The art of listening is such an important art. But it is an art that is rarely taught or practiced. Our hearing is “on” all the time, but the personal filters and automatic interpretation that is going on is preventing us from listening objectively instead of hearing habitually.
When we hear through the compulsive processes of our minds, we tend to lose or distort a lot of the information that is being shared. But when we truly listen without expectations or assumptions, we are expanding our consciousness and opening ourselves up to new dimensions and possibilities.
Field recording is so much more than capturing unique sounds and documenting our surrounding soundscapes. Field recording is a way of exploring our nature and even learning more about our selves and our place in nature.
Field recording is also a great practice when it comes to the art of listening. When we listen through recording equipment we can hear more objectively. Good microphones don't lie. They won't filter out sounds that our own hearing might do. And they won't add excessive meaning to certain sounds and not to others. They will present the soundscape exactly as it is.
And I think it is very healthy for us to stay open and unknowing. To be accustomed to having no attachments and no expectations for a certain outcome. This is true freedom.
The art of listening help us to become one with the moment, to become truly mindful.
When we listen we don't judge, assume, interpret, expect, distort, fantasize or even hope. When we truly listen we become still. And in stillness, Spirit can speak to us.
Nowadays it is quite challenging to find places that are free from sound pollution, or even free from anthropogenic sound (sounds originating in human activity). It is becoming increasingly difficult to find locations where you can experience pure natural soundscapes for more than a few minutes at a time. Nevertheless, sounds from nature are a vital part of not only our well-being, but also the wellbeing of our friends in nature. Numerous studies show that nature sounds help us reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure and boost a positive mind set among other health benefits.
So for me it is critically important that we become aware of the quiet places we have left not only in order to conserve and protect them but also so that we can enjoy them and consciously use them as sacred places of healing and recovery.
Quiet Parks International is a non profit organization committed to saving quiet for the benefit for all life. They are mapping out quiet places all over the world in order to raise awareness of the importance of all beings having access to natural soundscapes free from noise pollution.
Please familiarize yourself with their work if you are interested.