There are approximately 65 groups worldwide teaching light and sound meditation. So aspiring meditators and truth seekers may find it difficult to choose their path. With so much guidance, where should one begin? More importantly, what does light and sound meditation entail?
Light and sound meditation is a technique of getting in touch with God (known in different traditions by many names, like the Supreme Being). In the process, practitioners experience God’s celestial light and sound. This helps them discover their inner selves and lead them to the path of enlightenment.
Has your interest piqued yet? You can always learn different light and sound meditation techniques from the many online and offline resources. There are a lot of articles, books, and videos available, but we have something easier and more accessible. We offer you this beginners’ meditation guide sourced from meditation gurus and organisations. Our purpose is to save you from rummaging through the vast information rubble and help you find your path.
What Is Light and Sound Meditation?
The universal energies of inner light and inner sound have always been with us. It was only recently in our spiritual evolution that we found a way to access both. Two of the first spiritual energy teachers, Lord Krishna and Quan Yin, led the way to this discovery. Their followers refer to them as “ascended masters” or “inner teachers.”
Also called spiritual or higher light and sound, light and sound energy include the lower levels of creation. They include the astral, mental, etheric, and physical planes. We won’t discuss these in detail to focus on the meditative aspect and avoid confusing beginners in meditation. Instead, we will tackle them in a future article.
Light and Sound Meditation Movement
Master Ruma is the leader of the Light and Sound Meditation movement. The light and sound meditation (LSM) method helps people listen to inner words, sacred sounds, and see celestial lights. He claims this is the best way to experience God.
Jens Upton, an LSM teacher from Malmö, Sweden. He defines light and sound meditation as the practice of becoming sensitive to powerful internal energy. That energy guides people toward the Source of all things (aka Unity, Enlightenment, or God). This energy consists of inner light and sound, which are real and not imagined.
LSM is a potent means to transform the inner self. It is a spiritual, not psychological, way to connect the physical body and mind to the soul. LSM also involves an initiation that connects meditators to the inner light and sound. This action awakens their crown chakras to prepare them for a spiritual journey.
To the uninitiated, the crown chakra is located at the top of one’s head. It is the main point through which divine energy enters. This chakra controls the brain and the pineal gland. If it malfunctions, it may cause diseases in these areas.
Types of Light and Sound Meditation
There are many variations of light and sound meditation. The numerous groups that practice it teaches different techniques. These are just a few of them:
The Quan Yin Method
This spiritual meditative practise helps us get in touch with the inner light and sound, through which we get to know God. Through meditation, we discover enlightenment, internal wisdom, love, and eternal freedom.
The intensity of the inner light (aka God’s light or enlightenment) ranges from a faint glow to pure brilliance. The inner sound is the same as the “word” referred to in the Christian Bible: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” The Hindus have their version: “In the beginning was the Word; the Word was Satnaam.”
Supreme Master Ching Hai initiates students into the Quan Yin method for free. She assures those wanting to study Quan Yin that their form of meditation is not a religion. “I don’t convert anyone to Buddhism or Catholicism or any other ‘ism.’”
Instead, Quan Yin offers people a way to know their inner selves and find out where they originate. They remember their life’s purpose and discover what the universe holds. Master Hai claims that through meditation, people will understand the reason for human misery. They will also uncover what happens to people after death.
In the Quan Yin Method, a living spiritual teacher like Master Hai offers guidance. He or she directs followers to the Truth, teaches them to prevail over challenges in daily life. It helps them eliminate blocks in their spiritual practice.
Surat Shabd Yoga
This spiritual meditation is also based on the concept of inner light and celestial sound. Many religious traditions, such as Radha Soami and Sant Mat, follow this practice. Hindu mystics and saints refer to Surat Shabd (also Shabda) Yoga as “Sahaja Yoga”. This is the path of light and sound, the science of the soul, the yoga of sound currents, and the way of the Sants.
This practice is also called “sadhna” because it leads to “moksha.” In Jainism and Hinduism, moksha is a transcendent state that results from being released from the cycle of rebirth through the laws of karma. For a successful sadhna to take place, a Satguru (teacher) initiates students into it.
“Surat” means “attention” and refers to how the soul expresses itself externally. “Shabd” means “word,” which refers to the soul’s music. “Yoga” means “unification.”
The yogic meditation’s primary purpose is to unify the soul with the essence of God (or the Creator or the Absolute Supreme Being). You do this by using the universe’s creative energy in the form of sound vibrations. Surat Shabd Yoga helps meditators realise their true divine selves. As this meditation type frees the soul from the life-and-death cycle, it helps to achieve enlightenment.
