Speech and its derivative, writing, are amazing tools through which we interact with the world. We can even go as far as calling speech the essence of humanity. Words precede action - speech (thought) is the basis of our power to act. By controlling speech we take charge of our lives.
All senses express themselves through speech. For instance, when you eat something yummy, in addition to feeling the sensation your brain thinks (in words) 'this is good'. The inner speech is the voice of our heart-mind. So it follows that by controlling our speech we can harmonize the senses.
We cannot see our mind or thoughts - our memory consists of sounds. Sound is the primary carrier of emotions / memories / ideas. Sound & speech determine who we are, who we have been and who we wish to be.
Nada Yoga - the practice of conscious sound and speech works on these two levels, harmonizing the mind and senses. In the end mind is is just an ignorant seeker of truth and knowledge and not the ultimate expression of these (as we tend to uphold it in the West). To raise to a higher level of consciousness mind needs to be silent, free of thoughts and immobile. As one of the sages put it: 'when the mind is still, truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of silence'. That's the practice of Nada Yoga.
One of the main goals of the Nada (sound) Yoga practice is to find yourself at peace with yourself. As the modern sage, Maharishi, points out: "peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within yourself, you'll then find it everywhere." Imagine a world where we all see peace all around...
Being at peace is really being home. As I once overheard someone say: "home is the quality of your heart - it is the type of your aware presence in the universe, in the present moment." Peace and home are some of the most potent keywords developed through dedicated sonic yoga practice.
Yoga of sound teaches ancient, pre-linguistic sound archetypes that circumvent the rational mind. It is a tradition dating back some 6000 years! "There is nothing more timely today than that truth which is timeless, than the message that comes from tradition and is relevant now because it has been relevant at all times" says S.H. Nasr. "To speak of tradition is to speak of immutable principles of heavenly origin and of their application to different moments of time and space."
Physicists tell us today that all things animate or inanimate are made up of atoms, which in turn are nothing but vibration - vibration being SOUND. Therefore music, as the human expression of sound is, to continue Nasr's thread, "among the most important and direct manifestations of the principles of tradition, for men live in [the world of] forms and, in order to be drawn toward the transcendent, they must be surrounded by forms that echo transcendent archetypes."
Nada Yoga seems to bring each of us closer to the unique ways in which we seek to express ourselves in the world. Traditionally, besides dealing with their material needs people found ways to express their spiritual and creative aspirations through any medium: be it weaving, cleaning, poetry, cooking or pottery. There was no concept of an ARTIST. The artist was not a special person, but each person a special kind of artist. These days that aspect is often missing in our society.
We need to reclaim the awareness of the sacred in the ordinary. Such awareness allows for every, even the most mundane event to become a meditation or at least a learning tool for us. The inward directed Nada Yoga plants these seeds inside of us. Its practice allows for the seeds to blossom.