On the Path there are only steps (even pedaling a bike is a kind of stair-stepping motion). Misssteps? I don’t think so. Only increasing awareness as we twist and turn on our path.
Yesterday I took a ride on the bike path from the family home in West Tisbury, through the state forest out to the unbelievably cute little Martha’s Vineyard airport. On the way there I set an intention … to feel as if I was 15, when I used to ride a bike all the time.
One thing for sure about riding a bike –– from the perspective of the saddle, looking out over the handlebars, there is no difference in the view as seen by my 62 year old self and my 15 year old self. This is super powerful.
Riding a bike for me is a way to connect easily, and in a deep physical way, to that aspect of my essential self that lives and moves about here in this physical world. Bike riding is an important grounding practice for a me, a guy who is essentially an air-head (lol, a friendly swat at my interest in spacious stillness and not-doing / being).
But hell! There is a lot to do! And in this place the doing gets done by moving atoms around by one means or another.
Pedaling a bike is an activity that is nearly inactive –– the endless circular motion of the pedals, cranks, gears and wheels. The parts moving, causing forward motion, but staying in the same place relative to each other.
The bicycle, like N.O.W., is a lovely transcendence of duality. The bicycle looks like two wheels moving though space, but it offers an experience of Oneness –– oneness with the body, the machine, the earth and the air.
Yesterday I had a breakthrough. I’m a cyclist again!
Oh, a thought for the day? This morning’s reading from my deck of virtual cards:
Lau Tzu, The Tao Te Ching (as translated by Stephen Mitchell):
Act without doing; work without effort.
Think of the small as large and the few as many.
Confront the difficult while it is still easy;
accomplish great tasks by a series of small acts.
The Master never reaches for the great;
thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty,
she stops and gives herself to it.
If I was forced to use a label to describe myself I’d say I am a comfortably-lapsed Roman Catholic with a pronounced Taoist streak who has a lot of experience just listening.
But as Lao Tzu said: “The Tao that can be named is not the Tao”. lol.
During their development, the little “peace pucks” now called N.O.W. refused to be named for quite some time. This evasiveness to becoming form-limited by a name is one of the charming aspects of N.O.W. People call N.O.W. their “tone time”, their “tone pods”, their “peace pods” and even (one of my favorites) “God in a can”. All good.
I’ve written a lot about N.O.W. because, in part, I enjoy the process of attempting to use symbolic language to describe something that cannot be described –– to use words as “pointers” to that which cannot be named. But sooner or later it comes back to this: “just listen”.
As an audio product designer with a lot of professional experience listening and describing what I’m hearing I could describe ways in which you could listen to N.O.W.
I could talk about bringing your focus to the various acoustic aspects of N.O.W. as a substitute for the incessant, unwanted, problematic thinking you may wish to transcend.
Listening to N.O.W. we could focus on timbre (the pure sine wave tone quality) or the amplitude pulsation variations that are always changing. We could focus on the moment-to-moment pitch sequences that almost, but not quite, make melodic lines (see –– N.O.W. even evades being “melodic”) or we could focus on the ambiguous vertical pitch intervals (chordal information) that arise when multiple tones are played at the same time.
But none of that is necessary. We can just listen.
Without analyzing why N.O.W. is endlessly intriguing and effective at creating gaps between thoughts in which you are simply aware –– conscious, we can simply just BE with N.O.W.
“Just listen” is pretty close to “just be”. Because listening is not quite a “doing”, listening is a type of sensory awareness, and when we get to intentional sensory awareness we are just baby steps away from noticing we are aware. And who, or what, is noticing? We could say consciousness is noticing, we could say our essential self is noticing.
N.O.W. is like a personal short cut or secret passage around the traffic jam of your thinking mind –– a direct route that gets you back to your essential self much more quickly than years of meditative practice. Because so often meditative practice is treated as a “doing” and not as simply “being”. Repeating a mantra is mental doing, it is not being. Why not skip the doing and just be?
Well, I suppose the popularity of mantra meditation could be ascribed to the fact that many people don’t know how to just “be” without doing something. The egoic mind certainly does not like this. In fact, the egoic mind doesn’t exist during periods of “just being” –– the egoic mind only exits through thought. But even the egoic mind gets tired and lets its guard down. It stops thinking occasionally.
Transcending the noise and mental suffering of a busy mind begins with simply noticing when thought is not present. This is not doing, it is just noticing.