Surat Shabd Yoga masters describe this meditation’s experience as “dying while living”. This is because it is similar to the process of death when the soul leaves the physical body and merges with the Divine. This yoga type draws the mediator’s attention away from the physical body to make it conscious of the inner sound and light.
This yogic meditation is simple, but to master it, you have to practice regularly. These are its components:
- Meditation time: Teachers recommend meditating before sunrise and breakfast and before bedtime. (But you can do it anywhere, anytime.) Religiously practising this meditation will help you reach an expert level one day, enough to teach others.
- Comfort and position: Relax your body to divert attention from your surroundings. Sit in a comfortable chair but don’t slouch, and don’t hunch your shoulders because both constrain breathing.
- Concentration: In Hindi, “dhyana.” Close your eyes, relax, breathe normally. Allow your consciousness to leave your physical body and imagine a dark screen unfolding in the space between your eyes. Light, colors, and inner music (in Hindi, “shabd”) will gradually replace this darkness.
- Repetitive chanting: In Hindi, “simran.” Masters believe simran opens the door to the inner self. The chant may be any of these: naam, ohm, aum, Jesus, Allah Hul, Satnaam, Vahe Guru, or any term you can focus on to remove mind chatter.
- Listening to soul music: In Hindi, “bhajan.” This is a Hindu devotional song, the essence of light and sound meditation. Squat and place your thumbs in your ears to block the surrounding noise. Focus on your Ajna chakra, found between your eyebrows. This chakra monitors the eyes, nose, and respiratory, endocrine, and pituitary systems. A defective Ajna chakra may lead to diabetes.
Upon successfully completing all the stages of surat shabd yoga, you will experience the sacred sound and light. Your soul will unite with the Almighty.
The Zaretti Method
Meditation guru Mark Zaretti, the founder of The Way Back Meditation movement, teaches a different form of meditation. His initiation into light and sound energy was in 1998, after having meditated for 16 years. Since then, he has accumulated 10,000 hours of energy meditation. He introduces light and sound energy to his students in an initiation. His “curriculum” is based on teachings from his light and sound meditation masters and his personal experiences.
Many followers of The Way Back started with other groups, so they tackle a vast range of backgrounds and experiences. Regardless of how these groups came about, they all recognise only one Source and spiritual light.
Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM)
Deepak Chopra and David Simon revived this powerful ancient technique based on the Vedic tradition of India. They modified it into an easy-to-learn format. This healing meditation helps practitioners experience restful awareness, deep relaxation, and profound peace. PSM doesn’t force your mind to be quiet. Instead, it makes you aware of the silence that already exists.
Silence leads to creativity, happiness, and infinite potential. It is also nurturing intuition, inspiration, and connection to the Creator. Practising meditation daily produces a life of fulfilment. When you achieve this, the next time your mind gets agitated, it will be easier for you to access inner stillness.
When you learn PSM, you will get a personal mantra—a sound or vibration you repeat silently to achieve peaceful awareness. This Sanskrit term means “vehicle of the mind.” Your mantra is the vibration the universe created when and where you were born. Your master calculates it using Vedic math formulas taken from numerology.
When you recite this mantra during meditation, it creates a vibration that lets you slip into complete silence. It is also know as “the gap” between your thoughts. When you’re in this state, all the noise in your mind will disappear.
Light Meditation Technique (LMT)
According to LMT guru Anmol Mehta, this technique is a segment of the 10 bodies of the light yoga model, the basis of yoga numerology. This form of meditation balances and heals the physical body. This technique attracts those interested in expanding their creative, artistic, and intuitive potential.
LMT is an excellent way to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses, helping them achieve their highest potential. It also develops intuition and creativity. It has a transformation program consisting of yoga poses for Hatha yoga. There are also meditation techniques and breathing exercises from Kundalini yoga. The former is a system of controlled breathing and physical exercises. The latter is a meditative practice that generates positive energy.
LMT is a type of visualisation meditation that anyone can practice. It involves calling upon the imagination. Its typical patrons are psychics, creatives, and the visually or mentally oriented. This meditation type uses hand and body positions to attain its objectives, but its main mechanism uses the mind’s creative powers. Although it has no time limit and can meditate for as long as you wish, the standard duration is three minutes.
