Meditating with Your RAV

Read on to learn how you could make RAV an integral part of your meditation practice and how it could inspire you to go deeper and further - consistently.
Sound is a powerful technique for meditation. Many beginner and intermediate meditators find it difficult to transition from the everyday hustle and bustle to a place of mental silence. Surprisingly, introducing sound is one of the best ways to reach that silence - and there are few sounds more soothing or suited to clearing the headspace then the RAV.
The reason why many meditators recommend focusing on a particular object of attention, such as an image or a feeling or one's breath, is that it takes one's concentration in everyday life from focus on a multitude of different objects at once or in quick succession, to just one. From that single pointed focus, you can then proceed more easily to a state of pure consciousness, without focus on any particular idea or a sensation, either simply observing what passes through, or establishing total clarity and stillness.

A RAV, with its room-fillingly warm and soothing sound, is uniquely positioned to immediately attract attention and block out distracting thoughts and sensations.

Begin by sitting in your preferred meditating posture, be that sitting in a chair, cross-legged on the floor, perhaps in a half or full lotus position. If you want, you can place the RAV in your lap, or place it on a soft cushion on the floor next to you. The cushion will help the sound expand without dampening this steel shell of the RAV. You can also place it on a stand.
Next, choose a note to begin with. The central note - called a Ding - is often the warmest and richest so it's a great place to begin, but any notes will work. In general, higher notes are energizing while lower notes are more grounding, so you may want to check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need at the moment to help you focus.

If you are meditating with the intent to work on one of your chakras, or energy centers, you can also choose your notes that way. Please look on this blog for other articles to guide you in choosing notes for that method.

The best way to call your attention is to simply intone the note with a sure, gentle stroke several times, taking care to achieve an even, consistent sound. Try also creating a slight increase or decrease in volume, a gradual ebb and flow that mimics your mind's attraction and release of thoughts and feelings on the journey from the everyday to the meditative state. You can also try finding a simple groove, beat, or melody and playing that several times.
The best way to call your attention is to simply intone the note with a sure, gentle stroke several times, taking care to achieve an even, consistent sound. Try also creating a slight increase or decrease in volume, a gradual ebb and flow that mimics your mind's attraction and release of thoughts and feelings on the journey from the everyday to the meditative state. You can also try finding a simple groove, beat, or melody and playing that several times.

For those new to meditation, you can simply meditate on the sound of the RAV and use that to clear out any distractions. Or, you can use it to achieve a state of clarity and focus, and when you're ready, simply stop playing and shift your focus to your breath, or another object such as a notion of a blue light or your third eye (located near the intersection of your eyebrows).

It's as easy and simple as that! The key to any practice is consistency, to make it a habit, even a ritual. While many people find it difficult to suddenly stop everything and meditate, the RAV can be your gateway and something you look forward to to initiate your practice and bring you out of it, and thus can help you find your Zen regularly.

While any scale that you connect with can be a great aid in meditation, many find the B Celtic Minor and E Low Pygmy particularly well-suited.
Guided Meditation to Release with Dylan Werner
Have any other ideas for meditating with your RAV? Let us know!

The article is written by David Duan, all rights reserved, copyright 2018.
David Duan
Composer, cellist, and sound healer
A Dean's Recognition Award recipient and multiple concerto competition winner, he has performed around the world with a variety of ensembles and orchestras. A graduate of New York University and the Peabody Preparatory of the Johns Hopkins University, he lives in Maryland.

Please contact david.duan@nyu.edu for information, gigs, commissions, collaboration, and more.

Instagram: davidduan
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