Archive for the ‘Zen concepts’ Category

hyperacusis, tinnitus, posture, resonance, vocal shape

October 20, 2010

It is not necessarily the vocal shape that directs all the sound, and obviously, the posture initially affects the direction of the sound.   If posture is not straight, it is possible that the sound starts going toward the ears, from starting at the vocal tract and then resonating within the skull.

The straight alignment can better assure that the sounds emit through the mouth.

Result is lesser volume of sound to ears and reduced tinnitus and hyperacusis.

This returns to the concept of Maya and also Alexander Technique.   Hearing is never right or accurately established, until the vocal apparatus is sitting in a regular vocal sound pathway–which in our case, is a detensed throat and inner mouth pathway.  This begins the cause of Maya in hearing.

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Freedom in singing–through Zen

June 17, 2009

Please refer to 6-16-09 posting on freedom in singing and 5-19-09 posting on Zen and bondage.  

Recall Zen Buddhism is Indian in origin.  Yoga asanas (stretches) are the initial steps to meditation– yoga to still the body before sitting meditations that still the mind.   Stilling the mind diminishes craving (similar to compulsion).  

Hindu and Buddhist spiritual leaders thus answered on vocal freedom–stretches and meditation.  VocalPosture.com explains that simply stretches (without vocalizing or singing exercises), can be used for learning singing.   Alan Greene’s book, the New Voice, is a series of silent exercises to stretch, detense, and establish or the proper vocal structure.   Alan Greene, , was a singing instructor endorsed by Harry Belafonte and Walter Matheau who developed such a silent stretches for his students.    Yes, for 10+ years, he taught students how to sing without their singing.  (A Zen riddle for you).

VocalPosture.com supplements Alan Greene’s work in that VocalPosture.com focus is that proper posture will great faciliate proper vocal structure.

VocalPosture believes that stretches, alike asanas, are the first steps to gaining singing freedom, alike how yoga asanas are the first step to meditation.   Unlike the ultimate goal of meditation, VocalPosture is less concerned with freedom or vocal freedom, but is interested in the journey.

This journey means that while one is trying to attain vocal freedom (a long journey), one should utilize rather than free one’s bondage.   In psychology, this means, sublimation of one’s suppressed emotions.

Blues, sorrowful songs–these are examples of sublimation of sorrow (and Zen and Buddha know a lot about sorrow).  

One should, in VocalPosture’s view, use stretches to attain a perfect vocal structure; but before achieving this, utilize the improvements in stretches coupled with sublimation of the suppressed emotions.

Chen Sun

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What is freedom in singing?

June 16, 2009

Freedom and singing.

What is freedom in singing? To me, this means, being able to express any desired sound that one is capable of, at will.

How can one attain this? Zen explains much of this.

Please now refer to the section on Zen and bondag–May 19, 2009.

Challenge of tan tien

June 14, 2009

Having posture utilizing tan tien is challenging. The body’s prior habitual tension deter this. Downcast head and sunken shoulders encourage hips to move backside. The taut myofascia and chronic muscular tension means that deliberate efforts to place tan tien are usually challenging.

Achieving good tan tien should be seen as a continual postural alignment process and removing the bad postural built-up tensions.

When sitting, make sure not to put pressure on the lower back.   Pull it in.

Tan Tien

June 14, 2009

This is a part of the body above the sexual organs, that Chinese thought says is the focus of energy. It is located very close to the source of kundalini energy (Indian thought).

If you’re able to tuck your tan tien proper, your posture will straighten immensely. My initial perception is that this can increase highs because proper posture alignment helps to send the sound up through the sinus cavities.

Tucking in the lower abdomen will also solve the lower backache problems (because less continual tension on lower back muscles and ligaments–continual tension is usually the source of lower backaches), prostatitis pain (as explained, much of the pain of prostatitis is from the muscles surrounding the prostate),  sunken chest, acid reflux, excessive saliva while singing).

Zen and singing

May 22, 2009

Does Zen apply toward singing? VocalPosture.com has not found any evidence of historical Zen Buddhism applied toward singing. Does anyone know?  Please inform us.

