“A time that’s just time will let sounds be just sounds and if they are folk tunes, unresolved ninth chords, or knives and forks, just folk tunes, unresolved ninth chords, or knives and forks.”
John Cage

Listen today. Meditate with openness to the sounds you hear. Normally, sounds reach your ears and your mind responds with interpretation, classification, attraction, aversion, and other mental processes. This time, listen without responding to the sound, except to take it in. Perceive sounds without doing anything about them. If you hear a bird call, give up the need to classify the bird. Hear pots rattling, dogs barking, car horns honking, and give up the emotions that might come with the sounds.
Listen with your full attention.
What do you hear? Not what is the name of the thing you hear, but what is the sensation?

Closed eyes.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

In through your nose. Out through your mouth.

Be still. Sit up straighter.

Your head rests upon your spine perfectly balanced.

Breath rising. Breath falling.

Energy rising, energy falling.

Empty mind.


Be still.

What do you hear?

When mind drifts, bring it back to listening.

Just listening.


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© 2002 Tom Barrett