The first practice we cultivated here in Montenegro was to ground our energy by listening- having travelled from far, some of us enduring long, arduous flight delays. How does listening to the sounds of a distant and foreign country help root our nervous system? Listening first draws our attention to the immediate, causing an acute awareness of presence and place, and a transformation of the listener as we slowly become and merge with the sounds we hear. First we hear the sea, then we breathe the sea, then the sea’s dynamic energy and our own energies merge. We begin to feel the comfort of home even when we’re thousands of miles from the familiar.
The sounds of the delta Ada Bojana in Montenegro are mesmerizing. There has been a constant soft breeze which cools our skin after so much sun and salt. The waves and tide carry their own hypnotic rhythm, while the birds greet the early rising sun. Most mornings the air is laden with sea fog which wets the grass as well as creates a natural screen from the intensity of the sun’s rays. The salty sea water mixes with the fresh Bojana river water and becomes diluted. People stroll, children laugh and play, the breeze continues to rustle and shuffle the leaves. The simple practice of listening acts as a meditation and allows us when traveling to slowly and naturally immerse ourselves into a new climate and culture. Tonight we’re taking a meditation sunset walk along the coast. Try this sometime. Set out with a group of friends or family and witness/listen to the environment together. It’s magical!