Soundfullness


Inner world
Meditation practices mostly focus on the inner experience

Taking the mind inside to observe ones states, responses and reactions 

Working in quietness with breath and sensations the awareness can settle

enough to develop more subtle understandings of the nature of being

To work deeply with meditation practices we often limit the external stimuli

We practice sitting still in quiet, gently lit places away from the madding crowd

A delicate environment can help us to develop sensitivity and concentration

Outer world
It can however be difficult to maintain the sense of a deep meditation practice

while we are kept busy in the world with all her demands and sensory distractions

People often experience the meditative state as something separate and distinct from their ‘normal’ lives

It can become a ‘stress release’ valve, an escape or even a robotic ritualised routine

In so doing much of the importance and intention behind a serious practice is lost

or at least difficult to integrate into the every day

Noise
In daily life a huge amount of information bombardes the senses and draws the attention

This can make the outer world a very difficult place

to carry a gentle and thoughtful awareness of oneself and ones place

Of all these stimuli sound may be one of the most distracting
We often refer to the urban environment as ‘noisy’

Which means sounds that are intrinsically unpleasant or even damaging 

or at least are perceived to be so

Listening
Sounds go directly into our nervous system in a way that many other stimuli don't

We can avoid contact with objects or textures that we may find distasteful

and instinctively hold our immediate physical space very carefully

We can close our eyes and look away from a distressing sight

but the ears hear 360° and are always open


They are our primary danger antenna
 We perceive a much greater spectrum of information with the ears than the eyes

Working through the night, round the clock, in darkness, around corners and over hills

they will wake us from reverie, deep sleep and engaged conversation in an instant

if they feel they have something important to tell us

Music
This is perhaps one of the reasons that music remains such a powerful force in all human societies

It is the means by which we control this most powerful of influences and give ourselves respite from it’s tyranny 

With the intentional creation of pleasing sounds we allow those nerves to relax and refresh

...and more than this to invigorate, heal and rebuild

The deep rooted liminal power of sound is turned to serve us for a short while

giving a break to the ever watchful guard at the gates of the ears

Bridging the Gap
Soundfullness practice uses the power of sound and the techniques of awareness

to bridge the gap between the inner and outer worlds

With conscious intentional play we create an environment of pleasing, healing, invigorating sounds

while at the same time skilfully maintaining the link to more subtle levels of consciousness and intentions

Working in a group we are also able to explore how the rhythms and patterns that we create affect others,

how we are affected by the creations of others and how the mixing of these elements merge and interact

The uncontrollable chaos of the external world is embraced as a source of creativity and insight

Joining Forces
For me this practice brings together two of the most important stands of creativity in my life
I am multi-instrumental musician with a wide variety of experiences

and a long term mediation practitioner

I learned meditation in my late teens and found great benefit from it 
Over the following decades I sat, served, managed and organised over 50 silent Vipassana retreats

and maintained a rigorous daily practice

I studied classical piano also in my teens and went on to do music at University
Unusually however, I am self taught on the instruments I play professionally

the emphasis here being on the word 'play'

Through pattern, repetition and variation, through listening and joy

I have found a style and a relationship to music that is flexible and freeing
Where play is mined for the joy and energy it offers and the lessons these offerings contain

Concentration
The focus that can be found through the practice of meditation

and the playing music are very mutually supportive

The lightness and expression of sound releases and invigorates

while the stillness of inner contemplation accesses spaces of deep beauty worthy of sharing

Allowing these two forces to meet in a sensitive creative manner

can be a truly rewarding life enhancing experience