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Sound Bath? Sound Meditation? Sound Symphony?
Melissa Felsenstein – sound practitioner – plays crystal bowls and gongs to usher in the summer solstice.
It’s become a wonderful therapeutic tool to access deep relaxation. For many, it is a gateway to meditation. Melissa Felsenstein of Inner Sounds Meditation shares her story of how playing crystal bowls and metal gongs helped her heal from symptoms of anxiety and depression. A self-proclaimed Nervous System Advocate, after several years of exploring these musical instruments, she now shares her process to help others.
Check out a video from this Summer Solstice Sound Bath.
Sound Symphony at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Photographer: Dan Dion
My first Sound Bath experience was a couple of years ago. It was in a medium-sized yoga studio. The sound musician/artist/yoga therapist used gongs and crystal bowls. I was seated close to her set-up and the experience was interesting but a little disconcerting.
My next experience was with the same performer but I set up my yoga mat and props (for restorative yoga poses) in the back. That change in location made a critical difference in my experience.
Since then I’ve attended this type of experience several times with at least 5 different people performing or officiating. And I can safely say, I love it.
Each experience is different yet they all share the benefit of allowing me to relax my mind and body and instilling a sense of unity with others. Perhaps not community but a connectedness that extends to strangers and all living beings.
It’s all so new to me; I don’t have the language yet to fully describe the sensations, the clarity. I’m waiting to dive deeper into this therapeutic realm; soon I hope to interview one of the practitioners I’ve met.
My most recent experience was at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. I used to attend an annual a cappella marathon at this church on New Year’s Eve day so you know the acoustics are special. They call this new, somewhat monthly, event a Sound Meditation. They’re not available for interviews but they did allow me to share their photo.
You can bring a yoga mat into the sanctuary and experience in a reclined position or sit in the pews. I sat this time and actually kept my eyes open. It was unique since there were five people on stage; my previous experiences involved only one performer. It was both an auditory and visual feast.