N.O.W. gives us something to notice –– pleasant, ever-changing tones that are not fixed in form. One doesn’t have to repeat a mantra, practice a tricky breathing technique, focus on a candle or even watch the stream of thoughts as they arise and evolve.
N.O.W.’s New Origin Waveform tones exist outside of thoughts. If one just listens with intent –– attentively, one cannot be thinking at the same time. And when we begin to be “aware of being aware”, when we experience our essential self as consciousness, we are participating in the ongoing evolution and blossoming of consciousness itself –– the eternal, infinite formlessness which cannot be named by symbolic language.
Now that is a great place begin life again and again each day.
N.O.W. is an acronym for New Origin Waveforms.
N.O.W.’s New Origin Waveforms help you experience “awareness of being aware” –– experience your essential self, increasingly free from thought. This is the essence of a spiritual practice –– simply awareness of formless being unencumbered by the constraints of your mind’s thought forms.
New Origin Waveforms are the special tones that are the heart of the N.O.W. Tone Therapy System. These special tones help relax you, help you remember the inner peace that comes when you remember your essential self, and, importantly, they provide their special help over and over again. The New Origin Waveforms help us begin to awaken –– again and again, after we’ve fallen back asleep into form-identification.
Moving from a “normal”, busy state of mind full of past and future-focused thoughts is a gradual process. Many people are not even aware they have an essence-identity (consciousness) beyond their thoughts. Others have embarked on a path that has been called “awakening” –– becoming increasingly aware they are consciousness beyond their thoughts. On this path they experience moments of thought-free awareness interspersed between longer periods of thought-bound existence.
During a 3 minute N.O.W. Tone Therapy Session the only thing one has to “do” (and it is not really a “doing”) is to simply listen, and remember to bring attention back to listening when thoughts arise and are recognized. The New Origin Waveforms help listeners to do this because they themselves are always beginning again in each moment.
Unlike a fixed-form musical composition with a definite beginning and organized development, N.O.W.’s New Origin Waveform tone sequences are always “just starting” and there is no logical or intentional development. Each tone cluster that arises in each moment is a new arrangement never before heard in exactly that particular way. There is sublime beauty in this. I experience this as forgiveness of the “past” and as an invitation to begin again.
To be human is to strive and to experience both successes and failings. Failing to meet a challenge successfully is simply an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to learning and growth. This also occurs during the challenges we face as we practice stilling our minds so that we can experience our true, essence-identity that exists beyond our thoughts.
During diffuse focus, “open monitoring” meditation (different than focused mantra meditation or verbally guided meditation) there will be periods of still mind and periods where thoughts have entered. N.O.W.’s New Origin Waveforms give the listener something to observe, and they function as a gentle reminder to let thoughts go as they arise and return again and again to: just listen.
Because the New Origin Waveforms are constantly beginning again and again, they demonstrate the essential “OK-ness” of returning to thought-free awareness of awareness, again and again. There is no “getting it right”, there is no “failure”. There is simply turning away from thoughts that arise and beginning again to be aware of being aware.
What does this sound like in the head?
I’m an audio product design engineer. I’ll use some language from the world of my work experience to describe the subjective states I experience while listening to N.O.W. Of course you’re a different person with different experiences, different perceptions and different ways of expressing yourself. So here is one person’s experience of a New Origin Waveform session.
I’m one of those beings that came into this world oriented to it through auditory perception. I’m endlessly interested in, and fascinated by, sound and listening to sound. And, as I’ve said before, when one is truly and deeply listening one cannot be thinking at the same time. Try it right now –– just stop reading and listen to whatever is going on around you. You will notice that for at least a few seconds you are not thinking. As your auditory focus weakens, thoughts will arise and your mind will soon be off following a new stream of thinking again.
When I begin a N.O.W. listening session I’m in a state of mild excitement or anticipation –– “what will N.O.W. do this time?” (unvocalized). This heightened, anticipatory state is experienced free of thought.
But before too long, I become aware of either fully-formed thoughts and sentences, or become aware of thoughts and sentences that appear to be trying to come into mind-audible form. This second category is particularly interesting –– the nearly mind-audible thoughts can be observed and abandoned before they become completely audible in the mind’s “ear”.
