1. You can meditate using all kinds of sound.
“Sound is one of the easiest ways into meditation,” says Gervais. “You could have a sound meditation on anything from the chaos of the NYC street noise to the birds singing on a mountain top. If you simply listen to whatever that soundtrack may be, without trying to shut it out or change it, you can then apply that same approach to your own thoughts.”
2. Sound meditation has mind-body benefits.
“The main benefits include reduction of tension and stress, increased ability to manage anxiety and depression, to recognize and release undesirable thought patterns and habits, and an improvement in sleep,” says Raharinosy, founder of Soul Through Sound. “There's a luxurious feeling to it as well,” adds Gervais. “It creates this container in the room that gives people permission to completely let go.”
3. To optimize those benefits, disconnect from labels.
“[No matter where you are] try to disconnect from labeling what it is that you hear, or if the sound is a good sound or a bad sound,” says Gervais. “Instead, hear that sound like you're just observing it, experiencing it as part of the texture of the environment around you.”
4. It’s all grounded in vibration and frequencies.
“We use overtone-emitting instruments, such as gongs, singing bowls, chimes, kailani, and many other instruments, to produce certain sounds that help to quiet the mind and bring awareness into the present moment,” says Raharinosy. “Through physical vibration and frequencies created by the sound instruments, the process of regeneration and release becomes possible. That manifests itself on all four levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.”
5. IRL is best — but you can access it anywhere.
“We’re starting to do sound meditation in more clubs, beginning in New York, London, and LA,” says Gervais, noting that IRL (compared to through a speaker or headphones) is ideal in the way that your ears work with sound and experience the instruments’ vibrations. “We’ve also been doing a series of unique events, like a sound experience at midnight for New Year's Eve where the gong literally rang in the new year, and one in Central Park where the concept was to turn Wollman Rink into a giant healing sound bowl.” Next up: a sound meditation at Equinox Hotel for the Vernal Equinox (you can sign up here). “The sound is going to help to generate that feeling of vastness, of potential,” Gervais says.
“You can access the power of sound wherever you are by putting on music that makes you feel relaxed, and see if you can just observe your own thoughts as noises being added to that soundtrack — you can listen, and then let them go.” says Gervais. “Noise-canceling over-ear headphones are really great because they cocoon you and help you to focus inward. You can also combine the meditation with a restorative yoga pose, like resting your spine on a bolster or putting your legs up a wall.”