“I think it’s just really trying to take time to just sit. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Just sit in your home and just look around. What do you hear? What do you feel in your body?” ~Jay Taylor
Heads up, beautiful people: My conversation with Sound Meditation Facilitator Jay Taylor was recorded waaaay back in the spring, the earliest days of regional pandemic precautions and well before the murder of George Floyd. Some things have changed…and some have stayed the same. Which practices have you chosen to bring with you on this journey?
If you’ve abandoned meditation, excellent! Now, more than ever, you need to do you. This episode just might coax you back to the cushion even if you don’t think you’re doing this whole sitting still, being quiet thing correctly, Jay invites you to relax into those feelings. You’re not meditating “wrong”. If anything, you’re doing your best. Perhaps now is a good time to adjust our perspective of what “best” means.
“A thought,” he says, “can actually be a release. It’s not a sign that you’re failing.”
To aid that release, Jay’s Sit In Sound sessions use gongs, crystal bowls, and percussive instruments to create immersive experiences or sound baths. We discuss how these high-vibe gatherings work to draw out tension, relieve stress, and even help participants address trauma, experiences he’s fostered in a wide range of settings (think corporate seminars, schools, addiction centers).
“If you’re feeling fear, anxiety, these types of things, we’re trained at this point to push those things down…we get stuck in loops.” Given our current socio-political-public-health environment, it’s easier than ever to see how those loops perpetuate the stories we tell about ourselves and each other. Jay wants us to give our brains a break. Just sit for a bit and see what comes up. Whatever that is or isn’t, you’re doing the best you can.
If you’re curious about sound baths (and I know you are!), Jay shares a brief sample with us at the end of this episode.
Half way through a 10 year career teaching students with disabilities, physical education, nutrition, and mindfulness, Jay took on the philosophy that everybody is trying their best all of the time AND that expanding our version of ‘best’ can be accomplished through the release of stress, healing of trauma, and the loving consideration of the body. Jay began facilitating Sound Meditations in 2018 and has shared his sounds with over 400 groups of participants in Chicago-land hospitals, addiction centers, non-profits, schools, clubs, galleries, yoga studios, and corporate offices. Through his work he has come to fully understand the power that vibration has in creating space for others to truly relax and feel rejuvenated.
CONNECT WITH JAY TAYLOR:
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