Ambient Soundbath Podcast #104 – Just F*cking Relax – Season 1 Highlights

Ambient Soundbath Podcast
Ambient Soundbath Podcast
Ambient Soundbath Podcast #104 - Just F*cking Relax - Season 1 Highlights
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Just F*cking Relax - Calm Sounds for Tired Minds - Ambient Soundbath Podcast

This episode, Ambient Soundbath Podcast #104, is a, nearly 2-hour sonic journey, featuring highlights from Just F*cking Relax, Season 1.

There’s more information on that longform series below.

“Just F*cking Relax” – Somebody said this to me recently and it kind of hit me like a Buddhist Koan, which is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

The Just F*cking Relax series is a companion to the Ambient Soundbath Podcast where for years, I tried to do a kinder, gentler type of new age-oriented musical thing. Imagery of sitting in yoga or meditation positions, lotus flowers, candles and all the holistic health tropes and those things are great, still bringing me a sense of serenity when I see that kind of imagery, but the reality is that life is much more abrupt, in your face and we have to take respite when and where we can; it also doesn’t hurt to add a bit of a sense of humor to the churn of daily living. You might not be able to afford a trip to Esalen or the Omega Institute to center yourself, but you can put music on, take a few breaths in your car, on the subway or in a booth at Applebee’s and get in touch with yourself. In all instances, there needs to be time for YOU. Self-actualization shouldn’t require a plane trip to an exotic retreat and these are some of the many reasons that I created the Just F*cking Relax series.

Anyway, it’s a bit irreverent, but it’s also just that simple, isn’t it: Just F*cking Relax!

Here’s a listing of all the tracks for the first season of Just F*cking Relax:

Just F*cking Relax 1 – Calm Sounds for Tired Minds
Just F*cking Relax 2 – Music for Anxiety and Exhaustion
Just F*cking Relax 3 – Music for Anxiety and Self-Soothing
Just F*cking Relax 4 – Music for Dealing with Energy Vampires
Just F*cking Relax 5 – Music for Insomnia
Just F*cking Relax 6 – Music for Social Anxiety
Just F*cking Relax 7 – Music for Reproductive Rights and Bodily Autonomy
Just F*cking Relax 8 – Don’t Wish Your Life Away
Just F*cking Relax 9 – Embrace the Suck
Just F*cking Relax 10 – Music for Deep Sleep on Hot Nights

Just F*cking Relax – Season 1

“Just F*cking Relax” – Somebody said this to me recently and it kind of hit me like a Buddhist Koan, which is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

The Just F*cking Relax series is a companion to the Ambient Soundbath Podcast where for years, I tried to do a kinder, gentler type of new age-oriented musical thing. Imagery of sitting in yoga or meditation positions, lotus flowers, candles and all the holistic health tropes and those things are great, still bringing me a sense of serenity when I see that kind of imagery, but the reality is that life is much more abrupt, in your face and we have to take respite when and where we can; it also doesn’t hurt to add a bit of a sense of humor to the churn of daily living. You might not be able to afford a trip to Esalen or the Omega Institute to center yourself, but you can put music on, take a few breaths in your car, on the subway or in a booth at Applebee’s and get in touch with yourself. In all instances, there needs to be time for YOU. Self-actualization shouldn’t require a plane trip to an exotic retreat and these are some of the many reasons that I created the Just F*cking Relax series.

Anyway, it’s a bit irreverent, but it’s also just that simple, isn’t it: Just F*cking Relax!

Here’s a listing of all the tracks for the first season of Just F*cking Relax:

Just F*cking Relax 1 – Calm Sounds for Tired Minds
Just F*cking Relax 2 – Music for Anxiety and Exhaustion
Just F*cking Relax 3 – Music for Anxiety and Self-Soothing
Just F*cking Relax 4 – Music for Dealing with Energy Vampires
Just F*cking Relax 5 – Music for Insomnia
Just F*cking Relax 6 – Music for Social Anxiety
Just F*cking Relax 7 – Music for Reproductive Rights and Bodily Autonomy
Just F*cking Relax 8 – Don’t Wish Your Life Away
Just F*cking Relax 9 – Embrace the Suck
Just F*cking Relax 10 – Music for Deep Sleep on Hot Nights

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.

-Matt

Tell me about your journey with the Ambient Soundbath: