Sunrise by Siobhan McClory

As an experiment in the realm of nature sounds and meditation, I just collaborated with meditation expert Allen Weiss who heads up Mindful USC, a mindfulness program at the University of Southern California. Allen trained with Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield, perhaps the most well-known proponent of mindfulness meditation in the United States.

Allen Weiss of Mindful USC

Allen Weiss

What we did is pretty simple. I took two of Allen’s guided meditations … Nature and Open Awareness and Listening Deeply to Nature … and added background nature soundscapes. The two meditations were chosen because of their resonance with nature settings. Allen’s introductions (each lasting about a minute) are followed by an extended period of “just nature sonds.” Of note is that both of these have already been added to the “Soundscape” section of the Mindful USC Mobile App, and we’re hoping for positive feedback from listeners (see the results below).

I’m not sure how many of my readers are interested in mindfulness meditation, but I would appreciate comments from those who are. Does this seem like a workable approach? In both cases, the narration stands on its own and doesn’t specifically refer to the nature soundscape being heard. But still, there is strong resonance between the narration and the nature soundscapes, and my feeling is that tasteful mixing the two produces a stronger result. Do you agree?

Here are the two meditations:

Listening Deeply to Nature by Allen Weiss and Lang Elliott

Lake Ontario Scene by Lang Elliott Nature soundscape recorded at night in late August along the shore of Lake Ontario. © Lang Elliott.

Nature and Open Awareness by Allen Weiss and Lang Elliott

Aravaipa Canyon by Lang ElliottNature soundscape recorded at dawn in June in Aravaipa Canyon in southeastern Arizona. © Lang Elliott.

Thanks for listening and I look forward to your comments!

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