With Kindly Curiosity: Emily Roblyn
Published: 18 December 2019
Emily Roblyn leads the Sound, Song & Silence retreats in Sharpham House.
She has been exploring embodied presence and mindfulness through the Movement of Being work in Devon and has used singing as a meditation throughout her life. She is passionate about sharing her love of music and its potential for supporting connection to ourselves and each other.
Here she shares some of her inspirations.
How did you come to practice mindfulness?
In a way it was accidental. I ran into a person who I respected as a voice teacher who had started teaching "embodied presence” and I saw a peace and stillness reflected in them that I knew I wanted in my life so I made the leap to try the presence work they were doing.
For years I had thought that maybe people were exaggerating when they spoke about having a quiet mind! I mean, I know we all long for that, but I could not imagine MY mind ever being silent, and I wondered if maybe others were just pretending…
It took me a while, but I eventually did experience some stillness and I began to realise that singing had always been a gateway in for me. Singing Taise and other spiritual chants was a way I HAD experienced a stillness in my mind that had otherwise eluded me, I had just not valued it.
Through grace and perseverance I now experience meditations of all kinds as extremely supportive and strengthening to my evolving commitment to mindfulness in my daily life, but singing is still a cornerstone to my practice.
Play and download a sound meditation shared by Emily here:
What does your daily practice look like?
A cup of quiet tea in the morning and I try to do 10mins of making 'unplanned sound' most days. I’ll often go outside and move as I do the “sounding”.
But really my main practice is to try and weave "waking up in what is happening" into my life – while I am working at my computer, while I am driving, when I am triggered and in an argument, when I’m teaching… Breathing and asking myself the questions: What is this like? What can I notice about my actual felt experience right now? Can I let my attention be simply on my breath? Can I allow the sensations in my body without adding thoughts to them? I find this incredibly supportive and calming to my system.
Who or what is inspiring you currently?
I am very informed and inspired by the work I have been doing with Movement of Being for the last 8 years. It is an embodied presence practice and enquiry that has supported me in being able to experience more and more 'mindfulness' through the everyday grit of life.
My teachers Colin Harrison and Fanny Behrens inspire me with their humanness and honesty. I have also been loving listening to Pema Chodron’s talks recently. What a beautiful transmission she has…
Tell us about a book/film/story/artwork that's inspired you
For me it is music… and there are so many beautiful pieces that touch my heart, soothe my soul and still my mind it is hard to choose.
But Bobby McFerrin’s Circle Songs album is something I often come back to. All voice, all improvised; it has always touched something deeply in me.