LISTEN | Alan Watts & Boreta Lyrics

by Lisa Jackson May 19, 2021 4 min read

Listen, Dream | Alan Watts & Superposition

Close your eyes.

Well now,
the easiest way
to get into the meditative state
is to begin
by listening.
If you simply close your eyes
and allow yourself to hear
all the sounds that are going on around you.
Just listen to the general hum and buzz of the world
as if you were listening to music.
Don’t try to identify the sounds you are hearing.
Don’t put names on them.
allow them to play with your eardrums.
let them go.
In other words you could put it, let your ears hear,
whatever they want to hear.
Don’t judge the sounds.
There are no, as it were, proper sounds
nor improper sounds,
and it doesn’t matter if somebody coughs
or sneezes
or drops something
It’s ALL
just sound.
And if
I am talking to you right now and you are doing this,
I want you to listen to the sounds of my voice just as if it were noise.
Don't try to make any sense out of what I am saying.
Because your brain will take care of that automatically.
You don't have to try to understand anything.
Just listen to the sound.

As you pursue that experiment
you will very naturally find
that you can’t help
naming sounds,
identifying them,
that you will go on thinking,
this is to say, talking to yourself inside your head,
But it's important
that you don’t try to repress those thoughts
by forcing them out of your mind.
Because that will have precisely the same effect
as if you were trying to smooth rough water with a flatiron.
— you’re just going to disturb it all the more.
What you do is this:
as you hear sounds coming up in your head,
you simply listen to them
as part of the general noise going on.
just as you would be listening to the sound of my voice
or just as you would be listening to cars going by,
or to birds chattering outside the window.

So look
at your own thoughts
as just noises.
And soon you will find,
that, the so called outside world
and the so called inside world
come together.
They are
a happening.
Your thoughts are a happening
just like the sounds going on outside,
and everything is simply a happening
and all you are doing
is watching it.

Can you hear the past?
Can you hear the future?
Can you hear the listener?

Where do the sounds come from?

Let them tell you the TRUTH.

Now in this process,
another thing that's happening
that is very important,
is that you're breathing.
And as you start mediation,
you allow your breath
to run
just as it wills.
In other words,
don't do at first any breathing exercise.
But just watch your breath, breathing the way it wants to breathe.

And then notice a curious thing about this.
You say in the ordinary way, "I breathe."
Because you feel that breathing is something you are doing
Just in the same way as you might be
or talking.
But you will also notice,
that when you are not thinking about breathing,
your breathing goes on just the same.
So the curious thing about breath is that is can be looked at both
as a voluntary
and an involuntary action.
You can feel on the one hand I am doing it.
And on the other hand,
it is happening to me.
And that is why breathing
is a most important part of meditation.
Because it is going to show as you
as you become aware of your breath,
that the hard and fast division that we make
between what we do on the one hand
and what happens to us on the other

So that as you watch your breathing
you will become aware
that both the voluntary
and the involuntary
aspects of your experience
are all one happening.
Now that may at first seem a little scary
because you may think,
well, am I just the puppet
of a happening?
The mere passing witness
of something that's going on
completely beyond my control?
Or on the other hand,
am I really doing everything that's going along?
Well if I were, I should be God.
And that would be very embarrassing
because I would be in charge of everything.
That would be a terribly responsible position.
The truth of the matter as you will see it,
is that
both things are true.
You can see that everything is happening to you.
And on the other hand
you are doing everything.
For example,
it is your eyes
that are turning the sun into light.
It's the nerve ends in your skin
that are turning
electric vibrations in the air
into heat and temperature.
It's your ear drums
that are turning vibrations in the air
into sound.
And in that way,
you ARE creating the world.
But, when we are not talking about it,
when we are not philosophizing about it,
then there is just
this, happening,
this uh,
and we won't give It a name.

Now then,
when you breath for awhile,
just letting it happen
and not forcing it in any way,
you will discover a curious thing.
That without making any effort,
you can breathe
more and more deeply.
In other words,
supposing you were simply breathing out,
and breathing out is important because it is the breath of relaxation,
that when we say "shooooo"
and heave a sigh of relief.
So when you are breathing out,
you get the sensation
that your breath is falling out.
Dropping, dropping, dropping out.
With the same sort of feeling you have
as if you were setting down into an extremely comfortable bed.
And you just get as heavy as possible
and let yourself go.
And you let your breath go out in just that way.
And when it's thoroughly,
comfortably out
and it feels like coming back again
You don't pull it back in,
you let it fall back in.
Letting your lungs
expand, expand, expand
until they feel very comfortably full
and you wait a moment and let it stay there,
and then once again,
you let it fall out.
And so in this way
you will discover your breath
gets quite naturally
easier and easier
and slower and slower
and more and more powerful.

So that with
various aids,
listening to sound,
listening to your own interior feelings and thoughts,
just as if they are something going on,
not something you're doing
but just happenings
and watching your breath that is a happening
that is neither voluntary,
nor involuntary,
you are simply aware
of these basic sensations.
Then you will begin to be in the state of mediation.
But don't hurry anything,
don't worry about the future,
don't worry about what progress you're making.
Just be entirely content
to be aware
of what IS.

Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson

Designer. Photographer. Founder of AMARA Tulum. Live in Wildsea kimonos and flowy dresses. Colour obsessed. Free spirit. Rock & roller. Minimalist. Advocate of natural beauty. Epigenetic enthusiast. Eternal optimist. Futurist. Seeker of Utopia. Lefty. O-negative. Blondie. Bookworm. Autodidact. Extroverted introvert. Thoroughly enjoy oxymorons. Tree hugger. Film nerd. Curator of empowered women. Believer in equality, personal freedom and personal responsibility to the collective human race.

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