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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PODCAST: The Yoga of Sound Series, Part One: Buddhism -- Spiritual Awakening Radio

PODCAST: The Yoga of Sound Series, Part One: Buddhism -- Spiritual Awakening Radio

PODCAST: Inner Sound Meditation in Buddhism -- The Yoga of Sound, Part 1 -- Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean -- Listen @ Youtube:

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Today I explore Inner Sound Meditation practice in Buddhism, the Way of Transcendental Hearing or Shurangama Samadhi. This is Part One of the Yoga of Sound Series, all about Sound Mysticism in the great world religions, schools of spirituality, gnostics, mystics, scriptures, spiritual classics, and the Path of the Masters.

"It is easiest to hear this Sound when it is quiet, particularly at night-time. Once you have identified this Sound, then you place your awareness on it without wavering. Resting your mind in the Sound, you continue to listen, going further and further into the Sound itself." ("Mind Beyond Death", Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Snow Lion Publications)

"As you calm down, you can experience the Sound of Silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound that’s always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that Sound of Silence, it’s a sign of emptiness -- of silence of the mind. It’s something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another." (Ajahn Sumedho, a bhikkhu of the Theravadan school of Buddhism, from, The Sound of Silence)

"Avalokiteshvara Buddha (Quan Yin), the hearer and answerer of prayer, has visited all the Buddha-lands of the ten quarters of the universe and has acquired transcendental powers of boundless freedom and fearlessness and has vowed to emancipate all sentient beings from their bondage and suffering. ... How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! Is is the subdued murmur of the sea-tide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid." (Surangama Sutra, "A Buddhist Bible, Dwight Goddard)

"Listening to the inner Sound brings the heart into a position of acute inner awareness. It is not that the inner Sound has some magical property. Rather, it is that bringing of the alert mind, bringing openness and receptivity to Sound, is symbolic of the presence of Ultimate Truth. The Sound is always there. We don’t have to create it. It is featureless. It is ever present. So it is a good symbol for Ultimate Reality itself." "In the sutra the Buddha praised this method, the meditation on listening, as the best method for enlightenment. Ajahn Sumedho had been teaching the meditation on the Nada Sound for some years so he was tickled by this connection to another Buddhist tradition. He hadn't realized that there had been so much emphasis on this in traditional Buddhist meditation practices." (Ajahn Amaro)

Ajahn Amaro: "When he [Ajahn Sumedho] first taught this method to the Sangha at Chithurst that winter, he referred to it as 'the sound of silence' and the name stuck. Later, as he began to teach the method on retreats for the lay community, he began to hear about its use from people experienced in Hindu and Sikh meditation practices. In these traditions, he found out, this concentration on the inner sound was known as nada yoga, or 'the yoga of inner light and sound.' It also turned out that books had been written on the subject, commentaries in English as well as ancient scriptural treatises, notably, "The Law of Attention: Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance", by Edward Salim Michael. In 1991, when Ajahn Sumedho taught the sound of silence as a method on a retreat at a Chinese monastery in the United States, one of the participants was moved to comment, 'I think you have stumbled on the Shurangama Samadhi. There is a meditation on hearing that is described in that sutra, and the practice you have been teaching us seems to match it perfectly.'" ("Who is Listening?", by Rev. Guo Cheen)

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