With thanks to some suggestions Kasper van der Meulen of Mindlift (who gives a great Breathwork Mastery class) and by Robin (who made SoundSelf), I’ve been playing with breath and SoundSelf.
The breathing basis
In the beginning the voice guidance guides you into setting up your space, settling in comfortably, letting go of tension, and generally feeling grounded and relaxed.
I find that a good way for me to go to that place, is to do a breath hold, and letting that go with a somewhat explosive pfffffffff via the mouth.
Then the tree launch sequence starts, where you set and SoundSelf learns the base rhythm for the later session. So I set the base rhythm there with an unhurried but deliberate, deep full-belly nose inhale (my natural rhythm seems ±5s, yours may differ) and long deep resonating ohhhmm tone out via the mouth (±30s).
This will be the rhythm I fall back to in the later process, the metronome that SoundSelf will also be repeating to you in your own voice.
Power (breathing) up
The basis of supercharging the experience, is first some over-ventilation:
forced quick in- and exhales for a short period.
Although the details of the technique (in/out via nose or mouth) do not matter that much for this purpose, I suggest that you focus on the exhale via your mouth, and inhale 80% in via your nose.
This matches the rest of the breathing patterns, activates your system but does not panic it, and it is generally a good idea to prefer nose inhales.
Do these quick breaths to taste: to the moment where you feel more energised/tingling, a bit or even a lot further than that if you are more experienced with breathwork.
I end up doing 10-40 breaths usually.
Everyones’ mileage can vary, but the big trick with this experience seems to be what you do right after this power up breathing.
Think of going right back into toning (you may notice that you can exhale and thus tone longer because you have exhaled a lot of CO2).
But you can also immediately fully exhale, hold empty until you feel the clear urge to breathe in, nose inhale and go back to breathing.
This one is my current favourite.
This looks like this:
Bringing it to a grounding close
At the end, give yourself some time to get back to grounding. Lay down and let your body integrate, then take some grounding breaths like so.
I like anchoring this experience to a trigger, so that I can come back to the sensation with that word/gesture.
Future things to try
There are of course many further things to try, like making different sounds (I’ve started experimented with mantras), exogenous chemical influence, and tactile experiences like the SubPac/TacSuit (going towards EMDR?).
DMTtripBear showed how using the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” would work and I’m experimenting with mantras now too.
A power breath and Om Mani Padme Um:
Other possible power-ups
For the (increasing) places where this is legal, apparently “indica dominant cannabis can dramatically heighten the SoundSelf experience“. Try it out, let me know?
Doing SoundSelf with psylocibin (“magic mushrooms”), LSD or other ‘real’ psychedelics… I doubt will be that interesting or smart at a dose that gives an internal psychedelic experience. Robin has tried that experiment and sweetly came to the conclusion that the internal experience from the psychedelics is more interesting. And that the magic goes away if you know how SoundSelf works like he does.
I’d also think that it is probably not a good idea to have a VR headset strapped to your head with a full psychedelic (not a great setting), and the visuals might be a bit extreme on a screen. To be clear: not advised.
Micro-dosing… maybe. Let me know?
Alcohol… pretty sure not.
More to follow I am sure…