This shows me that there is a range of “audibility” of my mind’s mental activity. During some N.O.W. sessions I notice words, sentences, “I” / “me” / “mine” thoughts are attenuated. It is as if I have brought down the mixing board fader on the “thought channel” and these thought-sounds, while arisen, are not distinctly audible in my mind, they seem more distant, unclear and nearly inaudible. Because they have been attenuated they are not so clear and compelling. It is easier for my conscious self to simply ignore them and not become engaged with them.
But of course some thoughts arise that are SUPER COMPELLING and my mind becomes engaged and follows them around. This may go on for a second, a few seconds or in severe cases perhaps even a minute where I am “lost in thought”. No problem.
Eventually, something in the New Origin Waveform tones pulls me back to listening again and thoughts fall away. I find N.O.W. to be the most gentle and patient teacher. It simply says, “no problem with thoughts, just listen again”. I find N.O.W. helps me forgive the intrusion of thoughts and begin again and again to create a new now moment –– a new origin, free of thought imbued with the grace, joy and love that comes with recognizing my essential self –– consciousness.
Stage fright, pre-show jitters, self-doubt, envy, comparison, judgment, perfectionism, past regrets and future fears, hollow “accomplishments”, loveless relationships, drug and alcohol dependency … because we’re so open and creative, musicians and engineers experience the challenges of being human in acute ways.
Many of these sufferings brought me to a transformation that led to the development of the N.O.W. Tone Therapy System. I speak from experience when I say that N.O.W. can change your life for the better. N.O.W. can make your life as a musician, engineer or producer more joyous and profitable.
N.O.W. is Noise Reduction for Your Mind®
You see, your problems are not “out there” with people, the world, your instruments, your recording gear or space. No, the problem is “in here” –– in your mind, and in your heart.
N.O.W. is the gentlest teacher of this lesson: your essence identity is conscious awareness beyond thought. At your essence, you are what makes thought possible. You are what makes hearing possible. You are what makes singing possible. “You” are not: your stage name, the last song you wrote, the glowing reviews, your chart position, the money you make … you are consciousness beyond your thoughts and sense perceptions. Most people have forgotten this. They have forgotten the pure, joyous, is-ness of Being.
N.O.W. is a 3-minute mindfulness meditation system that helps you reconnect with your own inner peace and repose. And the more you remember your essence self, the more joy and true connectivity you will feel.
Isn’t that what we want to experience in our performances and recording work? To be harbingers of joy, to feel connected to ourselves and to others? To foster community?
N.O.W. is a Tone Therapy System that you as a musician, engineer or producer will really feel and know. N.O.W.’s reference tuning is based on Oneness (represented by “1″), transposed by octaves (the 2:1 relationship of the first two partials in the naturally occurring harmonic series) to arrive at C=256, then by cycle of fifth modulation and octave transposition to arrive at A=432.
C=256 (A=432) just feels right. Listen, and hear for yourself.
N.O.W. uses pure sine wave tones created by instruments I modified and tuned, then performed on –– while in a no-thought state of mind. N.O.W. is free from intention or idiomatic expression. N.O.W. is embedded with spacious stillness, the unformed spacious stillness from which all forms arise.
N.O.W.’s New Origin Waveform tone sequences always combine, in the air, to create a New Now Moment. Just like life, you will never experience N.O.W. the exact same way twice. Each listening session will resemble the last (like each day you arise you are still “you”) but it will be subtly and uniquely different.
As a result, listening to N.O.W. makes the present moment both familiar yet novel. So N.O.W. helps you learn to be more awake and aware of the present moment (the only moment you are alive) without the problematic thinking created by your striving, self-doubting, egoic mind chatter.
You’re smart. You’re dialed in. You know meditation is good for you. But you just haven’t gotten around to it.
N.O.W. was made by a musician / engineer who knows what it’s like in your head. I believe so strongly that N.O.W. can bring about positive transformation in your life that we offer a 3 month money-back guarantee.
If you listen to N.O.W. for 3 minutes, twice a day, for three months you will see an amazing shift towards greater insight, creativity, synchronicity, joy, ease and love.
You folks know me. You know I’ve always under promised and over delivered in my microphone work. N.O.W. comes from the place that made that microphone work possible.
I urge you to trust me again, take a leap of faith with no risk, use N.O.W. and see how it can help you realize what the Chinese sage Lau Tzu wrote in the Tao Te Ching: “Stop thinking, and end your problems”.
Or, if you prefer something closer to audio engineering … listen to N.O.W. and experience the benefits that come from Noise Reduction for Your Mind.
