What’s On Your Mind? Part 3:
Surround Sound

By Elizabeth Sullivan

When I was in preschool and kindergarten I learned about the senses, but it was never clear to me why. It was not until my study of Yoga & Ayurveda that I realized how important these five doorways of perception truly are, and how much they inform our very essence. Our systems are truly magnificent! Over the next five days we will explore the five senses and their organ of action.

Today we will take a look at the sensory motor loop of hearing and speech and sound and space. Want to amplify and support your sense of hearing? Want to let what you hear inspire what you say, and what you say inspire what you hear in the world around you? Notice what you pay attention to with your sense of hearing and how it shapes your speech, your breath and the mind.

Artwork by Autumn Skye “Wisdom of Ages”


Sense Organs & Organs of Action aka Sensory-Motor Loop

The input sense organs, and output organs of action illustrate the sensory motor loop flow, and how learning happens. There is so much more in all of this, but try sensing and feeling the connections to these sensory motor loops within your system and see what happens when you give them the just right stimulus to be clear and focus well.

Our hearing and speech depend on our mindset, and our breath. When our mind and breath are distracted, stupefied or dull we do not hear as well, nor do we attend our hearing in a way that may support us well. When our mind is overactive, hard to settle or our breath is erratic so are our senses. When our mind and our breath are clear, calm, focused, serene so too can we hear and speak with these qualities.

Sense of Sound:

Input sense organ – ears (hearing). Output organ of skillful action – mouth (speech).

  • What we hear affects what we say and what we say affects what we hear.

  • Consider how the space you are affects what you hear?

Daily routines also known as Dinacharya in Ayurveda, can keep the senses clear, and the mind and breath be well supported. As we explore our sensory motor loop these next five days there will be suggested practices for you to try and incorporate into your routines.

Today try one of these Daily Practices (Dinacharya):

Simple Daily Practices to support the sensory organ of ears/hearing (sense organs are the way our mind receives information from the world).​

Ears (hearing)​ –

  • Listen to beautiful music, poetry, or a mantra.

  • Tune into the sounds of nature.

  • Turn off cell phone notifications and beeps.

  • Massage the ear from the earlobe to the top of the ear with your thumb and first finger.

  • Oil the ears. (Karana Purana)

Simple Daily Practices to nourish our motor organ of Tongue/Speech (motor organs are the way we act/impress upon the world)​.

Tongue (speech) – before you speak try purifying speech with love and truth (saucha+ahimsa+satya):

  • Is it true?

  • Is it necessary?

  • Is it kind?

  • Is it the right time? The first three are the Tibetan gates for Speech.

  • Become aware of your thoughts before they become speech.

  • Practice a window of silence.

  • Mantra/chant.

  • Sing beautiful music.

  • Read beautiful poetry.

Invitations for Self Study:

Simple Daily Practices to Nourish the Sensory Motor Loop of hearing and speech with the Breath and the Mind.

  • Notice your breath:​ W​hen you are breathing shallow how does your voice sound? When you have a full essential breath how does your voice sound? How do you feel when you speak with diaphragmatic breath? Notice what happens to your voice and what you hear when your breath is fully supporting your system.

  • Notice your mind ​​how it is shaped by what you hear? A loud sound? A quiet sound? Wind in the ears? What happens to your mind when you cover your ears with your hands? And also note how the thinking mind flows through your speech. Get a feel for how what you hear and what you say affects the breath and mind’s patterning.

Journal your observations and findings as you open this magnificent sensory motor loop of hearing and speaking.

Remember you are light,

Elizabeth Sullivan

Elizabeth Sullivan is an expert instructor, certified yoga therapist, and practitioner in Yoga, Energy Work and Ayurveda. She supports the body to optimally function using neuromuscular reeducation and working with energy patterns. By integrating and aligning body, mind and spirit energy, she creates relaxation, increased energy flow, optimized sleep and a clear mind for her clients. Her work helps people hold higher consciousness to live their optimal lives. Elizabeth offers private lessons, group classes and workshops, and online programs for health practitioners, and also writes for health publications. She holds advanced degrees in Dev. Psychology, Education and Writing, along with certifications in each instructional area. To learn more, visit elizabetheilerssullivan.com.


Elizabeth SullivanElizabeth Sullivan, MFA, MA, BA, Certified Yoga Therapy, Energy Medicine

Founding member, Community for Higher Consciousness
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