Virtues To Develop in Meditation
At the core of the light and sound energy teachings is the need to develop these virtues:
- Unconditional love
Benefits of Meditating
Although meditation alone isn’t a cure-all, studies have proven that regular practice offers health benefits. These include stress relief, low blood pressure, and an immunity boost. Some doctors claim that a half hour’s meditation accounts for more psychological rest than an entire night’s sleep.
Regular meditation generates more energy, heightened creativity, and a well-developed sense of well-being. When meditation eliminates stress, this paves the way for our bodies and minds to function optimally.
How To Begin Meditating
Mentors always say that how one learns is equally important as what one learns. This means that since meditation compels you to experience events for yourself, how you approach it is as essential as what you do.
So the secret to a successful meditation practise is to include it in your daily routine. This way, it becomes a supportive and positive, rather than obligatory, factor in your personal development. After a few meditative sessions, you will notice your life taking on a different direction than everyone else’s. This will be in a positive, focused, and targeted manner.
There will be times when you will be too tired or unmotivated to continue your practice. Try not to prolong the gaps in the action. At the same time, be kind to yourself. Remember that every mediator was once a beginner. Demotivation is rare, though, if you set realistic goals tailored to your lifestyle.
Knowledge vs. Experience in Spirituality
There are two fundamental ways of existing: through knowledge and experience. You learn stuff by accumulating knowledge and through thinking. But more crucial to one’s being is what you experience for yourself, like when you are meditating. Knowledge engages the mind, but this is where the ego is nurtured, and habits proliferate. In contrast, experiencing an event engages your spirit and consciousness.
To be in a superlative learning state, you have to achieve inner stillness. This is where meditation comes in. Use it as a tool to attain a higher level of spirituality. But first, one should understand what “being spiritual” involves.
What Does “Being Spiritual” Mean?
It means letting go of your mind, ego, and harmful habits to discover the source of love, which is found in stillness. The more spiritual you are, the easier it is to meditate. Ironically, the more you try and act spiritual and treat it as an intellectual pursuit, the more stuck in your mind you get. Light and sound meditation teachers recommend: “Love the stillness and let go.”
What Does “Sitting in Stillness” Mean?
When we watch TV, read books, or listen to music, we express what we absorb with an internal dialogue. As this is our mind’s way of processing gathered information, it is normal. It often poses a problem because when we talk to ourselves internally, this interferes with the learning process. When we “sit in stillness” and do this consciously while watching, reading, or listening, we absorb information differently. It is with profound wisdom and guidance leading the way.
Inner stillness encourages us to be more intuitive, less judgemental, and able to identify more with the truth. Practice being still while learning to meditate. Notice what happens.
Sound Meditation Without the Light Element
The numerous categories of sound meditation are dizzying. To avoid confusion, we have decided to present a general definition. It is up to the individual mediator what form of sound meditation he would like to practice.
Sound meditation is the practice of using sound as your anchoring point to focus. As you complete several meditation sessions, you will begin to notice that your approach to everyday sounds changes. You will perceive them in a positive way. This type of meditation helps manage anger and minimises the tendency to be judgemental.
These are two examples of sound meditation:
Mindful Sound Meditation
Practising mindful sound exercises creates a positive space between your thoughts. To wholly benefit from the healing that mindful sound meditation provides, you have to let go of mental noise. Practice mindfulness is surrendering entirely to the moment while listening to healing sounds. I find the sounds produced by Tibetan singing bowls to be very appropriate.
What Is Auditory Mindfulness?
Auditory mindfulness is also known as mindfulness of sound. It is the practice of experiencing the sounds present in your environment without judging or labelling them. The goal of auditory mindfulness is to observe events objectively.
Generally, sound meditation means listening to pleasing sounds. These may be a single repeating sound or various blended sounds. The added element of mindfulness brings an extra dimension of positivity and success to the meditative practice.
Like other forms of meditation, the mindfulness of sound practice has numerous health benefits. It controls stress, increases awareness while quieting the mind. It also helps the mediator stay calm in upsetting situations.
Practice mindful sound meditation by first listening to various sounds in your environment. then finally focusing on a specific one. This is an effective way to train the mind to focus. One meditation practise is drowning out many sounds to focus on one. In the beginning, the surrounding sounds are intrusive, but you learn to focus on one sound with which you are in tune.
Mindful Sound Meditation Exercises
The advantage of practising mindfulness with sound is that you can always tap into it wherever you are. It doesn’t matter whether you are stuck in the midst of city traffic or working in a busy, noisy newsroom. Once you have mastered the art of auditory mindfulness, you will never be bothered by chaos again.
