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Man sitting in the lotus position
Chanting mantras can help us bypass the mundane matters and mental chatter of daily life. I am offering a new weekly class called "Mantra and Movement" that combines the yoga of sound (nāda yoga) with the yoga of movement (asana) to support your physical health and spiritual development. You can choose to sing or listen to the sacred sounds, join in the movement or just sit. No prior musical or yoga experience is required for this class, and people from all belief systems are welcome.
Man wearing headphones meditating on a yoga

Most people who try meditation probably think of it as an activity done in silence. They might learn the common meditation technique where they observe sounds that happen to arise and notice the temporary nature of those sounds, but they probably would not expect those sounds to continue throughout their meditation. In other words, sound is understood to be a departure from the "real work" of sitting — or struggling to sit — peacefully in silence. Fortunately, there is more than one way to meditate and there isn't some rule that the only allowable "meditation music" is repetitions of John Cage's 4' 33".

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During meditation, we frequently use a "meditation object," such as the breath, a mantra, or physical sensations to help cultivate present moment awareness. Rather than let the mind jump around, we give it a task, something to do. There are many kinds of meditation objects, and in this episode of Pretty Good Meditation, we use piano music.

The musical example, Frederic Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9 no. 2, performed by Aya Higuchi, is in the public domain ( The theme music is "Maxixe" performed by Edson Lopes under CC BY 3.0. To leave a comment about this episode, visit
Pauline Oliveros holding a red accordion

Tomorrow at 10:30am Central I will be giving a presentation (online) and leading a discussion about "deep listening," a practice developed by the composer, electronic musician, accordion player, and improviser Pauline Oliveros. While some teachers are certified to facilitate "Deep Listening Workshops," I will instead provide some background about Pauline Oliveros and her Sonic Meditations, an overview of the practice of deep listening, and offer some interpretations of her music.

woman laying on a yoga mat with ear buds

I learned a new word today: "moga." No, I'm not talking about the Sanskrit word for chicken pox, moga, or the video game controller series. I'm referring to the equation Classical Music + Yoga = Moga. If you "combine yoga with a live orchestra" then apparently you can answer affirmatively to the question, "Do you moga?" It's the "latest wellbeing trend to arrive in London," circa 2015. "Moga" has even been featured on the "Trend Hunter" website.