My work and teaching method uses sound and deep listening as a tool to access meditative states. A sound bath is a deeply-immersive, full-body listening experience that intentionally uses sound to invite gentle yet powerful therapeutic and restorative processes to nurture the mind and body.
A sound bath can be helpful for anyone who wants to access the benefits of meditation, but may be intimidated by the so-called “rules” of meditation. Instead of a meditative practice that requires you to sit up straight, have a point of focus, recite a mantra, or count your breaths, to fully participate in a sound bath, you simply need to show up and listen.
Finding space to listen in a world as active, over-stimulated, and noisy as the one we inhabit can be a challenge. Even the best listeners among us can struggle to quiet the mind and be fully present. But, when we tune out constant status updates, non-stop news cycles, and instantaneous access to every song/movie/show ever made, we can clear mental space to listen deeply and truly rest.
A sound bath can help to relieve the effects of stress on the mind and body. Practicing this with regularity, you will be able to downshift into the body’s natural relaxation response, helping to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate, and breathing. When you sink into a sound bath and guide your awareness to your listening, you allow your brain waves to slow. You’ll shift from a more active state to a more relaxed, dreamlike state.
The sounds introduced during a sound bath are an invitation into a deeper state of consciousness, and an opportunity to unplug from external stimuli in order to gain perspective on what’s going on within you. The goal of the experience is to invite deep rest and relaxation while exploring self-inquiry and self-discovery.
Intrigued? Here’s a 20-minute sound bath you can try at home:
STEP 1: Open Spotify and cue up my single, Awake, on my album, Namora. Get comfortable, either seated or lying down. Choose a position where you can be still for about 20 minutes.
STEP 2: Close your eyes (or cover them with an eye mask) and take three deep breaths. Inhale for 4 counts through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Then, return to the natural breath.
STEP 3: Turn your attention to your listening. Focus on the sound and the contrast it leaves in the room after it fades away.
STEP 4: Let the sounds you hear anchor you in the present moment. Try not to get caught up in judging what you hear or analyzing the sounds; just listen, observe, and experience them. If you become restless or other thoughts come in, acknowledge and allow them but do not react to them. Stick with this for the length of the recording.
STEP 5: Become aware of the space around you. Consciously become aware of the space in front, behind, and to the sides—even above and below. Allow yourself to feel as if your mind is expanding into the space surrounding, and even expanding outside of the room.
STEP 6: When the recording is complete, allow yourself to sit in silence for one to two minutes.
STEP 7: Gently make small movements through your body, and slowly open your eyes.
Now, observe how your awareness has shifted from the beginning of the practice.
(photo credit: Sara Auster)