The Sound of One Hand

In sitting just past dawn this morning by the estuary called Black Fish Creek, the koan “The sound of one hand” came to me. At that very moment a shore bird called out and its shrill pitch echoed over the water. The bird had been feeding, diving, under still water. As I did pranayama I wondered, for how long could it stay under water? When it set into flight, a small wake of waves rippled along the placid surface of the water.

What is the sound of one hand?

The wings of a flock of plovers whistled as they dove and swirled in unison. I watched them alight onto a mud bank. The tide was heading out.  The sound of One Hand evokes for me a listening practice. Sound and ear correlate. The ear does not have to grasp, to try and get sound. Rather, the ear receives sound, if one is open to receiving. Sounds are as they are. One need not try and hear more. One hears what arises, and this morning, the call of the shore bird pierced the morning air with such penetrating clarity.

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