With gratitude for your years of support, Michael
We often forgot we have an essential identity beyond our name, actions, thoughts and form.
Many people live with near-constant suffering because they only know themselves by their name, actions, thoughts and form (body image). They have forgotten their essential, fearless identity and are frightened by a thousand masks of fear.
The apparent dualism we are called to transcend is that of the duality of two basic emotions –– love and fear. And one of them is not real.
Fear arises as an egoic response to the loss of awareness we are an essential, I AM, identity.
When we forgot we are Consciousness, that Consciousness is our essential identity, the egoic mind steps in to fill that vacuum. The ego says “no problem dude, I got this … you are (your name), you are (your job), you are (your relationship status), you are (your life’s story), you are (your aspirations), you are (insert any of the thousand ephemeral form-mask names)”.
Mistaking our identity for our name, actions, thoughts, relationship status or body image is going to bring on a world of fear-based hurt –– because all of those forms are limited and subject to change and eventual dissolution.
The ego is clever enough to keep switching up the masks of fear. As each mask-identity becomes unsatisfying the sufferer is compelled to chase one form-based identity after another –– a new job, a new relationship, a new car, a new city to live in … But the result is always the same, the dissatisfaction that eventually arises from the primordial egoic emotion –– fear of loss of identity.
Fear arises because the ego is smart. It knows all forms are limited, subject to change and will eventually dissolve. The ego uses fear to propel you to chase one form-identity mask after another.
But fear can also be a sign-post I AM Consciousness co-opts –– Consciousness uses fear to get your attention and let you know you have forgotten your essential identity, and have replaced it with a form-based identity.
But here’s a tip. Fear is not real. Fear is an egoic mind construct. That is why I said there is an “apparent” dualism between love and fear. This dualism only appears to exist because we think fear is a real thing. Actually, only love is real and enduring. Only love is experienced as an aspect of I AM Consciousness.
Doh, we were talking about N.O.W.
There is a very practical reason to remember we are I AM Consciousness –– because if we remember this, and know the essential generative emotion is love, then we are likely to perceive all situations as a means to extend and manifest more love.
Rather than misperceiving a situation from the perspective of the fearful, form-identified ego and reacting to preserve our fragile egoic identity, we can intentionally remain rooted in our I AM Consciousness identity, and see all situations as opportunity for loving growth rather than as another face of fear.
I AM Consciousness is great big generative “feed forward” loop (as we say in audio engineering).
When one is grounded in I AM Consciousness there is peace of mind. N.O.W. is a pointer to what this feels like.
N.O.W.’s ever changing New Origin Waveforms combine in the moment to create tone sequences that are never exactly like what was previously heard. There is similarity, and there is contrast to what came before. But there is no true difference between one N.O.W. session and any other. One N.O.W. Tone Therapy Session pretty much feels as uniquely peaceful as another.
This is an endlessly fascinating aspect of N.O.W. –– it is simultaneously different and the same.
I think N.O.W. may be a reflection of what love truly is: eternal, unchanging, yet forever manifesting in new ways. I AM Consciousness knows this. The fear-based egoic mind does not.
N.O.W. is an acronym for its aural neuromodulation technology (New Origin Waveforms) and its name is a reminder that life is not a journey that takes time, but rather is a process of continuous, instantaneous awakening.
Instantaneous awakening can be seen in the rise of serendipitous occurrences and positive life changes one increasingly perceives as a result of listening to N.O.W. and becoming more solidly located in the present moment. The appearance of “witnesses” (to use a term from A Course in Miracles) or Signal Graces (a Roman Catholic term) is due to a perceptual awakening –– becoming more awake to the “now” brings clearer perception of the interconnectedness of the forms of the world.
At first, the rise in serendipitous occurrences –– the chance encounters, the call from a person presently being thought of, the sudden answer to a question being pondered, the unexpected empowerment to accomplish what is needed to be done, the seemingly impossible bestowal of resources needed –– are completely unexpected and practically miraculous. With continued awakening to the present moment, serendipity becomes a normal, joyous way of life.
As an ephemeral construct and artifact of the brain’s processing power, the egoic mind tries to make itself real by misperceiving situations and turning them into problems that need to be reflected upon (past focus) or worried about (future focus).
These same situations could be perceived by the awakened consciousness as serendipitous occurrences. But the egoic mind needs the drama and suffering of past regret and future fear (always created through thinking –– words strung together in the mind over “time”) because lack of thought, which is the hallmark of true Presence in the now, means the ego does not exist.
