by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : August 2013
aim to produce a series of products, in- cluding a 3-D IMAX film combined with live-streaming audio from rain forests and other ecosystems a round the world, linked to a new science curriculum for middle and high school students. The film is still in development, but they plan to release it to science museums in 2014. A former high school teacher, Lisle hopes the project will help get kids excited about science and math, showing them how to explore the world with their ears. One aspect of the project, a collabo- ration with Purdue University, focuses on “soundscape ecology.” Lisle describes this as a new branch of science that goes beyond individual sounds and studies the symphonies that ecosystems produce, such as when f rogs and crickets interact. Attending to sounds in this new way, Lisle says, ca n involve kids more emotiona lly in the natural environment. In one part of the IMAX film, audiences listen to the noise of boats passing near a pod of whales off the tip of Cape Cod. In another, they can hear sounds subtly altered by a changing climate, as they attend to the noise emitted from a healthy coral reef off the coast of Fiji, followed by the near silence of a dying one. Horowitz tells of his own, somewhat less dramatic listening experience dur- ing a recent snowstorm near his home in Rhode Island. “I was figuring out the outside temperature by how many ice chunks were hitting the roof of my ca r,” he says. He experienced a period of deafness as a child and attributes some of his fascination with hearing to his own experience of regaining it. He ad- mits he can get lost in sound, like when he’s raptly listening to music, but often extracts useful information out of subtle sounds that others might ignore. Horowitz has diligently trained his ears to be an extra-sensitive alarm system. While driving, he usually listens to the sounds his car is ma king instead of the radio. After owning a string of “at least pa rtial clunkers,” he got into the habit of tuning in closely for sounds that something is wrong. Following the method that old-school mechanics used before the era of computer diagnostics, he hea rs problems developing long before the little lights go on that signal real expense. He also tunes in to the sound of the printer in his office, alert to a change in the pattern that warns of a future malfunction. → The Sounds of Silence The most common instruction for mindfulness meditation is to pay attention to your breath. But the breath is not the only thing you can notice when you sit down to meditate. Whether you use a small gong or an app on your phone, ringing a bell is a good way to start and end a meditation session. The sound is not just a timer. It reminds us that mindfulness is about creating space for silence and for listening. By letting go of our usual distractions, we make room to appreciate the sounds around us. Here are three types of sounds to appreciate as you sit in “silence.” 1 Background sounds One of the first things you will notice once the sound of the opening bell fades away is background sounds: traffic noise, the whirring of a ceiling fan, murmuring voices in the hallway. As you notice each one, let go of the habit of nam- ing and judging it and dive into the pure sensation of hearing. In this way, ever y thing you hear is treated as equal—beyond be- ing pleasant or unpleasant. 2 Melodic sounds Sounds that form a melody tend to arouse emotions, which is what we love about music. When we sit quietly, we will in- evitably notice melodic sounds. A chorus of birds greets the dawn. A siren wails in the distance. A pitter-patter of rain softly taps the windowpane. Listening to the rise and fall of these sounds can arouse feelings that don’t need to be named or clung to. Melodies can make us feel sadness, joy, or both. Try to find the dividing line between the sound and your emotional response. It’s challenging, but listen loosely. If something melodious moves you, stay with it and notice how it affects your body. 3 Abrupt sounds Sudden, shocking sounds that interrupt us can also bring us back to awareness. Someone sneezes—achoo!—and we’re back to the now. The sudden arising of a sound can wake you up to the present moment when you’ve been lulled into habitual thought patterns. When sitting quietly, we’re not trying to fall into a trance. Relaxed awareness is the thing, like a deer on the aler t for something new. When the closing bell rings at the end of your session, let the sound relax you. Rest in it for a moment. As the rever- beration fades away, let it help you transition into ever yday activity. Every moment there are sounds inviting us to listen. Being open to them is just another way to appreciate the world around us and appreci- ate one another. All the conver- sations in our life begin here. Susan Gillis Chapman helps us appreciate the music of everyday life Susan Gillis Chapman is the author of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication. Read an excerpt from The Five Keys to Mindful Communication at mindful.org/5keys August 2013 mindful 57 life