By Nobleman Nash Hollowhill – November 30, 2009
A friend of mine, a former employee of Bose, a fellow didgeridoo player, meditator, practitioner of sensory deprivation, and explorer of natural altered states of consciousness, has a device in his home that is unlike anything I have experienced. He calls it the Soundbed, and it can be used as a tool for pure relaxation, exploration of deep meditative states, and a reliable source for stress-relief. Two speakers are placed underneath a mattress, through which usually ambient music is played and the user lies down on top. The soundwaves created by the speakers vibrate the bed itself and it is extremely relaxing. The experience is entirely unique according to the person, because as the soundwaves interact with the physical structure of the bed and the person’s body, different sensations are perceived determined by body weight, height, and physical placement on the surface of the bed among other factors. I used it once, and placed a blindfold over my eyes in order to sink into this experience. After a while, I started to stretch all of my muscles outward in the Corpse Yoga Position and lean my head back so as to be in harmony with these sounds. Once this was accomplished, I began to meditate, which at the time involved playing the didgeridoo and Throat Singing along with the music. I hummed in harmony with the notes, produced overtones that were in tune most of the time with the notes, and generally lost myself in the music to the best of my ability. I was not a passive observer of these tones and tactile sensations, but an active participant in the creative process as it enveloped me.
None of the four other people who were at the house at the time could tell me how long I spent singing on the Soundbed. I have absolutely no concept of the amount of time that passed. It was undeniably one of the deepest states of relaxation I have ever reached completely sober. I hope to build one of these myself someday for my own home. The friend who had brought me to the house tried it with a blindfold and a didgeridoo and also had nothing but positive thoughts to share about his experience. While neither of us had the chance to explore this tool’s potential for facilitating a relaxing experience while on an entheogen, it seems obvious that this would be one of the most effective and enjoyable activities to engage in if fear is beginning to grip a person. The applications that this could hold for lowering the interpersonal pressure of a psychotherapeutic environment may also show great potential. This is an excellent setting in which to examine one’s own mind by bringing the awareness to the present moment in a very positive, relaxing, yet stimulating way. By integrating this timeless, reassuring experience or the memory of it into various different settings one can build a self-confidence that is undeniable.
I am infinitely jealous for not possessing this device for personal use, because my ability to withstand the impacts of a psychoactive would be greatly amplified, and I would be free to explore these states of mind in a safe and enlightening way. I often fantasize of creating playlists that would be enjoyable to listen to while lying on this bed. The ambient doom metal group Sunn O))) seems to fit perfectly because of the very low sustained drone surpassing any other type of music. Likewise Beethoven would be suitable, and perhaps a genre of music that can be felt as well as heard may be explored if this device is to be popularly implemented. I have often used Sunn O))) for meditation on LSD and other entheogens, with sensory deprivation, yoga, and while playing the didgeridoo or Throat Singing. These all fit perfectly together for an extremely enjoyable experience, and I cannot make it through an LSD trip without exploring these for a good portion of time.