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Chapter 27: Soundlessness, Soundfulness and Total Awareness

The fifth sound technique:

While listening to stringed instruments, hear their composite central sound; thus omnipresence.

The same! You are hearing an instrument - a sitar, or anything. Many notes are there. Be alert and listen to the central core, the backbone of it around which all the notes are flowing, the deepest current which holds all the notes together - that which is central, just like your backbone. The whole body is held by the backbone. Listening to the music, be alert, penetrate the music, and find the backbone of it - the central thing which goes on flowing, holding everything together. Notes come and go and disappear, but the central core flows on. Become aware of it.

Basically, originally, music was used for meditation; particularly Indian music developed as a method of meditation, Indian dancing developed as a method of meditation. For the doer it was a deep meditation, and for the audience also it was a deep meditation. A dancer or a musician can be a technician. If there is no meditation in it, he is a technician. He can be a great technician, but then the soul is not there, only the body. The soul comes only when the musician is a deep meditator.

And music is just the outward thing. While playing on his sitar, one is not only playing on his sitar, he is also playing on his alertness inside. The sitar goes on outwardly and his intense awareness moves inside. The music flows outwardly, but he is alert, constantly aware of the innermost core of it. And that gives samadhi. That becomes ecstasy. That becomes the highest peak.

It is said that when the musician has really become the musician, he will break his instrument - because it is of no use. If he still needs his instrument, he is not a real musician yet. He is just learning. If you can play with music, with meditation, sooner or later the inner music will become more important, and the outer will become not only less important: ultimately it will become a disturbance. If your consciousness moves inside and can find the inner music, then the outer music will be a disturbance. You will throw the sitar, you will throw the instrument away from you, because now you have found the inner instrument. But it cannot be found without the outer; with the outer you can become alert more easily. Once you have become alert, leave the outer and move inwards. And for the listener also, the same!