The Brahma Sound and the Sound of the Rising Tide


These sounds are definitely different but they feel very connected to me.  They are described this way

The third sound is the Brahma Sound. This is the transcendental sound, om, which has a long history in Indian spiritual thought. The tradition is that the sound om has the innate power to create the world,.  The story goes that the cosmos, the world, the universe was created by that sound. The Christian Gospel of John has the same idea: “In the beginning there was the word” (John 1:1)….The fourth sound is the Sound of the Rising Tide. This sound symbolizes the voice of the Buddha. The teaching of the Buddha can clear away misunderstanding, remove affliction, and transform everything. It’s penetrating and effective.

Thich Nhat Nanh. Silence (p. 11). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

When I read about these two sounds, I thought of the story of creation in Genesis – into the chaos and the nothingness, God spoke.  As God’s Spirit hovered over the chaos and nothingness…all came into being.  

I took this photo about a year ago in between filming for one of the online services at a church I was helping during the initial months of the pandemic.  We had finished filming and I was alone in the sanctuary as I was putting my equipment away and noticed that the candles had not been put out.  So after blowing them out, I saw how the smoke, a single light, and the darkness all came together to create a holy moment that pulled me in.  I remember just standing there for about a minute as I watched (and photographed) the smoke rising and slowly dissipating.  It was holy.  

It was this image that I remembered as I read about these third and fourth sounds – one that spoke something into being (the Spirit hovering over the waters) and one that can clear away and transform (as the smoke started to dissipate).  

Categories: ListeningTags: , , , , ,

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