The Ultimate Guide to Deep Listening with Wavepaths
What is Deep Listening?
In simple terms, deep listening is a way of listening to ourselves and what our bodies and minds have to say.
There are many ways to listen to music, yet rarely do we give ourselves permission to listen to music with our full attention.
At Wavepaths, we call music the language of emotion because music has the power to give voice to deeper needs, and offers a medium through which to truly listen to yourself.
Wavepaths was founded on the insight that when we do allow ourselves to listen more deeply to music, we are in essence listening more deeply to ourselves, in particular, to those parts of ourselves that we may not always see, acknowledge and accept.
Research shows that the right music, when you listen with focus and intention, supports meaning-making, emotionality, and mental imagery – the same therapeutic processes associated with psychedelic therapy and other experiential therapies
What benefits come from Deep Listening?
The act of being listened to can be profoundly healing.
When you listen to yourself, multiple benefits can begin to surface, including but not limited to:
- A sense of calm
- Relaxation and release
- Connection with self
- Personal insight
- Emotional processing, and more.
People who have experienced introductory Deep Listening with Wavepaths often report a sense of deep rest and relaxation after a session (which can also lead to a really good night’s sleep).
Wavepaths higher intensity deep listening sessions are often used for emotional processing. Higher intensity sessions can be tiring, but ultimately lead to better emotional health and wellbeing as repressed emotions are felt and expressed during the session, leading to a deeper connection with self, personal insight and understanding. Participants working with higher intensity music often benefit from integrating their experience with a Wavpeaths guide, either one-on-one or in a group session.
At Wavepaths, we believe agency is a prerequisite for growth and that music is a powerful tool to navigate your own path to healing. Deep listening with music helps to create compassionate connections and facilitate personally meaningful experiences to improve mental health and well-being.
While playlists open up countless avenues of experience for the modern listener and are lauded for their accessibility, they may not always be suited to the highly dynamic, fluid, profoundly personal and often unpredictable experience of each individual during a session.
Who is Deep Listening for?
Deep listening is for anyone who would like to experience the therapeutic benefits of music and a deeper connection with self.
Music can be an accessible way, along with a trained guide, to support mental health and wellbeing at home.
Deep listening can be a stand-alone-practice or experienced alongside other approaches to self-discovery such as yoga, breathwork, meditation or psychedelic-integration.
It is important to be aware of some contra-indications, especially for deep listening sessions that use higher intensity music. Those who are currently experiencing acute emotional distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, should seek the advice of a mental health practitioner before joining one of Wavepaths sessions.
What is guided deep listening like with Wavepaths?
Wavepaths offers a number of guided deep listening sessions and experiences through our Listener Community.
Wavepaths deep listening experiences include:
- Free, public deep listening sessions offered a few times each year
- Subscription based, daily drop-in sessions designed to support mindfulness, self-exploration and growth
- Subscription based, guided drop-in sessions designed with more activating music, for deeper emotional processing. These sessions are led by an experienced guide and include group preparation and integration
- One-to-one guided experiences, featuring music fully personalised and adapted to your unique preferences and needs are offered subject to limited availability. To enquire, please email [email protected]
Free to join | Explore Wavepaths Deep Listening offerings in our Listeners Community, where you can learn more about Wavepaths research foundations and how to cultivate a deep listening practice.
Go where playlists can’t take you
At Wavepths, our approach is developed as a simple and accessible way for you to build a little more space within your days. A space in which you can arrive, return and be at ease with your ever evolving experience of yourself and of your life.
Wavepaths deep listening sessions are born out of research on the role of music in psychedelic therapy. Each session is completely unique, created for you live, in the moment from music composed by artists. The artists we work with produce music specially for Wavepaths, in support of specific therapeutic intentions. Learn more about our award-winning artists here.
Wavepaths music is procedurally generated and works by intelligently mixing collections of sounds in real time from an expanding library of live-recorded, proprietary content that embody certain emotional themes.
A generative approach allows Wavepaths’ repertoire to evolve continuously, produce unique, unrepeatable music, and enables fluid and live adaptability features that are central to a person-centred approach. Generative music supports a process of musical arrangement that is spontaneous, interflowing and reflective of the sounds and rhythms of nature.
What does a Wavepaths guide do during a Deep Listening session?
The role of a Wavepaths guide is to facilitate an optimal experience for deep listening participants: helping them to prepare both practically and psychologically.
Wavepaths guides will:
- Help participants to prepare their physical space
- Explain how the session will progress
- Explain how Wavepaths system works
- Set-up the musical variables in Wavepaths system based on preferences and therapeutic intention
- Share deep listening techniques for participants to use during the session
- Support participants during the session
- Adjust Wavepaths music as needed, live, during the session
- Help the participant process and round the experience afterwards
Wavepaths guides include therapists and neuroscientists from different backgrounds, all extensively trained in Wavepaths music system and approach.
How to make the most of your Deep Listening practice
To make the most of your deep listening practice:
Prepare your space
- The ideal environment for deep listening is a comfortable, private space that will be free from disturbance for the duration of the session.
- We recommend lying down on a supportive surface such as a yoga mat on the floor
- Try using a cushion or pillow to support your head and under your knees
- Avoid using your bed or other areas that you associate with sleep
- We recommend using eye shades as this supports full immersion in the music
- Consider having a blanket at hand as sometimes listeners become cold mid-session
Technology and equipment
- Put your device in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to prevent interruption
- Wear good quality headphones (preferably wired) or position an external sound system
- Make sure the volume is comfortably loud so that the music fills your awareness
- Test your equipment prior to the session
Set your intentions
Think about what your intentions might be for your deep listening session.
- What are you most able to be open to and present to in your life now?
- What do you find most difficult to accept in your life right now?
- Where in your life are you seeking change?
Focus on nothing else than the experience of the music.
Accept without judgement the entirety of the experience.
Experience the entirety of the unfolding music.
“I sometimes refer to music as a transformative technology because it’s a technology that changed the fabric of our society, our culture and human nature. It has literally changed our brains.”
– Dr. Mendel Kaelen
In Review: How to get started with Deep Listening today
Deep listening is a way of listening to ourselves and what our bodies and minds have to say. A deep listening session can be profoundly healing and promote a state of calm and relaxation, facilitate emotional processing, and foster a deeper connection with self.
Wavepaths offers deep listening sessions through its Listener Community – a place to develop your deep listening practice supported by Wavepaths therapy team.
Try a Wavepaths deep listening session today. Join the Listener Community for free access to Wavepaths events and subscription access to unlimited deep listening sessions.