Is it reasonable to assume then that Zen can be applied toward singing? Recall, Zen Buddhism is really a derivative of Chan Buddhism (Chinese), and Buddhism started in India, which was and still is Hindu. One would expect these Eastern cultural techniques to have been applied toward singing; and perhaps we just don’t know anything about it.

So, is it reasonable to assume that Zen is applicable to singing?

Well, consider all the other influences Buddhism has in Japan– Zen in tea ceremonies, Zen in archery, Zen in sumo wrestling, Zen in samurai, etc. It would be surprising that Zen wasn’t applied toward singing.

Buddha was known be love singing.

Zen and bondage

May 19, 2009

Zen Sayings:

Zen in its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of one’s being and it points the way from bondage to freedom. D.T. Suzuki (a famous Zen teacher).

What is bondage and what is freedom?
Bondage is usually some form of repetitive behaviour, a circular behaviour that yields the same negative results. Freedom is the ability to choose behaviour preferred.

The clearest examples of bondage are compulsions, also frequently known as addictive behaviour. For example, certain forms of compulsive eating, depression, sex addiction, resentment, the world is filled with compulsions. Indeed, VocalPosture believes that it is compulsions, more than any other emotion, that drives the world.

If compulsions are driving so many of one’s actions, what makes you think that compulsion isn’t driving your voice? Indeed it is! All kinds of contrary compulsions prevent you from reaching your vocal capabilities. Is this true? VocalPosture will follow up with a description of hearing, which is needed to  explain how compulsions prevent your great singing from blossoming, like the lotus flower.

Chen Sun
www.WebAndNet.com

Lotus flower and restoration of divine voice

May 19, 2009

The lotus flower is symbolic in Buddhist art. The idea is that the lotus rises through the mucky muddy waters, to have a straight stem and then a large, beautiful blooming flower. If you’ve ever seen lotus flowers in bloom in a pond, particularly lotus flowers blooming about 4 feet or higher in air, you’ll understand.

The symbolism is that the flower is inherently beautiful; and that it simply needs to rise up straight through the mucky muddy pond water to express its beauty. Similarly, in VocalPosture’s Zen-derived analogy, the divine voice is in itself beautiful, and the objective of VocalPosture’s singing pedagogy is to allow the divine voice itself to arise from the muddy waters of past emotions, bad habits, tensions, to straighten its spine (stem) such that the beautiful flowering (the singing) can be heard.

Zen (actually Buddhist and Hindu-derived) philosophy enables VocalPosture to make all its speculative claims on how posture is able to create a beautiful blossoming voice.

The significance is that VocalPosture’s view is that most of learning how to sing deals with how to restore-straighten the spine to enable the voice to express its innate beauty. This is a vastly different approach to singing pedogagy than practicing scales to polish-up-create a beautiful voice.

Chen Sun

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Zen and the imperfect

May 17, 2009

Ancient Japanese Zen art, architecture, pottery, etc. frequently have imperfection built-in. A tea cup that is not symetrical, a house with an irregular window, etc. The Zen way of looking at life realizes that life has imperfections, and builds this into art, and admires imperfection as part of the living experience.

Western art strives instead for perfection–symetrical, balanced, geometric. These arise from Greek ideals of perfection.

In singing though, audiences frequently prefer the living life and its imperfections.

Until one reaches perfect singing (very difficult for most), it is actually better to acknowledge one’s imperfections in voice, understand the audience frequently wants to hear this imperfection, and utilize this.

Chen Sun

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questions to ask about posture

May 10, 2009

Additionally, I’d like to ask how is it that the posture isn’t naturally good? And why is it we don’t hear ourselves accurately? Lastly, why we don’t automatically express our feeling lyrically and musically?

My suggestion is that Zen Buddhist concepts are very similar to these. If we observe meditation, much of the work itself is a straight spine posture. The sound waves we hear are inaccurate in part because without good posture, it travels through the bones in a different way. And without good posture, the body’s emotions remain bound in certain taut or over-relaxed muscles—hence, the expression is always different.

What I’m suggesting is that Eastern concepts of restoring the divine and then taking this and focusing on meditation and its straight spine, is basically analogous to—restoring the misaligned divine voice within by straightening the spine.