My friend, Cliff, invited me to attend an Earth Day celebration at the East West Exchange book store last night. It’s a lovely little store that they say brings together books, gifts and practices of the East and West. Not only do they carry books and gifts, but also promote music, fitness, art, creative thinking and unity. I enjoy the things they have to offer. But, yesterday’s was an evening to remember.

It was a performance on the Japanese flute called Shakuhachi by a wonderful musician Bobby. Shakuhachi literally means 1foot and 8inches, the length of the flute. There’s Ni Shaku which is a 2 feet flute and so on. Very interesting. Anyway, so back to the music. It was …. umm….. I wouldn’t use the words pleasing to the ear, or melodious, or lovely….. but I’d say it was meditative. The kind of music that could take you to another world if you just closed your eyes and concentrated. My personal favorite was one that was like the breathing Pranayam exercise of Breath of Fire or Kapalbhaati, where you exhale rapidly…………. Now, I have been doing Pranayam for a while and never have I done Kapalbhaati along with the music that’s doing it too. 🙂 ….. very refreshing.

In between excerpts of music, he’d read some nice poetry and give us some thoughts to ponder over. Now, here’s the main reason why I’m writing this post……..

The thought that has stuck with me and it’s for keeps…….
When we hear sounds like cars driving by, or babies crying, or people talking, or this typing-clicking on the keyboard, or the AC that just turned on, or anything….. we think of them as noises. But, the very fact that we hear any sound is because we are alive, we are here, we are now. It’s this one life we have and everything around sends us a reminder about that fact. The things we think of as noises or disturbances, along with all other sounds, are actually a realization of our being.

Something to think about! Since I woke up this morning, I’m in this phase of not hearing, but listening to every little sound around me. And wow! there’s so much that goes on that I have been ignoring all this time …… like…… the water hitting the sink …… the trash truck doing its rounds…….. the microwave buzzing, not beeping …….. the fridge turning on and off ………. the car door opening and closing ……. the mouse clicking …… the wood in our house creaking ……. this chair sighing everytime I move ……. the footsteps of people around me…….. and most importantly, my breath……. the in and out…. constantly telling me I have this one life that I must make the most out of….. that I’m here…. I’m alive…. I’m now…… I’m me.