Ambient Soundbath Podcast #103 – Time and Timelessness

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #103 - Time and Timelessness

The richness of a moment comes when it’s both full and empty at the same time. The truth is, we live simultaneously in time and timelessness.

— Ram Dass

Ambient Soundbath Inner Peace Music

Gateways to Now

Eckart Tolle Ambient Soundbath Now

Years ago, I had an epiphany while listening to Eckart Tolle’s Gateways to Now . The recording/talk, Gateways to Now, was given at the Findhorn community in northern Scotland. It was a fascinating and enlightening talk. However, there was one point he made that I found upsetting.

This is what I heard: He said that Gateways to now are right here, right now, always and it takes nothing special except awareness and attention to live in the now. Some people will spend their entire lifetimes meditating, doing yoga or some other “spiritual” activity to come to it, but it’s always right here, and then he kind of chuckled in that special Eckhart Tolle kind of way, as if to dismiss any activity or exercise related to mental awakening.

That kind ticked me off. I listened that section over and over trying to understand where he was coming from. In hindsight, I’m confident what I heard wasn’t really what he was saying, but it became a point of contemplation for me. After all, I had spent years dedicated to meditating and reading spiritual books to achieve exactly this thing he was now chuckling about, seemingly, in mockery of my dedicated practice!! Gateways to now are nothing special and they’re everywhere, all the time, I thought angrily in disbelief, harrumphing and crossing my arms in frustration.

But, he was right…

It took a handful of years, maybe ten, for me to realize he was right. I came to understand this while working through Michael Brown’s The Presence Process, a remarkably, practical book for “achieving” presence. In some ways, I would say that it’s the practical manual to achieving the things that Eckhart Tolle talks about in The Power of Now and later, in A New Earth.

All of this is to say, that gateways to now are everywhere, all the time. One of the primary gateways to now, for me, is the Ambient Soundbath. I don’t listen to the Ambient Soundbath as the composer or creator, but rather as somebody just looking to get centered, aligned with the now and aware of the present moment. I’ve found a way to remove my ego from “my” work and just immerse myself in the sound. I can use the Ambient Soundbath to wash the troubles of the day away and bathe in the pure sound of the present moment. Eckart was right: Gateways to now are always right here, right now.

Do you use the Ambient Soundbath as a gateway to now, I’d love to hear about it:




A Gateway to Inner Peace

gateway to inner peace

Recently, I changed the Ambient Soundbath tagline to: ‘A Gateway to Inner Peace’. I realized that a focus of meditation, sleep and even relaxation focused on ways to work toward inner peace rather than being in a state of inner peace. This led me to consider the Ambient Soundbath as a gateway to inner peace.

Let me explain.

When I started the Ambient Soundbath in 2011, I wanted to create an outlet for my music, but I also wanted to create a place to feature artists who’s work inspired me. Programs like Music from the Hearts of Space, Star’s End from WXPN and countless long gone regional new age radio programs were also an inspiration. I didn’t have a radio station, but podcasting was new, accessible and freely available to all. In fact, I imagined something, almost like a public service, where people could recharge, take a break from a stressful day, bathe in calming sounds and access a gateway to inner peace.

These were lofty goals.

Podcasting was still new in 2011. The primary feed player was iTunes. There were no feed aggregators, Alexa or IoT devices to play your favorite podcasts. Even smart phones were pretty new. There was also no real accepted interval for putting out new episodes; an area where I’ve struggled mightily to be consistent. Nevertheless, I persevered, urged on by you, the listeners and fans of the Soundbath.

It never should have worked, but somehow it did.

The listenership of the Ambient Soundbath, like most podcasts grew slowly to where we are today: 3,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of streams. I’m grateful and humbled by that, but that’s not the most important part.

YOU are the most important part. And through the years, hundreds of Soundbath listeners have written me moving emails about their experiences with the Soundbath. I’ve heard that people use it for meditation, sleep, physical therapy, mental health, yoga, trauma, stress relief, etc. And in all of these applications, you’ve told me that the Ambient Soundbath is a gateway to inner peace. I hold these notes from you among my greatest honors on this human plane.

