Sound Meditation

Using Sound for Meditation and Healing

Here are some simple ways to practice sound meditation. Sound has been used for meditation and healing since the beginning of time. The ancient sages understood there are naturally occuring sounds and tones which vibrate at a frequency that helps us both physically and spiritually. In many traditions, music is considered to be based upon the celestial sounds experienced in deep meditation. Here are some ways to explore the use of sound for meditation.

The Sound of Om

Om (aum) is said to be the primordial sound from which all creation arose. Chanting the sound of om can be very powerful for meditation. The sound of Om has four unique parts:

1. Ah
2. Oh
3. Mmm
4. Silence

Each sound, when made, vibrates in a different part of the body. To experience this, close your eyes, plug your ears with your thumbs, and cover your eyes with your fingers. Then chant the sound of Om on any note. With your ears plugged, you will hear and feel the vibration of the sound within your body. This can then be used as a focal point for your meditation–just chanting and repeating the sound of Om.

Listening to Sounds Around You

In this method of sound meditation, focus on the sounds going on around you. It doesn’t matter where you are, just focus on the sounds, and as you observe them, ask yourself, “Who is it who’s experience these sounds?” As you contemplate this question, try to connect with the part of you that is actually perceiving the sounds around you.

Listening to the Silence Between Sound

Another way to practice sound meditation is to focus on the sounds around you, and then begin listening to the space between each sound you hear. Instead of focusing on the sounds, listen for the silence that occurs between each sound.

Mantra Repetition

Exploring the power of mantra may be a great way to learn how to use sound for meditation. A great number of Sanskrit mantras exist including: Om Namah Shivaya, Guru Om and Soham. These are all mantras I use. The use of these mantras provides a focal point for meditation, and over time, steadies the mind, making it easy to focus. I’ve also learned many chants from Krishna Das, Wah, and Gurumayi.

Music for Meditation

Another method of sound meditation is using music as a point of focus. I’ve never been a big fan of using cheesy ‘meditation’ music. There’s a lot of it out there and some people find it very helpful is staying focused and awake during meditation. You may want to experiment with it and see if it works for you.

A process that was extremely powerful for me was doing a guided meditation to music. In this experience, a therapist put on some music and asked me to describe the things I was thinking, feeling, seeing, and hearing as the music played. As I expressed myself, she recorded the conversation. Having an outside observer facilitate expressing my internal experience of the music was very powerful and added a level of awareness to my experience that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. It also added great insight by helping me to access my subconscious mind, similarly to what you might experience with hypnotherapy.

Do you have another method of sound meditation? Let me know