What Is Sound Meditation?

By Felicity Carter

5 months ago

There’s no place like OM

Curious about sound meditation? For those in need of some inner nourishment, look to OM at The Other House, a sound bath installation brought to you by Swiss sound artist Leo Cosendai. Conceived with the intention of creating an everlasting meditation means that brings about various states of consciousness, it’s designed for up to four attendees at a time, and is hosted by two sound healers (one at the head and one at the feet), trained by Leo Cosendai. Of course, at the heart of the practice is the sound gong, and at more than two metres wide, its Europe’s largest, offering an hour of sound meditation under a canopy of stars in the comforting Wellbeing Studio of The Other House Kensington. Lie back, cocooned, in a safe space and welcome the sounds and the vibrations, they may offer relaxation, a reset, or you may even drift off; the sounds will tap into what your body needs.

A Guide To Sound Meditation

Image: Jack Hardy

Sound meditation is a full-body meditative experience, as you may have guessed, which utilises sound to deepen the relaxation factor. The guided meditation is a holistic practice loved for bringing the attention back to the breath, refocussing, and clearing the mind.

With his years of experience is the realm of wellness and sound, Leo Cosendai shares his insider’s guide to this ancient practice.

Hi Leo, can you tell us about your journey into wellbeing?

It started with not feeling well and having frequent panic attacks from the age of 10. The situation was then positively nurtured by a love for music which engineered a move from Lausanne, Switzerland to London, and meeting my wife Sara, who introduced me to yoga and the immersive experience that gongs provide.

What is sound meditation? 

I’ll start with what it is not: a practice you can get better at or succeed or fail at. It is not binary.  Sound meditation is an adaptogenic experience that often features multi-harmonic and dissonant instruments like gongs that are played in ways that facilitate altered states of consciousness for the person laying down. 

As it is very much a tailored experience from an internal point of view, one can expect just about every type of sensation: some people fall into deep delta sleep, others receive answers to riddles they hadn’t intended to solve in the room, and some find themselves seeing shapes and colours with their eyes closed rediscovering a sense of wonderment in their human form. It can be experienced alone or surrounded by people, and it is rooted in non-religious ceremonial traditions that are as old as the world. 

There are many sound baths across town nowadays (I have trained over 120 instructors in the last four years), and I am glad to have created a sound installation which is currently nested at The Other House in South Kensington. It is called OM and features the 2 biggest gongs in the country handled by 2 of my top instructors in a room for 4 people only, as well as high quality aromatic blends (oils, resins, herbs, hydrolats) made by my wife Sara Cosendai. It is a treatment grade experience which I conceptualised as an extremely old or perhaps a not invented yet-futuristic device that helps people travel from dimension to dimension and come back with wisdom in the suitcase. 

What are the advantages?

OM requires no knowledge, previous experience or physical fitness and it is ideal for people who value their time, for it easily stands for tens of hours of standard meditation or mindfulness. 

What can we expect from an OM session at The Other House?

There’s only one of OM in the world, so you can expect a truly unique experience. In fact, we’ve had people travel from very far away just to experience this. People often mention feeling like they are taken back to the moment the universe was created. Others also bring up plant medicine and how it feels like an accessible, safer and legal alternative to that. It can also serve as therapy a lot of inner material can get processed at OM. 

How long is each session, and how many times do you recommend practicing?

It is a one-hour experience  some people come every week, whilst others treat it as a monthly reset. OM tickets for can be acquired via Eventbrite for public showings, and private bookings can be made via The Other House. 

What do you need if you want to do it at home?

The app I made with my sister Julie Cosendai and school friend Charles Vila: THIRD EAR, a tuning fork and your voice. 

BOOK IT: The Other House South Kensington, 15, 17 Harrington Gardens, South Kensington, London SW7 4JJ; 020 3846 6000 |  otherhouse.com | Tickets for OM at The Other House start at £45.