Artwork by Camilla Engström

With its myriad benefits, meditation is a practice so many of us want to incorporate into our lives. Putting it on your to-do list is easy. The hard part is sitting down to do it. For those who have a hard time switching off their brains to experience stillness, sound meditation might be the thing. Think of it as a cross between meditation, a yoga class and a sound bath. Unlike a sound bath, which envelopes you in the relaxing and transportive sound waves from crystal bowls, gongs or other instruments, the sound meditation is a more interactive experience. George William MacPherson of Sound of the Times is a New York City-based intuitive sound meditation practitioner. His immersive sessions incorporate vocal toning (that means you will ‘OM’ out loud, like some yoga classes) capped off by ‘intentional sharing’ to foster community and compassion. “Sound has a unique potential to create a singular point of focus, to guide us into an awareness of the present moment,” says MacPherson. The result is like traditional meditation: clearing the mind of clutter and creating space to observe oneself and what comes up – emotionally, intellectually or otherwise.

Like traditional meditation, the healing power of sound is also an ancient concept. (Sound baths are said to have originated in Tibet about 2000 years ago.) “We’re rediscovering the potential benefits of sound, which have been known through the ages, often in indigenous cultures or traditions,” says MacPherson.