This morning I’m in sitting in Presence, parked at my customary spot at the far eastern end of Cragiville Beach, “not doing” too much. Craigville Beach is a popular summer spot here on Cape Cod, but today it’s deserted.
My 1977 GMC “Royale” motorhome offers a sweeping 180 degree view of dunes to my left and the wide, southern facing beach that opens onto Nantucket sound in front, and to the right of me.
It’s windy. There are two types of winds sounds I can hear this morning. A broadband, lower mid range whoosh and roar, and then a pitch-varying whistle –– sort of like breath being blown over the mouth of a small bottle.
These two sounds are nearly balanced. The higher pitched whistling tone is clearly heard above the background whooshing. The two sounds together create a unified moment comprised of a foreground tone-form and a background whoosh that is nearly formless.
By shifting my focus I can bring emphasis to the foreground tone-form or to the background of formless whooshing. And there is a third way of hearing this environment –– as One sound.
By training and practice I find it easy to listen, analyze and separate a sound field into its constituent parts. When I hear a sound that has a strongly articulated pitch center I often try to guess its frequency before objectively checking it with the spectrum analyzer software on my phone. When I hear broadband noises I make note of the the relative strength of bass, mid and treble ranges and if these are constant or varying.
But I didn’t hear analytically when I was very young, and I can switch off analytical hearing now –– this being a conscious decision to use aural perception, in totality, to experience Oneness free from the separation that arises from analysis.
“Be as little children and enter the kingdom”. Hear the totality of sounds around you, but know that you are intentionally doing so. Be aware that you are aware of the total soundtrack around you, right this minute.