Sound Meditation and the Ambient Soundbath
The Ambient Soundbath has its roots in the practice of sound meditation. Sound meditation was something that Ambient Soundbath host and producer, Matt Borghi, began exploring as an undergrad at Goddard College. With a combined goal of having a deeper music listening experience and pursuing natural, heightened state of awareness, Matt blended his vipassana, or insight meditation, practice with a self-discovered deep listening and sonic awareness practice.
Where the Ambient Soundbath was created as a sonic break from the everyday routine, a space for thinking and being; sound meditation is meant to go deeper. Where the Ambient Soundbath can create a temporary state of well-being, sound meditation aims to create a more permanent feeling of well-being and inner peace.
Sound meditation, on some level, is not different from mindfulness meditation, in this regard. With mindfulness meditation, the purpose is to become aware of what is currently happening around the you, rather than focusing on something different than the present. With sound meditation, you become aware of what is happening around you, sonically, and focus on that. In this way, sound meditation is a hybrid of mindfulness meditation and vipassana (insight) meditation, where you are both aware of what is currently happening around you (mindfulness) and focused on what is happening as it happens (vipassana/ insight).
When the Ambient Soundbath Podcast first came online there was little reference to sound meditation that didn’t, eventually, lead back to the work of, Deep Listening pioneer and composer, Pauline Oliveros. However, since then, many new websites and articles have popped up talking about the benefits of sound meditation, sonic awareness, even “live” soundbaths. Time will tell if this is a trend for would-be gurus to cash-in on another “new age” healing commodity or whether these newcomers are legitimately pursuing a path of wellness with sound/listening at its center — Shortcuts to inner peace with price tag attached are as old as the pursuit of consciousness, but sound meditation is something that has remained pure.
The Ambient Soundbath Podcast was created to give listeners a space for thinking and being. As time goes on, the Ambient Soundbath will exist to provide deeper and more sustained experiences with sound meditation as a gateway to being and inner peace.