Have you ever taken a sound bath?

I’ve been experiencing a new meditation technique lately – called a sound bath. And I love it. Here’s why:

The other day I spent forty-five minutes in a sound bath. I sat in a straight-backed chair in a small auditorium with my eyes closed while listening to the leader play eight frosted glass bowls of various sizes. She used long glass sticks on the inside and outside of the bowls to create a rhythmic and continuing sound while she sat on her knees on the floor. I know because I opened my eyes to see what she was doing for a minute or two. After she finished with the bowls, she played two kinds of drums. One made a quiet rattling sound like it was filled with small beads, the other sounded like low-keyed chimes. She walked around the room with each of the drums so the participants could get the full effects of the sounds they were making.

We also were instructed to breathe deeply throughout the session. She said to take one deep breath and hold it in while taking a second one, and then let both breaths out at once with a loud out breath sound. I wasn’t so good at that, but I kept trying.

When she stopped playing the bowls and drums, she asked us to open our eyes and do a bit of stretching, starting with acupuncture like pinches on our earlobes and then raising our arms up and down and hugging ourselves so we could feel the full effect of the work our bodies had just been through.

I kept paying attention for the full time – except for the little peek I took of her playing the bowls – and found it was easy to do. The sounds she made were gentle and fit well with all the people sitting in the room. Nobody made any disrupting noises. Nobody interrupted her while she played the bowls and drums. We all just sat there letting ourselves breathe in and out during the time we were given.

I also found the name of the activity “sound bath” very fitting. I had once done another kind a meditation that played a metal bowl. But that bowl was only hit once or twice and seemed out of place with meditation.

The constant and musical sounds of the bowls were very relaxing. And later, looking back at it, very energizing. It’s an activity I recommend to us all. Why not try something new that’s very easy to participate in and that could improve our well-being.

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