5 – The Inner Sound, Nada Yoga

The seeker requires concentration aids. Bodily sensation and attention to breathing comprise two excellent methods of returning to oneself in a continual now. In addition to these two aids, there is a particularly effective one to reduce inner chatter: it is the inner sound, the Nada as it is called in India, which can be heard inside the ears and head.

This inner Sound known to Buddhist and Hindu traditions is regarded in the Shurangama Sutra as the means, par excellence, of attaining Awakening. Edward Salim Michael relied on this specific method to reach Awakening.

The Law of Attention – Chapter 10

The value of this form of meditation cannot be overstated, especially for those who do not yet know where their attention should be directed, and who thus experience great difficulty retaining their concentration during meditation.
Having taken his meditation posture, and prepared himself mentally and physically—by quieting his mind, relaxing, and feeling a deep global sensation of his body—the seeker should now decide firmly not to move any more.
Closing his eyes, he should remain as still as possible, listening internally with sustained attention. If he can be inwardly quiet enough and deeply absorbed in the search, he will, if he is truly persistent, suddenly become aware of an unusual, feeble sound that can be heard deep inside the ears and head, concealed from him before and obscured by the din of his incessant mental restlessness.

The Law of Attention – Chapter 11

When the aspirant has recognized this Nada and familiarized himself well enough with it, he will perceive that, contrary to the ever-changing inner and outer conditions that he was used to up to that moment, this mystical sound has a strange unearthly continuity about it.
It can be compared to the soft whisper of the wind and the continuous hissing noise of the ocean waves, with a shrill “ultra” sound on top of it, composed of all the harmonics in the universe. On higher spheres, this sacred Nada will have a strange sort of silvery aspect to it, somewhat similar to the uninterrupted jingling sound of very little pieces of glass, with other smaller, ever more subtle sounds superimposed on it, until finally these finer sounds seem to disappear into infinity.

Inner Awakening and Practice of Nada Yoga – Chapter 3

When he takes the Nada—this mysterious sound which resembles the constant lapping of the ocean waves or the gentle murmur of the wind added to by a strange silvery timbre containing ever more delicate, crystalline harmonics—as the main support for his meditation, the seeker must remain constantly attentive and follow the continuity the sound has.
However, he should not forget that he is only using it with a view to succeeding one day in finding himself connected to another state of being in himself, beyond time and space, and not just simply to hear it.
Indeed, this sound is not a goal in itself; it merely comprises a temporary method intended to assist the aspirant’s concentration while he is trying to meditate.

The Law of Attention – Chapter 12

In the beginning of their quest, it is necessary for most people to make very great and sustained efforts with the utmost sincerity and determination. But they also need some definite thing to hold onto that can assist and guide them in this difficult spiritual journey and prevent them wandering blindly, trying to find the secret door to their True Being, hoping by chance to fall upon it.
That is why this inner mystical sound is like a precious sacred rope thrown down by Divine Grace to a drowning seeker—by the aid of which he may eventually pull himself out of the dark pit of his lower nature up to the light and vast expanse of his higher consciousness.