a few minutes to choose a song
3-5 minutes (depending on the duration of the song)
Comfortable seated position
Listen to the podcast episode on
or wherever you listen to podcasts
- Select a song that you do not know too well. If you need help finding one, see the links below. Put on your headphones, and turn the volume up slightly higher than you normally would listen to it.
- Sit in a comfortable position, with your body in an open and relaxed posture. It may be helpful to close your eyes, to limit external distractions. Take a few slow and deep breaths. In your mind’s eye, imagine a sunflower stretching up to face the sun, waiting to receive its warmth and energy.
- Press play on the song. Let the sound waves enter. Imagine the sound slide from the outer ear, and hit the ear drum, which vibrates into your ear canal. If you’re a visual person, it can be helpful to review a diagram of your ear to facilitate your awareness of sensations (link here).
- Using your ears as a sensor, focus on the physical sensations that the sounds are causing. Where does the rhythm or beat vibrate within your ear? Identify other instruments and sounds that make up the music – where are you hearing them? Turn attention to your left ear only – where does your left ear sense the music? Then turn your attention to the right ear and sense again. Are there any differences? Only notice the difference, you do not need to fix anything or judge the differences.
- Are there any other parts of your body that are reacting to the music? Are you nodding your head or tapping your foot to the beat? Is your heart beating feel like it’s beating faster or slower or the same as before the song began? Check your shoulders to see if they are drooped, or stiff, or relaxed? As a reminder, there is no judgment on any of your observations.
- After the song ends, what does the silence feel like? Do you feel any vibrations in your ear?
At any point, if you run into difficulties turning your brain off, try taking a few breaths. Imagine your breath entering your nose and feel it inflating your shoulders. Then go back to whatever step you were on and try again.
Inspiration and Reference:
- Destination by Cenobyte album link here
- Awake my Soul, by Mumford and Sons album link here
- Bambino by Koffi Olomide Album link here
Anatomy of the Ear on Wikipedia: link here