"A stone is frozen music."
It is said that the famed Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras often used poetry to capture his new understanding of the world after pondering over calculated solutions. The above quote is mentioned in the book Meditation as Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., and Cameron Stauth as one of his poetic musings. It struck me as particularly beautiful. I also soon imagined the depths of understanding the world as such. There are such a multitude of creation myths that begin with sound- a scream, cry, or word. With this motif considered, it becomes easy to creatively reimagine the world within this new vibrational perspective.
Can water, then, be music in motion?
And plants, could they be ballads in bloom? That have had time to grow and flourish.
What would the songs that make me up sound like?
How do I relate to sound, my sounds? And what of the act of, making it? Singing out? Reciting mantra?
The authors of Meditation as Medicine go on to describe the varying physiological effects of the act of producing mantra in a meditative state. Researchers have repeatedly recorded many “positive medical results” including: lowered heart rate and blood pressure, reduced stress hormone output, improved production of melatonin, and other measurable effects on the immune and endocrine systems. Sound has a powerful sway on us. It's evident in the presence of music and chanting across cultures and millennia. And in the felt impact of mantra, especially of those in Sanskrit which have been recited traditionally by yogis and other mindfulness-centered practitioners for many generations now. Oh, and did I mention the Beatles, and Elvis, and Gandhi, Toni Morrison, Rumi, Winston Churchill, or Sandra Cisneros. Sound, and the words they impart do in fact entice, inspire, and incite us.
As a writer, I am familiar with the potent magic of ‘finding just the right word/s.’ There is notable majesty in manifesting an idea, helping it to crystallize to its’ most unfurled, most expressive form. Think AI generated fractals printed alive with a 3-D printer of some sort. Our words give ideas form, and people share ideas all day long. Giving special attention, and even actively listening while making sound (like when reciting prayer, or mantra) can be especially satisfying to the frenzied mind. There’s a certain completed perfection. I can sometimes distinctly remember the times when I first got the tongue twisters right in theatre rehearsals as a kid. Betty Botter is still my favorite little ditty for waking up the “ talking brain.” So to that end, I close this post with much consideration.
And I say...…
Yes, Pythagoras, a stone is frozen music. And so too, are the ripples upon the lake a song, and the wind wrestling through the trees a hymn of ancient wishings.
Thus Spake Maek
Dec. 9, 2020
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Maek lives in Austin, TX and has been teaching yoga since 2011.