Sounding the Soul - The Art of Listening

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Yes, I think the city is natural. Well, there are some other species present in the city, and ecological relationships exist there. The practice of noticing, knowing, and naming those species can lead to deeper relationships with them. You might make an inventory of the species that live in a particular neighborhood and notice how people are relating to them. What are their stories? Where did they come from? Are they native species or did they come from elsewhere? And if they came from elsewhere, who brought them to this place? What were their stories back in their home countries?

Other species are often in the background of our experience. When we engage in these kinds of exercises, nonhuman species become a little bit foregrounded.

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Learning their stories is one way to deepen a connection with them in the city. It often takes an act of will to learn these stories because, in general, cities present trees as passive, municipal objects that are completely stripped of their stories.

The Art of Listening

We need to swim upstream against that tide to find their stories and, therefore, start to belong to each other. It seems that this exercise of finding stories would deepen our relationship with nonhuman species in certain intellectual and emotional ways, but it strikes me as important that you also engage in sensory practices to foster more-embodied relationships with trees. The other way in, of course, is to open our senses to other species. What is the texture of the bark on the trees?

How do their smells change through the seasons? For example, when the linden trees are blooming in New York, the streets with linden trees smell completely different from those without them.

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When you write about humanity not being separate from the rest of nature, it seems worth pointing out that, even though we are natural, the destruction we bring on nonhuman species and ecosystems is massive, and we can choose to live in less destructive ways. Can you comment on that? I agree that the question that we need to answer is: How should we live? The fact that humans are part of the community of life in no way removes the moral responsibility from us. In no way does it mean that we have as little responsibility for life on earth as a meteorite flying through space.

It does mean, however, that we might approach the question of responsibility differently than we would if we believe ourselves to be alien and apart from the rest of nature.


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If we believe we are fundamentally different in some way, we might come to a different answer about human responsibility than we might if we are working from the premise of human belonging. Whenever we go to the store, nature is used as a way of convincing us that a particular product is good for us. And, in fact, there are lots of broken things in the community of life — lots of poisons and other things that we, as humans, might choose to turn away from. Understanding ourselves as natural can be a good foundation for beginning to answer the question of how we should live.

Spiritual Exercise: Listening for the Sacred Sounds

Life is embodied network. Yes, trees seem to be wonderful examples of the atomism that has dominated biological thinking now for at least years. By atomism, I mean the notion that the fundamental unit of life is the self. This is, of course, a very powerful and fruitful view. It allows us to understand many aspects of life. Each one of those individuals is, in fact, a manifestation of relationship and connection.

New participants will be directed to discuss their intention for joining the course with Nicholas before they book.


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  • They must let him know of any conditions or personal history which may affect their involvement in the course. In Nicholas founded the Art in Listening. This practical approach to self-development incorporates his extensive exploration of indigenous and contemporary traditions of Art, Philosophy and Psychology. He is also a tai chi practitioner and a supporting tutor for the Art in Listening.

    It was fun, inclusive, deep and enriching. Hawkwood is an educational charity providing courses, facilitating training and offering venue hire, set in a stunning location in the Cotswolds. If you would like to stay up-to-date with our latest events and courses then please subscribe to our newsletter.


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    Shape Created with Sketch. The 40 best albums to listen to before you die Show all When Jerry Wexler signed the daughter of a violent, philandering preacher to Atlantic records, he "took her to church, sat her down at the piano, and let her be herself". The album that carried reggae music to the four corners of the Earth and made Bob Marley an international superstar also set the political tone for many artists to follow. It was his most ambitious album — musically and thematically — that, like Prince, saw him unite his greatest strengths from previous works and pull off one of the great rock and roll albums without losing his sense of humour, or the wish to continue entertaining his fans.

    Though her album, Blue, is usually chosen for these kinds of lists, Mitchell surpassed its silvery, heartbroken folk five years later with a record that found her confidently questioning its culturally conditioned expectations of womanhood. The answer to whether Robyn could follow up the brilliance of her self-titled album came in a burst of releases in , the EPs Body Talk Pt 1, Pt 2 and Pt3, and this track effort, essentially a compilation album.

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    Nas used the sounds of the densely-populated New York streets he grew up on. Notes pinged from vibraphones and coke cans gleam in the strange, sad waves of bittersweet melody. Let England Shake digs deep into the soil of the land, where buried plowshares lie waiting to be beaten into swords. A virtual unknown to rock fans just a year before — Hendrix used Are You Experienced?

    privovabeb.ga Sister Sledge gave Rodgers a chance to work with warmer, gutsier vocals than the cool voices he used to give Chic records such laid-back style and the result is a floor-filling dance party, punctuated by mellow ballads. The album earned 10 Grammy nominations, winning five awards, making Hill the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in one night. Enter your email address Continue Continue Please enter an email address Email address is invalid Fill out this field Email address is invalid Email already exists. Update newsletter preferences.

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