This is how egoic thought, whether past or future focused, obscures I AM consciousness that perceives connections (serendipitous occurrences) that already exist.
Yes, the egoic mind becomes disillusioned and loses hope for success as it encounters the limitations and transitory nature of all forms. Our ego feels the negative effects of the false perception that we’re separate from our true self and from others.
But isn’t it curious that feeling disillusioned, hopeless or disconnected can only be experienced in the present moment? A Course in Miracles points out “A future cause as yet has no effects. And therefore must it be that if you fear, there is a present cause”.
I’ve noticed that if I have fear of the future it is caused by lack of faith and trust in the IS-ness of the reality of the present moment.
There appears to be a direct relationship between present moment awareness and joyous, serendipitous occurrences. And there also appears to be a direct relationship been past or future focused thinking and a feelings of separation, longing, stress and anxiety.
This leads me to believe that life is now –– not then, nor later on.
“Peace and faith will not come separately”
So says A Course In Miracles.
Yesterday my partner Alene and I were talking about trust and patience, patience and trust –– which comes first? We came to the conclusion they are joined, like peace and faith, as the Course points out. This feels right, transcendence of duality.
When we look at the sentence “Peace and faith will not come separately”, the word “peace” does not present a stumbling block. Who doesn’t in their heart understand what true peace is, and hunger for it? Now the word “faith”, that one is a bit more loaded …
… faith in what or whom?
Well, we could start to unpack “faith” by focusing on the present moment. One could use the IS-ness of the present moment as a portal to understanding faith and its relationship to peace.
If one accepts the “such-ness” of the present moment –– that the present moment already IS, then one tacitly has “faith” in the “rightness” of the present moment. By staying connected to the present moment, and continuing to accept the such-ness of it, one is extending faith outward to the so-called “future” and all the present moments to come (though in fact there only ever is one present moment) and this is experienced as deep inner calm –– peace.
Viewed from our limited perception here in a “time” and form-limited world, faith would seem to suggest one is placing hope or belief in an external, future-oriented system or form. But how could one be at peace if faith is taken out of the present moment and taken away from our own inner agency? How can there be peace through belief in a mental fantasy (thought form) or some external form-system when we know all forms are unstable and impermanent.
So faith does not have to do with a “belief in God” or any other form to take care of our shit down the road.
Faith is the present moment acceptance of the facts of the moment as they are now, and in the rightness of the moment-to-moment arising of new facts. Faith is the acceptance that each and every moment “to come” will be as it is –– and it is right (because it already is). Faith is the belief that the present moment (all the “time” we ever experience) cannot be other than what already is, and can never be other than what it is.
The egoic mind finds this to be completely unsatisfactory.
The egoic mind, that emphemeral troublemaker living in our brains, is always seeking assurance that the “future” will be to its liking, that the future will give it what it wants. This is why the egoic mind has no true faith –– the ego is smart, it knows there really is no future and that only the present moment exists. But to accept this reality means the death of the ego, as it only exists by using mental thought-forms to ruminate on the “past” or the “future”. Absolute, conscious presence in the present moment does not take time, nor egoic thought. The ego knows this and hates this.
So the ego attempts to turn faith into a future-based system it can believe in. Whether the system is called “God”, “Science”, “Progress”, “Democracy” or “Communism” … the ego want to believe, “to place faith in” some supposedly infallible system that is somehow going to satisfy its desires “in the future”. This is not faith. This is delusion.
This is delusional for two reasons – the first is that the “future” does not exist. The second is that some external form (by definition “forms” are limited, and by example we see they are impermanent) is going to be permanently satisfying. It cannot, and will not, be so.
You can try a little experiment yourself. Picture some desired outcome “in the future”. Notice the gap between your current situation and the desired outcome. Notice how your egoic, form-identified self does not know how to make that desired “future” happen. Notice the unease that arrises when the ego realizes it is powerless to affect “the future” that does not, nor will not, ever exist.
Notice how the ego’s “faith” in its own meager ability to affect the future wanes. Notice how the ego turns to external support systems (“God”, religion, science, politics and politicians … ) in a willful attempt to manifest its desires through “faith” in a system. It is never long before all of these form-systems disappoint –– look at the constant back and forth of independent swing voters … first they vote for a Democratic president, then they vote for a Republican, only to be disappointed in their chosen savior no matter the party affiliation.
