Whose Voice Am I Listening to?

Purple Sound WaveAvailability of Vision – Tarthang Tulku

“Sit quietly and attend to the presence of sounds. You can use speech, music, or any sounds that happen to appear. Do not get trapped in the labels and significations that sounds bear, but concentrate on the quality of the sounds themselves. This amounts to learning to see more deeply into all communicated presences, rather than being stopped by their surface partitioning.”

There are many sounds that I do not want to hear, and there are many sounds that I expect to hear. My thoughts get in the way of listening. Yet, should I not also listen to my own thoughts? Is it not important to become aware of all the noise? I notice that I blame other people for talking to me. The voices that come up out of the silence, represent all those people who keep talking the same nonsense to me. I do not want any more of their confusion.

The fact that I carry their voices with me in their absence, shows me how dangerous it is. They are false prophets that I chose to believe somewhere down the line. It does not matter if I had the freedom to choose. Every time that I listened and held on to the sounds, it was a choice made. Now that I no longer believe a word that they say, I want them to disappear and take their voices with them. I blame them for not disappearing.

As I keep still, and listen more deeply, I notice that the voices are there because I am the one holding on to them. The people are not in the room, yet I can hear them. If their words are no longer of any use, then why fight them? What am I afraid of? I had expected to hear other sounds, not their voices. I want the voices to go away so I can hear the other sounds. But, the voices persist. They have been waiting for me to start paying deeper attention.

All of a sudden, it makes sense. It took me a long time to understand that I had turned other people into gods and prophets, and to stop doing so. I managed to stop listening to everybody else, and started to listen to my own voice. To discover that my voice had become their voice in so many ways. I set on the long road to discovery. I know that I can have my inner voice to speak the loudest of all. Silencing all the other voices.

However, as I am sitting in class, the voice of the teacher interrupts my thinking. The voices grow louder. If I let him interrupt, then why not the other voices? What is so much better about the new teacher than all the fake teachers from the past? The question surprises me. Past the surprise, it allows me to acknowledge that I do not like the teacher giving me his thoughts.

If I am angry with all those voices not disappearing, then I can understand that I must also be angry for allowing a new voice in. It is all connected. As I listen to the teacher, I start hearing that he may have new tricks, but underneath all the tricks, it is the same voice as all the others. I may have been fooling myself, but the voices were paying attention. The voices that I want to get rid of so badly, told me what I could not see. When am I going to accept that I am my own teacher?


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