Seeking The Divine: Sound Mediation SF
By Nikita Mehta
Transcendence. It was palpable as soon as we crossed the threshold of Grace Cathedral to listen to Sound Meditation. The walls of the cathedral were pink and glowing and the stained glass windows were backlit, allowing the grandeur of each piece to shine through. It was enough just to walk into this sacred space, to be silently moving around in this sanctuary, clutching yoga mats and pillows, our bodies covered in loose fitting cotton garments. It was enough to know that the cathedral would slowly fill with like-minded souls, gathering for the single purpose of transcendence. It was enough to listen to the hauntingly beautiful sound of the two harpists playing at the altar, the vibration of the music bouncing off the walls of the cathedral. But there was so much yet to come.
We made our way to the edge of the altar, nestled right in front of the harpists. Placing our yoga mats down, laying down blankets and pillows, creating a nest from which we would internally travel to distant lands. This wasn’t my first experience with Guy Douglas and Simona Asinovski. I had traveled down to Los Angeles earlier in the year to experience their magic at Saint John’s Church. But this experience was different. I was in my own city, at Grace Cathedral, surrounded by my sangha. As other transcendence seekers filtered into the space, there were hugs from friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, small conversations with people I had seen at yoga classes or at the park, a feeling of home, of community, of singleness of purpose. We spoke, we connected and then we retreated back to our cozy little nests.
The first few minutes of each Sound Healing are the most intense for me. The music and vibration resonate in my body and so much of my conscious mind wants to be fully present for the experience. I want to look around at the walls of the cathedral, watch the musicians lose themselves in their flow, remember each moment of the symphony. But this is about transcendence, and the music slowly and effortlessly moves its way into my thinking mind, calming, restoring and eventually blotting out my desire to hold on to the physical world.
I can’t tell you where I go, mainly because I don’t remember. I can’t tell you how long the concerts are, because time has no physical presence in my transcendence. I can tell you that the gongs always drop me deeper into my meditation, that I fall into a space between consciousness and dreaming, the space between inhale and exhale, into the space where moksha lives.
And then, in the blink of an eye, in the space of a breath, it’s over and what I am left with is this feeling of ethereal bliss. It’s a feeling that I can’t navigate you to. It’s a feeling that, as much as I would like to explain in words and prose, you have to experience for yourself. It’s the feeling of having experienced transcendence. And for each of us seekers that night, it was different. What will it be for you?
Sound Mediation will be performing at the Conservatory of Flowers from October 21 - 25, 2018. These will be their final performances this year in SF. Attend, drop in and then drop us a line to tell us what your transcendence was like.
In case you didn’t get a chance to read our last interview with Guy and Simona, I have included some favorite responses to my questions.
How many different instruments were being used during the meditation?
There are 30 - 40 different instruments that are used during each meditation.
We have three 38” Paiste gongs being played from all sides of the room and two sets of crystal singing bowls and Tibetan metal bowls. The crystal bowls were ordered to be tuned with each other.
We also had Native American Flute, didgeridoo, Celtic Harp, vibraphone, ocean drums, Rainstick, Mbira, Tingshe chimes, Koshi chimes, bar chimes— and the human voice.
Sound meditations are incredibly powerful and can conjure up a variety of experiences; what is the intention behind these events? What are you hoping the meditators leave with?
The intention behind these events is to offer relaxation. To give people time with themselves— without their thoughts but with their hearts. Sound Meditation is the most accessible form of deep meditation, and it can offer someone a meditative experience with little effort or experience. We hope this brings clarity and peace to our attendees. Most of all it’s about bringing community together.
Is the meditation a long song that the musicians have rehearsed together r is it more free form?
It’s very free form and improvised, and we have never rehearsed. In addition to playing Guy conducts the group. All the sounds are acoustic, nothing is recorded. As we play more together, we feel it always improves, and the sounds becomes more symphonic.
To get your tickets and to learn more visit: soundmeditationsf.com.