True faith only exists in the present moment within you. It is not a cheap parlor trick, some sleight of hand to assuage the egoic mind’s desire to “know” and be delivered to safety or completion in the future by an external belief system.
Far better than the egoic practice of dreaming of the future and placing faith in external systems would be to allow your consciousness to awaken and to allow the richness of each moment to blossom.
Do not just dream of some meager future meal with its unsatisfying crumbs. But instead enjoy the feast of the present moment and feel the satisfaction of peace and faith conjoined in this moment. And you need do nothing. As the dude who taught Ram Das said: “Be Here Now”.
One of the joys of living on Martha’s Vineyard is feeling the spaciousness defined by bare oak trees.
The slow-to-arrive spring and lack of leaves (even in early May) gives me opportunities to notice the space between the trees as much as I notice the trees themselves.
Observing the space between trees triggers awareness of spacious stillness within me –– another example of what I call “resonant stillness”. The external spacious stillness of the oak trees causes the internal spacious stillness of consciousness to awaken. And from there, it’s just a short hop to remember that spacious stillness is within us, and always available to us wherever we are. In my case, right now, the reminder of this appears in the space between oak trees.
We loose touch with our spacious stillness, our “peace of mind” when our egoic mind pursues and becomes attached to form. The ego tends to obscure the simple obviousness of our innate spacious stillness with the drama and chaos of its strivings.
But our essential self is never at risk of being permanently obscured because it was created from eternal, spacious stillness –– this consciousness IS us, while our ego was created by our mind’s thought-form obsession and identification with such. And, as we’ve seen time and time again, all forms are limited (by definition) and impermanent. No wonder the poor egoic mind is always unsatisfied and grasping.
The N.O.W. Moment
There is a state of awareness that occurs while listening to the N.O.W. Tone Therapy System that I call the “N.O.W. Moment”. This a period in which the mind stops thinking long enough to become aware of a new insight or feeling-state, not directly related to the mental state, quandary or life challenge experienced just prior to the listening session –– a state of grace is experienced.
N.O.W. simply works like a bare oak tree forest –– it articulates an external, spacious stillness that our inner, spacious stillness can resonate to. The egoic mind doesn’t suspect it is being stilled because N.O.W. does not engage it with word forms or concepts the ego (which is thought-form based) can react to.
This is why the simplest usage instruction for N.O.W. is –– “just listen” (and let spacious stillness arise).
“Stop thinking, and end your problems”.
These are some of the most comforting words I’ve ever read. 2500 years ago the Chinese sage Lao Tzu realized our “problems” are in our mind, they are thoughts, and in quiet stillness are they quietly transcended and new insights given the space to arise.
A challenging situation encountered in life is just this –– a collection of perceptions about the supposed “facts of the matter”. Our minds make perceived situations into “problems”.
Lao Tzu quietly reminds us that our perceptions often can not be trusted, nor should we give so much weight to our judgmental thoughts (arising from faulty perception) that they create emotional suffering experienced in the body. And by not engaging in problematic thinking, by not sharing these thoughts, we can weaken their effect on us, those around us, and the world.
N.O.W. is essentially a system that corrects perception –– not by replacing one so called perceptual “reality” with another, but by stilling the mind’s tendency to judge. The most obvious and immediate proof of N.O.W.’s power to do this: The eyes perceive N.O.W. to be two separate objects, but the ears know N.O.W. to be one, unified, aural experience.
Like much of the writing in the Tao Te Ching (try the Stephen Mitchell translation, my favorite), our egoic mind reads a sentence like “Stop thinking, and end your problems” and quickly snaps to incredulous attention and thinks: “You mean if I stop thinking about my crappy boss he is going to disappear? I don’t believe it”.
Note “crappy boss” is a perception and judgment. It is a thought.
Lao Tzu quietly suggests another way. He suggest we could begin by accepting a situation, as it is, and forgo the usual perception / judgment thought sequence that is the cause of lack of peace –– a “problem”.
By design, N.O.W. provides opportunities to practice acceptance of the moment because its abstract, non-symbolic, non-idomatic, random sounds slip by the egoic mind’s sensors –– there is not much to perceive and there is not much to judge.
Little does the egoic mind know that your essential self –– consciousness, is being strengthened and awakened each time you listen. And the effects are cumulative. N.O.W. is so subtle and benign it quietly, Ninja-like, avoids the sentry that is your egoic mind. The egoic mind is like: “No words here, guess I don’t have to worry. No concepts here, I don’t have to defend my position or be on guard”.
