.
As I went on to listen, I could hear the sound of the microwave oven in the house warm food with the timer set for around five minutes. At that time, I then remembered that I should pack my lunch early so that I remember to carry it this time because I forgot to carry it three days in a row. I remember myself getting to work feeling as if I forgot something and then realize about it at lunchtime and watch my workmates have a long conversation at the office microwave oven while the aroma of food made me hungry. It made me feel sad that I forgot it three times in a row and kept on making it a resolve every lunchtime to remember tomorrow.
Later on, as the microwave timer ended, I then remembered my colleague ending it before time only to see the food remain cold and became the day's laughing stock. The initial feelings of sadness I had felt stopped and I felt consoled and relaxed.
While in this session, a big challenge I had was having the patience to sit through the entire session while feeling I could be doing something else important. However, with time I learned to be patient when I feel like that. By counteracting these instances of impatience, I realized that it will help in efficiently facing any problem with patience and this has put confidence into this method. I went on to use this in my activities for the rest of the day and realized the essence of being patient with my activities. In addition, as I continued doing the activity, I worked to reach a point where I was in a state of balance and relaxation. It is important for me to make sure that I reach that calmness and learn to make it even deeper. Therefore, I learned how to exercise diligence that helps to achieve internal balance and relaxation.
Moreover, I counted the number of times that I have had the intention to meditate but wanted to do something else instead. I counted them to be twelve, highlighting the need to change my perception of the experience so long as I tune my mind to focusing on the sounds.
Nevertheless, another challenge that I feel is that at that point of relaxation, I might doze off. I made sure to remain rested and relaxed but avoid falling asleep as being awake for the entire experience went on to help me to unwind my day. In addition, I feel very contented after my daily meditation session and this inspires me to do so next time.
I personally believe that my experiences while meditating are in harmony with John Cage's perception of sounds to be musical. According to John Cage, music is not really about the composer, it is about the sounds. An example, John Cage's experience with sounds is depicted during his visit to a chamber at Harvard in 1951 that was padded with foam with the intention to absorb all the sounds and maintain an aura of silence. However, despite being there, he sat and listened, and he could hear the whooshing of his own blood. It is there that he made the realization that there is truly no true silence. In sum, I enjoyed the experience as it enabled me to relax, and enabled me to reminisce. In addition, the ability of the sounds to create a flurry of emotions was fascinating thus creating vivid memories based on sounds.
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