Secrets For A Happier Life March 5, 2013


Secrets For A Happier Life: Ideas, Inspiration & Practices


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Vibrations for happiness




Michael D Selzer DDS


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“Music is the cup that holds the wine of silence. Sound is that cup, but empty. Noise is that cup, but broken.”

Robert Fripp



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Sounds of “now” March 5, 2013
Dear Michael,  



Growing up in the 60’s I went from Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence to one of the better known Zen koans, what is the sound of one hand clapping. Surprisinly a path into either of these contemplations may be the passageway of sound itself.


I invite you to read on and explore the happiness of sound.


Michael Selzer DDS 

Quick Changes
What we call sound is the brain’s interpretation of vibration that reaches it primarily through the ear. You have probably contemplated the famous question about the tree falling in the forest when no one is there. Does it make a sound? I suppose sound needs both the vibration and the perceiver.   That is someone or something has to be there to respond and be a receiver of the sound; otherwise it is just vibration.


In any case we are continually surrounded by vibration much of which we simply ignore. We are usually too busy or concerned with thinking or doing something and we allow the sound to be just be a  part of the background “noise.” Sometimes this   noise is helpful as we listen to music, to give that portion of our mind something to occupy itself with, while we do what we think is more important. And sometimes the noise is disruptive as in music we do not like or all of the noise made by others in a restaurant or club trying to talk loud enough to be heard; until the entire room seems as though everyone is just yelling at everyone else.


What happens is that we become so distracted by what we are attending to we miss a large portion of what is really happening around us. We shift our attention to our thinking mind rather than our senses. We become more interested in the score of the game than we are in the playing of the game itself.   Even in our expressions when we observe someone who seems to be lost or not with it we say they seem to have lost their senses. We are referring to their actions or lack of them from a mind’s point of view but we are actually using a word that describes our “sense” contacts. In speaking about something making sense we have lost the bodily part of the actual sensations of sight, sound, touch etc that make up our world and substituted the word sense as a function of the mind’s thinking in a logical rational manner.


After a while the mind starts to go around in circles when it loses its foundation and forgets that it is based on our sense contacts. This is where repetitive circular thinking sets in which we may call worry, anxiety, restlessness, boredom or doubt at worst or just a loss of happiness at best.


One way to return to a more peaceful happy state is to actually go through our senses. A primary one is sound. Rather than ignore the sounds around us because we feel they are unimportant and just background what would happen if we paid
attention to them? Right now in my office I can hear the sound of the ultrasonic cleaner, footsteps, the hum of the air conditioner, suction and music.. The compressor just went on also there is the sound of instruments being bagged for sterilization. The compressor is humming and just let out a hiss as it turned off.


These were all just vibrations which had a particular meaning as I understood the sounds. But what if I listened deeper to just focus on the vibration with no interpretation.: just the sound itself. The different tones, pitch, volume, frequency and duration., sharp or dull thud or ringing etc just sound.

Small Moments Of Happiness
Why do this?


When we listen to sound , really focus our attention and notice it, several things occur. First we stop thinking. Many times we are thinking of the past or the future or playing old worries or future worries around and around in our mind. This listening to sound stops that cycle for a moment and gives us a “time out” from the repetitive stress that builds up and the lack of happiness that occurs. Next when we focus on sound we move into what is happening now with one sense and that activates our other senses to not be ignored and to start to give us more of our actual experience of this moment. When we, even for a few moments, return to “now” our deeper intentions come closer to the surface and our too speedy reactions to circumstances may be replaced.


The next time you are stressed or not happy or bored etc try listening to the sounds around you. Go deeply into the sounds until you forget (for a moment) whatever is in your mind that is disruptive. Think of it as a reboot or a default button that allows you to return to a happier mind set. The more you just hear the sound without interpreting what it is the better.  As you continue with your activity you will be more relaxed, aware, present and one step closer to happiness.


Recall a trip to the beach or a waterfall. The sound of the ocean or splashing water becomes captivating. Is it the sound or the listening? When there is no sound around try really listening to the silence. Maybe that is one way to hear the sound of one hand clapping.


And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls”

And whispered in the sounds of silence

“The Sound of Silence”   Simon & Garfunkel 1964

Happiness:  A puppy’s perspective for living in the moment










Golf Secrets:  A golfer’s perspective for living in the moment
This June 2-6 I invite you to continue your exploration of focusing on your senses to release distractions and enjoy more success and fun while playing golf.
Swingolf for Health: Thriving On and Off the Course

Explore the inner source of health and happiness as you discover ways to integrate more vitality into your golf game, work, and life.


Les Bolland’s Swingolf provides a unique opportunity to experience golf using harmonious body movements without technical commands from the intellect.


Michael Selzer’s BeJoyNow methodology enables you to spend more moments in joy both on and off the course.


In this workshop, learn to

  • Play golf with more consistency
  • Drive a longer ball with less effort
  • Improve putting through wood play and golf course strategy
  • Go from frustration to joy in any moment
  • Shift from tension to relaxation using simple breathing techniques
  • Apply a new paradigm that changes “work” into an enjoyable activity
  • Address patterns that keep you from success.

In an environment of relaxation and fun, find greater enjoyment on the golf course and harmony of mind, body, and spirit no matter where you are.

June 2-6th 2013

Kripalu Center For Yoga And Health


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