Here are a couple of techniques for beginning mindful sound meditators:
Get Attuned to Nature
An oft-recommended mindfulness sound exercise is to be one with Mother Nature. This can be as simple as taking a break from work by having lunch in the park. Or, during vacay time, swimming in a lagoon and listening to the waterfall behind you. Whatever the venue, the goal is to observe and listen to the sounds in your environment. Run these through your auditory perception, not the mental one.
This forces your brain to be meditative and receptive. This is in direct contrast to accompanying a pre-generated harmony, like humming to a song’s lyrics.
Try not to judge the sounds nor put labels on them. Just acknowledge their existence. The sounds of nature make them an appropriate focal point for practising mindfulness. This is because they are always changing.
Breathe the Ujjayi Way
Practitioners of yoga use the ujjayi breath (aka ocean breath) to focus while performing asanas. These are the postures one adopts when practising yoga. To breathe using the ujjayi method, constrict your throat slightly while inhaling and exhaling. This produces a distinct sound that helps you focus.
Use this practice to get into various types of meditation or employ it as a singular mindfulness sound meditation practice. This technique is simple enough for beginners. It also contains hidden complex elements that experienced meditators can build on.
Inner Sound Meditation by Chanting
Another technique used to reach a state of meditativeness involves chanting mantras, such as “ohm” or “aum.” Hindus call this the “Anahad” sound or “Anahad” music. The term means, “That which comes from one source.” Other religions refer to it as “amen,” “omen,” or “omkar.”
This cosmic sound starts externally as a chant and then gradually becomes internal when the ohm sound gets inside. With constant practice, the mediator can feel this sound like a faint internal vibration.
When you hear this vibrating sound inside yourself. This could be like a ringing, whooshing, or humming sound (or a combination of these). When you do hear those sounds, you have successfully practised inner sound meditation. Surprisingly, it will sound natural. That’s why you don’t have to look for or try to create sounds that seem supernatural.
Sound Meditation Tools
Sound meditation is a kind of focused awareness. A popular sort of sound meditation uses tools like “sound baths”. They help the mediator focus or refocus using Tibetan singing bowls, quartz bowls, and bells. The experience of sound through these instruments manifests not only through hearing. It is also through physical vibrations and frequencies one can feel or touch.
Binaural Beats Meditation
Beginners will appreciate this recent development in meditative styles. It was developed to help the practitioner reach a deep meditative state. Binaural beats give your brain something to focus on, the same way chanting a mantra does.
Meditation slows down the brain’s electrical impulses, giving the mind better clarity. Binaural beats do the same by playing two moderately different sound frequencies into each ear. Your brain slows down by processing these unique sounds in a different way than it does regular ones. When your brain relaxes, you achieve a deeper meditative state, only quicker, thanks to the binaural tones.
Note that these beats only work when played in stereo mode, so wear headphones to get the most benefit. With regular practice of this form of sound meditation, you will notice the benefits in a relatively short period.
Meditation Resources for Beginners
Courses, Tutorials, and Books
- Mark Zaretti and his team created over 100 meditation videos. They are tutorials, guidance, inspiration, and advice to help their students begin their practice. These videos for beginners examine diverse approaches to improving meditation. This is done by looking at practical exercises to make meditation easier.
- Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. This is an exceptional book for novice meditators.
- Brilliant Mindfulness offers Mindfulness 101, a free seven-day class.
- Deepak Chopra offers the on-demand Primordial Sound Meditation six-session online course. With any mobile device, you can begin your practice anywhere, anytime.
- Meditation for Beginners — Zen Habits offers 20 meditating tips for novices.
- Mindfulness—Master the basics from mindful.org.
Sound baths are great for removing negative energy. Where can you find physical sound baths? Google one near you. As they have become quite popular, reserve your slot in advance because they often sell out.
Sarah Rudell Beach is the executive director of Brilliant Mindfulness. She recommends meditation apps that have great features. Interactive settings, customisable sounds, and interval bells are very valuable to beginners. They are excellent for getting wayward minds back to breathing.
No doubt, practising light and sound meditation is a vital step towards living a peaceful, harmonious, happy life. One where you enjoy the full meaning of freedom and genuine connection with the Creator. Who knows where your practice will take you? Whichever path you take we hope you begin your spiritual journey. It is a great opportunity to discover your true potential and living a more mindful existence.