Last week I was discussing Richard Wolf's book In Tune: Music as the Bridge to Mindfulness. This week and next I would like to share a couple of meditation exercises from this book that I find I keep returning to again and again.
The first combines both simple words and single pitches that one hears in one's head. That means you must be able to "sing" a single note inside your mind without actually singing it out loud. If this seems doable to you, then read on.
With each in-breath, you mentally hold a pitch and sing internally one word, which I will give in a moment. With each out-breath, you listen to external sounds with detachment. Got that? Breathe in and hear a single note in your mind, breathe out and objectively listen to the world around you. You may keep the same pitch with each in-breath if you want, but I like to change it each time. You can decide what works best for you.
Now to add a single word for each in-breath. They are: Calm, Relaxed, Peaceful, and Now.
So, here's how it goes. Breathe in and mentally sing "calm" on a single note. Breathe out and listen with detachment. Breathe in and mentally sing "relaxed" on a single note. Breathe out and listen with detachment. Breathe in and mentally sing "peaceful" on a single note. Breathe out and listen with detachment. Breathe in a mentally sing "now" on a single note. Breathe out and listen with detachment. Repeat.
I like to create a four-note melody that I repeat with each round of those four words. I also find that when I am in stressful situations, I can start mentally singing that four-note melody and it helps me to recover a calmer state. I hope this also helps you as well.