Yoshizen's Blog

Spiritual Sounds

While ago I talked about the sounds which gave us a spiritual feeling.

In there, I wrote ” Something slowly moving continuous rather hi-pitch tone make us feel spiritual.”

And long time ago, when I talked about J.S.Bach and Baroque music —– not melodic but continuously

changing polyphonic sound makes our brain to stop thinking / abandon the thinking process =

attempt to figure out what this sounds mean ——- is good for the Zenist to empty the mind.  😀


Unlike a visual signal, sound signal is a basic stimulus, goes directly into the subconscious.

If you encountered a scene in a huge Buddhist Temple, hundreds of monks chanting a Mantra in unison,

( I’ve listened it at Eihei-ji and Daitoku-ji.  You may find a recordings of Tendai-shormyo of  Enryaku-ji )

you might have felt its low voice is more of a demonic and gave awesome impact to your perception.

The Gregorian Chant in a monastery gives similar feelings but the sound is less demonic.

Then somebody suggested, how about the Gospel Song ? ——- Those musics are surely Religious but

not necessary sound spiritual as its use of normal voices range and the meanings of words’ limit the mind

to be open. One of rare exception might be the back-ground hi-pitch humming of a Gospel group Take6.

(In  purely sound term, not the connotation of the songs).


When we hear roar or beating drone like low sound, it resemble the sound of earth before an eruption

of volcano or a big predator / lion, tiger etc,  we feel a fear ( instinctively ). ( Huge fearsome body

never chirp, as the resonance of big body cavity is pretty low / earth’s magma chamber is huge  😀 )

So that the lower sound is the sign of larger and more powerful body,  hence used to appeal to the female

who is seeking stronger gene —— from flog to golilla.  (and some human as well  😀  )

Since the lower roaring sound gives the feeling of awe and  hi-pitch slow-moving tone gives

spiritual feeling, the religious organ music utilising those effect very effectively in its three-part

polyphonic composition.

So,  why hi-pitch tone (when its sound slowly moves but not too melodic way) gave us spiritual feelings ?

Try this by yourself now. —– Make high-tone on your mouth, pieeeee —– then, booooo —– you must be

noticed, high-tone resonate in your head / nose cavity,  but low sound resonate in your lung cavity.

Lower base sound shake your body,  but hi-tone hit your head / brain though, if the sound is not

comprehensible —– not a whistle of train or alarm sound, nor soprano song —— something unknown

but as it keep hitting the brain,  we just open the perception and we were nailed down just to listen.

As we couldn’t figure it out, our confidence in our ego melt away, and the mind evaporate into air.

With completely open mind and the naked perception, we started to feel, something is there.

You are standing on the edge of spiritual world.

Just open the perception / mind, and become totally passive without attempting to give

any own thought / thinking,  is nothing but the state of Mushin in the Buddhism.

Of cause, Hi-pitched tone itself has no spirituality, it was just happened to be a typical sample

to make us feel the uncertainty which forced to open our mind / key to see the function of our mind.

And this key is showing us, No-thinking/No-mind/Mushin is the pathway toward the spirituality.

Buddha, in his ultimate wisdom, decipher this phenomenon and gave the explanation. 

What beyond there is, the Dharma. —— As everybody can be hit by this spiritual sound,

its indicates the fact, everybody has its perception, and the Dharma is not beyond the sky, but

in front of us.  In fact we ourself is a part of it, that’s why everybody got this perception.

Unlike the Gregorian Chant of Gospel Song which needs to know beforehand and learn what it is,

the perception toward the spirituality is inherent to all the human,  Buddhism is teaching how to open

the perception/mind, and see the Dharma through its practice. ( without listening a hi-pitch tone  😀  )

—— still, one of the Zen sect Fuke-shu use the sound of Shakuhach / Bamboo pipe  to reach  Mushin.

—— ( though, to master this instrument is as hard as to get enlightenment ). ( Still, sound is good  😀 )

In fact, to some people, it is not necessary a hi-pitch tone, but it can be a sound of the running water,

wave sound of the sea, wind through the tree  though, those sound sources are surrounded by too many

visual signals too.  We may not able to just listen the sound of wave —— mind might be destructed

by a passing nice Bikini Bottom.    ( Ha ha ha  😀  —– In fact, Bottom is a part of the Dharma, so, nothing

wrong with it though, if the mind was stuck with it, it break off the  Mushin and stray away.

You can deal with it in Mushin,  but on a bed,  not on the beach.   Ha ha ha   😀 )

—— Still, once got know how, it can be done in any way.

Just open the mind and perceive the Dharma.  ( People describes this as Meditation )



One Response

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  1. Humming a Song « Yoshizen's Blog said, on April 6, 2012 at 10:31

    […] [Spiritual Sound] (click the Link) which he said pretty interesting. […]

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