The power of a sound bath

14 Sep

10:19 pm

I think I mentioned in my last post that I recently spent a week on the west coast of Costa Rica, mainly to do yoga, but also to be alone to process the fact that there are changes and evolutions going on in my life, and there is grief, and I am having a hard time dealing with all that AND keeping everything else in place.  I only spent four days there–two were traveling to get there, and then, the final two days were spent getting home (and, stressing:  I was booked through Miami on the way home, and Hurricane Dorian was just picking up speed that week and it looked like it was going to blow through Florida).  Anyway, my time there was short and I only had four days, but four days was enough to see a transformation.

WhirrWhirrWhirrrrrrrring.  This was the sound of my mind–the sound of my incessant thinking–during the first two days (well, all the time).  I filled those days taking yoga, walking along the beaches (gosh, the Pacific is immense and amazing–and warm!?–down there), eating fish and rice and fruit (my perfect diet, I must say), and going to bed.  Yet, my mind!  Would.  Not.  Stop.  Thinking.  JESUS.  I mean, I could literally hear the whirring sound…like a swarm of mosquitoes, filling my skull to the brim, spinning in one huge loud circle of BUZZ, WHIRR, WHIRRRRRRRRING.

On the evening of the second day, I decided to take a sound bath.  The instructor was fantastic–the resort where I took my classes had some of the best teachers I’ve ever had, actually–and the sound bath was really cool.  I mean, I’ve participated in sound “healing” ceremonies before; and yeah, afterward I do feel calmer and I can remember at least a few interesting visuals that came up during the ceremony; but, I have never felt anything beyond that.  I enjoy them, that’s true, but I’m not sure I would consider them to be healing, per se.

Until I woke up on the third day feeling…quiet.  QUIETED.  Happy.  Calm, clear, optimistic.  Like, the sense of clarity was unmistakably uplifting!  The whirring had stopped.  What the…?  I walked along the beach that morning, noticing that all my confusing, conflicted thoughts and thought tendencies and thought patterns–this mental weight that had been bogging me down for the past two days–had just gone away.  The whirring was gone.  Now, I don’t know if I should credit the sound bath, but…

The following night, my last, I went to my second sound bath–and this time, I listened a bit more closely to what the teacher was saying before he started in on his instruments (I have to admit, during the first class, I was just like, yeah, uh huh, right).  And what he said was:  by utilizing sound waves, sound baths ultimately allow your higher mind to distance itself from your lower mind (the thinking, the judging, the ego mind)–which helps to quiet the lower mind.  I was like, what?  That is literally exactly how I felt; that I had this newfound sense of clarity because the whirring just seemed to have ceased, and my higher mind was now fully present–quiet, not as judgmental, open.  This, in turn, made me feel happier, friendlier to self and others, more willing to have conversations with strangers, more able to take in and enjoy the scenery…

At home now, what this clearer, quieter state of mind has allowed me to do is be more positive, in general, and resist negativity (from my own mind, from others).  I don’t feel like judging people or situations or getting angry; I just want to let it go and continue to vibrate, as it were, at my higher, quieter level.  It’s helped me feel and be more positive toward my relationships, my job, my coworkers; it’s helped me let things roll off my back and maintain a sense of calm happiness.

This feeling was really strong during the first week after I got back; I’m on my second week now, and while I don’t feel as happy and/or quieted, I find myself going back to that place of quiet clarity in my mind.  I mean, even if I no longer presently own that sense of clarity, I can remember I once did and what it felt like–which goes a long way toward cultivating (I guess you could say) that state of mind.

It was definitely worth suspending my disbelief!  Now, I feel like there is hope, there is a place to go, there IS clarity and quiet to be had–it’s just a matter of finding the tools to get there and developing those tools to keep you there.

8 Responses to “The power of a sound bath”

  1. amysdaynight September 15, 2019 at 12:58 am #

    Fabulous post. The path to recovery is constantly doing the things that make us more calm, even when we feel we are calm and do not need anything to calm us. It is a slippery slope. Have you tried salt floats? Cheers

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 17, 2019 at 3:52 pm #

      It’s so strange, to still be discovering so many new things and paths and benefits and challenges in long-term sobriety. I did a salt tank/float once, maybe 20 years ago; I didn’t love it, but maybe they have changed in that time?

  2. Adrian September 15, 2019 at 9:40 am #

    Interesting! Where did you go and/or can you give more information about the type of thing he was doing (if it was part of a system/philosophy)?

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

      I spent most of my time at a few resorts in Nosara, which is on the NW peninsula of the country. I don’t really know much about all the instruments he used, but he did have a variety of bowls (glass, other materials), and at one point, he was blowing into what seemed to be a didgeridoo, using a feather to whiff the air around us, singing, and using other things that I just felt (because I didn’t open my eyes). I highly recommend–try it and see how it makes you feel…

  3. drgettingsober September 15, 2019 at 6:03 pm #

    Wow! Sounds an amazing retreat and experience. Love the way you describe it! I find yoga and meditation really help but I don’t do them as often as I’d like to 🧘🏻‍♀️🧘🏻‍♀️

    • Drunky Drunk Girl September 17, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

      It was really great to just set aside some time and use it all for me–I did get bored, and restless, and frustrated, but when I came home, I found myself much less thought-full!

  4. Jim Simmonds September 18, 2019 at 2:07 am #

    Well I have never heard of sound baths before so I shall definitely read up about this. A really interesting post and I suppose that as we give up alcohol which is after all a sedative, those of us like me that used that quality of alcohol to “quieten” the mind, need to find better alternatives. Each will find their own strategies but two that work for me are playing music and bizarrely playing table tennis. In both the focus needed puts me purely in the moment, no distractions. But I’m now intrigued about sound baths. Thanks for a great post.
    Jim

  5. amysdaynight September 18, 2019 at 7:06 am #

    Sound baths are great. I recently went to a session & we did chanting as well. Very powerful.

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