With the introduction of our latest City Park soundscape we thought that the time is right to reflect on the various sound cues that emerge during a Muse experience. Muse’s soundscapes provide you with real-time audio feedback on the state of your brain to help guide your meditation practice. Our relationship to specific sounds can influence how we feel during a session. This is why Muse has different soundscapes for you to choose from. Try doing a few sessions in each soundscape to find one that works for you.
You can select from five unique soundscape experiences: Beach, Rainforest, City Park, Ambient Music and Desert (Rainforest coming very soon to Android. The rest to follow in later versions.)
Once you find your favourite soundscape, it can help a lot to put some effort into personalizing it. Tap the volume icon at the top-right of the screen during your sessions. Each soundscape is made up of three different types of sounds:
Weather feedback: changes in real-time based on the current state of your brain. You’ll want to find a soundscape and volume setting where this sound supports your practice by helping you notice when your mind has wandered without interrupting you when you’re focused. Note that the beach, rainforest, and desert stay true to the “weather” metaphor for the mind, but other soundscapes offer more abstract experiences.
Background: this is a static, continuous sound that plays throughout your session. It can be useful to mask background noise in your environment and help make the soundscape feel more uniform. Sometimes reaching a calm state leaves a noticeable silence in the audio feedback which serves as its own distraction. Turning up the background sounds can help mask this effect.
Birds: when you establish a deep, restful focus on your breath for an extended period of time, you’ll start to hear birds singing. At first, they might feel like a distraction. Don’t worry, this is part of the process! Over time, you’ll learn to use the birds as a cue to settle even more deeply into focused attention. If they’re too distracting, try turning their volume down a bit.
It can help to dedicate a session entirely to the task of tweaking your soundscape until you find your sweet spot. If the birds are too loud for you, try bringing their volume down a touch. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tweak the feedback volume and find your sweet spot.
Go ahead and try a new soundscape today and let us know what you think.