Walkabout practice: With a focus on hearing rather than seeing. How does this different sensory focus affect your sense of the space that you inhabit?
For this walkabout I chose to observe ‘listening’ – using music. I’ve observed the listening process numerous times, often alternating between feelings of enjoyment, and curiosity about what appears in mental space as I listen, and also what I as an active controller might initiate in the process.
I noticed the urge to name musical instruments, the name of the song, and other determining facets of the music, and I recognized how that process narrowed the experience of the music, and made those musical facets objects. And as objects I became aware of me observing them as separate in my mind. I thought of our teacher’s instruction:
“When we assign a source to a sound, we automatically also assign it a location in space, and thus put it at a distance… distance, location, and separation all seem closely connected with our sense of sight.”
And I realized characteristics of sight, as in a visual field, took a more dominant mode in the experience. As soon as I noticed this sight-dominance it dissolved, as the naming process stopped, and distance dispersed. At the same time space opened and I experience a very full, warm, at-home feeling not only encompassing the music, but also what was visually happening outside my window in the trees…a bright red cardinal hopping from branch to branch among lush evergreens…the music gathering a pleasant momentum, and an awareness of all that was presenting, visual color, musical color, emotional eudemonia… The moment was expansive. Space was NOT nothing, it was a nourishing, healing, and calming…a clearing, expansive, allowing vitality…