Mindfulness Of Sound Meditation Workshop [Event Review – The Boileroom, Guildford, 23/7/14]
When one of your local area’s most versatile musicians comes to play at the scene’s number one venue, only a madman would turn that ticket down.
Andrew Ford is able to turn his hand to seemingly any musical situation, whether it be live drum ‘n’ bass, gypsy jazz, or meditative soundtracks. He’s also a brilliant teacher. For this event, Andrew taught an hour-long class on mindfulness of sound.
Mindfulness of sound is a form of meditation within which participants lie down, close their eyes, and focus fully on the sounds around them. During some sections, Andrew Ford improvised extended pieces of music using a variety of exotic instruments; during others, he remained still and silent himself.
When I attended Andrew’s previous workshop at Red Hot Yoga, the silent sections were disturbed by the noise of traffic and drunken partygoers in the street outside. Paradoxically, those interruptions actually proved useful – as Andrew explained, one of the foundational principles of mindfulness is non-judging, accepting any sound as it is and not labelling it “good”, “bad”, “funny”, “annoying”, or whatever. However, within the solidly soundproofed Boileroom the only interrupting sounds came from within the venue – the air conditioning, for instance, or doors slamming in the basement.
Thanks to the Boileroom’s soundproofing, I felt much more relaxed by the end of this session. The annoying noises were much more beginner-friendly; it will probably be a while before I can tolerate monkeylike drunken screeching when I’m trying to meditate, but buzzing air con units and slamming doors are much easier to deal with!
Overall, this was a very peaceful, relaxing, and enjoyable experience that was a real pleasure to be present for.
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