That is where my dearest and brightest dreams have ranged — to hear for the duration of a heartbeat
the universe and the totality of life in its mysterious, innate harmony.

~ Hermann Hesse

abstract watercolor design with green, purple, pink, brown and white square and L shapes in an overlapping pattern

Today we explore the ways in which whole-bodied listening affects how you take in complexity. Experiment with listening to both individual parts of a whole and the whole itself. With something more pieced together, such as a piece of music or art, it may be easier to take in the entirety; in this case, try to tune into the pieces – the individual instruments or brush strokes – that contribute to the fullness. With something more fragmented, such as a busy street, it may be easier to tune into individual parts – in this case, see if you can take in the whole. 

Feel the reciprocity between the voices of individual parts and the one voice that emerges from many. Where is there harmony? Where is there dissonance, and how might it serve the harmony? Remembering that the chorus resounds through each individual voice, and that each voice is amplified through the chorus, how are you moved? How might this perspective inform all areas of your life? How might it support your capacity to navigate and even gratefully embrace the complex systems that comprise life? 

Deepening the Practice

For an experience in deep listening, try joining this group of museum visitors gathered at The Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, as they participate in Pauline Oliveros’ 3-minute Tuning Meditation.

Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…

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Enjoy the full seven-day Listen practice.