Ha! N.O.W. is like water flowing into all the low places. N.O.W. is like a gentle, warm, unseen breeze –– who could object to such a thing?
N.O.W. does not fight against your faulty perceptions. It deftly transcends them and leaves you with the “peace that passeth all understanding” (the peace that is not thought-form, “concept”, based).
It took me years to remember to trust intuition.
My training and practice as an engineer made me susceptible to the pull of the world to observe and analyze it.
The development of the N.O.W. Tone Therapy finally brought about a balanced integration of objective observation and intuition in my life. I found I could trust inner knowing –– intuition, and not just rely on supposedly objective observations of the world which are fraught with perceptual distortions (more on this another time).
Speaking from personal experience, engineers and musicians are susceptible to the pulls of the world of form. We love to observe, measure, test, quantify, compare –– and judge. The engineer / musician who is too firmly rooted in the world of form, one whose self identity is experienced through form-attachment, is at risk of missing the truth of inner knowing.
A concrete example –– the subtle background hiss produced by N.O.W.’s speakers.
Because N.O.W. is an electronic audio system it is subject to the form-limitations encountered in all audio systems. In particular, there is an inherent “noise floor” of all audio systems that can be observed upon close aural inspection.
A music system, whether an mp3 app on your phone or a vinyl disc on a record player, always has a noise floor. But the noise floor is usually not noticed because the music is of sufficient volume to “mask” the lower level noise floor.
N.O.W. is a bit different. The New Origin Waveform tones in N.O.W. have great dynamic range from loud to soft tones –– with many soft tones extending for a long period of time. As a result, N.O.W. does not have as much “masking energy” as music that has more sustained, higher volume content. The noise floor of the N.O.W. system can be heard if one brings one’s attention to this aspect of N.O.W.
When I was inventing N.O.W. (doing the “reduction to engineering practice” it’s called) I was cognizant of the noise floor of the system, and worked hard to make the noise floor as low as possible But I did not let my observation of the inherent noise floor of the system prevent me from being able to use N.O.W. in a way that moves beyond objective observation to pure Knowing –– to allow N.O.W. to reach me and activate my intuitive Knowing.
In other words, I observed the limitations of the N.O.W. form-objects (the speakers) but did not get hung up (as engineers and musicians are wont to do) with this limitation. The limitation of self noise was noted, and moved beyond, to Trust that N.O.W. was coming into the world as perfect as form-limitations would allow, and to Trust that N.O.W. had plenty to teach –– if I would become still enough to hear this wordless teacher of peace and allow intuitive knowing to arise.
We could say that N.O.W. suggests we should be as interested in our reactions to the world of form (people, place, things and thoughts) as those forms that cause us to react. In the N.O.W. noise floor example above … my reaction to the “imperfection” of N.O.W.’s noise, was as interesting to me (eventually more so) as the noise itself. This shift of awareness, from object awareness, to “awareness of awareness”, is the awakening of consciousness from the slumber of form identification, to pure “I AM” consciousness.
This is a rather significant development in an individual’s life, and by extension, the life of the plant. This is the development of an awareness that consciousness just IS. That we need not experience the world only through problematic thought constructs and the suffering that arises from them –– “This N.O.W. system has a hiss, this hiss annoys me, it is not perfect, this makes me suffer because, as an engineer, I cannot tolerate imperfection”.
You don’t have to be an engineer or musician to experience the transcendence of “imperfection” with N.O.W.
We here at solu have noticed that some first-time listeners to N.O.W., (particularly at somewhat noisy public events) have commented that they wished the background noise was lower so they could hear the N.O.W. tones better. What they will soon come to realize though is that N.O.W. can simply be accepted as it is, in each moment it is heard. One can be the observing consciousness that is thinking the thought “I wish the background noise was lower so I could hear these nice tones better”).
With repeated use of N.O.W., self-observation of the mind’s activity becomes the default mode. As this consciousness becomes awakened, with it, comes greater insight –– and awareness of intuitive Knowing beyond the word-forms that arise from analysis and judgment.
We could say that this is type of healing of separation that proceeds without the help of words or talk therapy. I feel this as a type of wordless prayer, experienced in the heart, but extending outward as radiant love.
Why not be intuitive if it feels like love? N.O.W. frees one from the shackles of words –– words that are twice removed from truth –– because they are but symbols describing other symbols.