Come to a comfortable seat. Relax the body. Take a deep inhale through the nose…release out the mouth. Settle in. Get still. Befriend the moment. Now listen deeply.
The ways in which we are currently spending our days are more than likely quite different from how we used to spend them. Given such drastic change in such little time, we are being asked on some level to just simply be. No doing. No achieving. No hustling. This is quite the opposite, in fact, of what many of us are used to.
Enter meditation. Sound meditation, to be specific. If there was ever a time for this practice, it is now! Lucky for us, anyone can do this, and even (especially) if you don’t think you can, you are probably the person who can benefit the most!
So what is sound meditation? It’s just like mindfulness meditation, with the focus of attention, or awareness, on sound rather than the breath. What makes this form of meditation unique is that it is ideal for beginner meditators, including skeptics and those who are wary of meditation. This is because the only thing you have to be able to do is be alive to gain the benefits of it.
Typically, sound meditation involves a certified sound practitioner leading a group of people through any given amount of time where overtone-emitting instruments are played (usually crystal singing bowls, chimes, gong, etc.), and the participants are laying down, supporting the body with props, and listening. The key to this practice is the listening aspect. The more we are able to tune in to the sound and stay present, the greater impact the sound can have on us.
What’s technically happening is the sound is literally slowing down the brain waves, putting our minds and bodies in a more relaxed, receptive state of being, which often equates to the meditative state of an advanced practitioner. This is because we are engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, or the “rest and digest” mode of the nervous system (as opposed to “fight or flight”). When the vibration of the instruments entrain with the frequency of the heartbeat, the breath, and the body itself, we experience incredible benefits, such as…
Reduced stress and anxiety
Increased energy, creativity, and motivation
Reduction of depression symptoms
Stimulation of circulation
Improved sleep and focus
Improved functioning of the brain
So now, in this time of great reset as I like to think of it, as we are being asked to slow down and be still, perhaps we can take the perspective of this being a rare and valuable opportunity to tune into ourselves and listen deeply to what is present within us. And learn to trust it once again, with deepest gratitude and faith.
If you’d like to check out sound meditation in the Nashville area, hop on over to magnoliameditation.com where you can read more about what we do, like one-on-ones and private group offerings, and we also sell instruments so that you can incorporate sound into your own home practice. Also, feel free to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know! Or, check out our Instagram page at @soundbathnashville for daily virtual sound meditations and more. Thanks for tuning in! Stay safe. Stay sound.