I was recently introduced to a term ‘visual noise’, which in essence is used to describe everything around us that we see, which in turn creates some sort of feedback, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
Taking time to consider this further, it would make sense that our outer world is, to the best of our abilities, visually appealing, irrespective of where we may find ourselves. Â We may not be blessed with a garden, but we can bring colour into the home through the use of fabrics or houseplants.
For our creative energies to remain fluid and flowing, there’s the requirement of space. Â So the ‘noise’ can be seen as clutter – the process of clearing and tidying is a very cathartic experience, whilst being practical, can also be somewhat meditative too. Â Working on the visual noise allows us to declutter mentally as well, as too often, we are distracted by the many things we have around us.
This in turn informed a practice I offered to students at a yoga class this week. Â Setting the tone of a class is incredibly important, somewhat like a play in which we ‘set the scene’, the process enables the audience (students) to be prepared for what comes next.
We began very differently with a meditation taken lying down. Â I very rarely opt for this, as best intentions notwithstanding, people are liable to fall asleep. Â However, I was willing to take the risk asking students to tell themselves at the start, they would ‘fall awake’.
Closing our eyes instantly removes the visual noise that is occurring around us and it automatically brings a sense of rest and ease to the already over-worked nervous system. Â This also associates the endeavour with an element of relaxation and restoration, as ordinarily, the usual time to close the eyes is for going to sleep (though I appreciate that there may be other exceptions!)
The journey of the meditation was through the body’s energy centres – chakras – utilising visualisation of colours and elements and also coupled with the sounding of the bija mantra associated with the particular energy centre.
This inner ‘noise’ or vibration is a very healing process, as everything, including ourselves, is an energy vibration. Â It can be incredibly soothing as we have the primal connection to sounds being heard as vibration whilst in the womb-space of our mothers.
So next time the visual noise externally gets a little too overwhelming, close the eyes and create some inner noise instead.
Below you will find a picture which demonstrates the position (roughly) of each of the energy (chakra) centres. Â Starting from the base of the body up, the bija mantras are offered. Â Sound each one three times, with emphasis on the ‘mmm’ at the end and pause to allow yourself to absorb the vibration of the sound before moving up to the next one.
(Centres 6 and 7 are taken together for the purpose of this exercise)