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Too much in modern life can be stressful. This article, the fourth in a series on meditating with the senses, explores ways to relax with sound. The following simple meditations use water, nature, music, and one’s own voice so that hearing becomes a joy.

 

Flowing Water Meditation

Running water can soothe a tired mind. The following meditation using flowing water offers the person meditating the opportunity to release his or her burdens and let the water carry them away.

  1. Sit beside a running stream outdoors, or turn on an indoor fountain situated beside a relaxing chair with ten to fifteen minutes to spare.
  2. Breathe deeply three times slowly and carefully.
  3. Now focus on the sound of the water. Is it loud or soft? How does it make you feel?
  4. Relax the body. Notice all the tension in the body. Breathe out, and visualize all the tension flowing out of the body and into the water.
  5. Breathe in deeply, and imagine the clean, coolness from the water entering your body.
  6. Repeat the process of breathing in clean water and breathing out tension for as long as desired, or until feel relaxed.
  7. When ready to finish, focus again on the sound of the water. Open the eyes, and continue with the day.

 

Relaxing Music Meditation

Music has the power to inspire, entertain, and relax. The following meditation offers an opportunity to rest with one’s favorite song or another relaxing piece of music.

  1. Select a favorite song or piece of relaxing music, such as a classical sonata or a slow ballad. If desired, choose nature sounds or other specifically relaxing music.
  2. Turn on the music and adjust the volume to be comfortable but not too loud. Darken the room, if desired, and wear a pair of headphones if in a loud area.
  3. Sit or lay in a comfortable position.
  4. Find the breath. Breathe in and out deeply.
  5. Try to coordinate the breath with the beat of the music if desired. For example, if a song is in three/four time, breathe in for three counts and then out for three counts.
  6. Imagine the self a part of the music. What is happening? Where has the music taken you?
  7. Repeat breathing with the music until the track has ended. When ready, open the eyes and get up slowly.

 

Mantra Meditation

The human voice has the power to connect people and the individual to himself or herself. The following meditation invites a person to talk to himself/herself using a meaningful phrase that promotes relaxation.

  1. Select a special word or phrase, known as a mantra, that brings the self comfort and hope.
  2. Sit comfortably, with eyes closed, and five to ten minutes to spare.
  3. Focus on the mantra in the mind. Sound out each syllable or word carefully, as though each is precious. Do not think about the mantra’s literal meaning. Instead, feel the mantra on the tongue, and let it become a part of the self.
  4. Open the mouth, and speak the mantra softly aloud. Sound out each syllable and word carefully, so that it all comes out clearly. Take a deep breath, repeat the mantra again.
  5. Vary in tone, speed, and volume until find the way to say the mantra that is most pleasing. Repeat the mantra and breathing for several minutes.
  6. When ready to end, swallow the mantra back into the mouth. Let the mantra sit on the tongue. Repeat it again slowly and carefully in the mind, and then let it go. Open the eyes, and sit up carefully.

Noise doesn’t have keep being stressful with some simple exercises to relax the body and make hearing a pleasure again.