As we move into the future, it’s important for me to call the Ambient Soundbath what it is. It’s not one of a million music podcasts. It’s not a talking head espousing some perspective punctuated by advertisements, nor is it some meditation, sleep or wellness-adjacent tech tool. The Ambient Soundbath is our gateway to inner peace and I look forward to our continued journey together.


Tell me about your journey with the Ambient Soundbath:




Ambient Soundbath Podcast #102 – To Be Alive

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #102 - To Be Alive

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Alan Watts

Ambient Soundbath Podcast Ep. 102

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #101 – The Giving Expanse

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #101 - The Giving Expanse

The gift lies not
in the receiving,
but in the open
embrace of kinship
and connection.

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #100 – Cahokia Sunrise

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #100 - Cahokia Sunrise

Ritual dance.
Kaleidoscope of life
Oranges and yellows
of rebirth
and renewal.

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #98 – Aerochord

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #98 - Aerochord

Deep meaning,
floating towards
fulfillment revealed.

This program exclusively features the work of Lauge (aka Henrik Laugesen) and the recording Latitudes. The work of Lauge is a new find for me and the work is some of the best, freshest ambient and drone music that I’ve heard in a while. Lauge also curates a great playlist called Ambient Soundscapes on Spotify.

Program/Track Index

00:00 – Floating
04:10 – Aerochord (Ambient Soundbath Edit)
14:10 – Altanen (Drone Edit)
18:10 – Windy Cooridor|
21:40 – Thule (Stretched Edit)
29:30 – Latitude North
42:00 – Harbourfront
44:20 – Sollys (Latitudes Edit)
48:30 – Nautilus
53:20 – Aerochord Reprise (Ambient Soundbath Edit)

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #51 – Chuck Van Zyl

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Ambient Soundbath Podcast #51 - Chuck Van Zyl


Ambient Soundbath Podcast #51 – Chuck Van Zyl

0:00 – September Cemetary –Memory Space
11:00 – Saturn – Rituals
31:00 – All Souls Day –Memory Space
37:00 – Sentinel – Cenotaph
51:00 – Memento Mori – Memory Space
54:00 – All Souls Day (Reprise) – Memory Space

Where to begin… After podcast #50 I wasn’t sure that I would be coming back, I was at a crossroads… 50+ hours of music, much of it original and unreleased is no small undertaking, but I decided that the program could still be be great and less of an undertaking, based on your comments: Bring back other artists… so that’s what I’m doing.

This program exclusively features the works of my friend and mentor, Chuck Van Zyl. Some of you may know Chuck’s work, some of you may not, but you all should. Chuck has been a quiet champion of ambient, space and electronic music for decades… Whether with his own releases, his writings, his long-running WXPN radio program, Star’s End or his Gatherings Concert Series, both in Philadelphia.

Chuck was the first person to ever play my music on air, with my first recording For Running Time… a kindness that left an indelible mark on me as an artist. From afar, through the years, I watched as Chuck performed ‘guerilla’ space and ambient music performances at libraries, art galleries, really any place that would let him set up, and let him ‘get to ears’ as I always say… so I did the same here in Michigan, Detroit, Ann Arbor and East Lansing…

It was Chuck’s influence that led me to create the Ambient Soundbath, and try my hand at being an artist/broadcaster, something that’s worked out quite well, as we’re nearing 800 subscribers…

It was only a couple years ago that I met Chuck, in person, for the first time. He was (is) the picture of quiet thoughtfulness and kindness. We walked around Philadelphia for hours, talking, exploring and sharing… he was a kindred spirit and he and his tireless work continues to inspire and propel me, so it’s only fitting that this new chapter of the Ambient Soundbath feature my dear friend and composer, Chuck Van Zyl.


– Matt

Learn more about Chuck Van Zyl:

Recordings heard:

Rituals –
Cenotaph –
Memory Space –