What is Vibro-Tactile Input and how can it help deepen your meditative practice? A literal definition of Vibro-Tactile Input is: vibro=vibration; tactile=perceptible by touch. In other words it is vibration that is felt in the body.
Vibro-Tactile Input (VTI), in some fashion or other, has been an integral part of the human experience for millennia. It has been used for ceremony, for pleasure, and for healing by all indigenous cultures around the world. From chanting in caves, to beating drums in rhythm, or playing the didgeridoo or lyre, humans learned early on how sound felt as vibration influenced them physically and spiritually.
A couple of interesting examples of the use of sound and vibration come from the ancient world. There has been much speculation about the purpose of the Great Pyramid of Giza that was built in 2560 BC. Research has pointed us to look in the direction of very low sound frequencies that have shown to have healing qualities on the body. One researcher, who was studying the sound qualities of the Pyramid, found relief from chronic back issues after spending time bathed in the sound properties of the structure.
Another example of the use of sound and vibration comes from Ancient Greece (800-480 BC) where priests constructed initiation temples that had “sound chambers.” These chambers had very special acoustic properties. It was said that a word whispered in one of these chambers would reverberate in such a way as to be heard as a deafening roar throughout the entire building. Over time, the wood and stone that comprised these buildings became so permeated with the sacred vibrations it was found that when the structure was struck it reproduced the tones used in those ceremonies.
In the “modern” world, technology has allowed us to harness Vibro-Tactile Input through the use of customized furniture and specialized sound equipment.
As you lie on the table and experience the music with its gentle vibration, a host of physiological responses happen that sends you into a state of relaxation. Nerve bundles along the spine send signals to the limbic system to relax, blood vessels dilate, heart rate slows, tight muscles relax, breathing becomes deeper, and the mind begins to let go and wander. As you find yourself drifting into a more relaxed state, this leaves you open and more likely to go into a meditative state.
Like most people, when I first began meditating I found it difficult to clear my mind, to focus, and get into a ‘good’ meditative state. I tried many different methods but struggled for about a year before I “got it.” At the time I was taking regular classes on spiritual development and was very devoted to my practice. Once I “got it” I found it easier to get into a meditative state and I began to get more out of my practice. Though, there were definitely times when I continued to struggle.
By the time I experienced Vibro-Tactile Input for the first time, I had been meditating for a number of years and was generally able to reach a state of relaxed consciousness some of the time. However, my practice had become more “hit or miss” and a much less regular part of my life.
I first learned of Vibro-Tactile Input through my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with Developmentally Disabled adults. I was involved in creating multi-sensory environments that included the use of VTI. I saw what a powerful tool it was for relaxing the muscles of individuals with cerebral palsy and how it calmed hyperactive individuals.
The more I researched and learned about the wide applications of VTI for healing, the more intrigued I became. This led to the purchase of my first piece of VTI equipment; an entry level mat that I intended to use for my own personal physical healing. I knew I would experience levels of relaxation that would help me to recover from the physical problems I had developed from periods of chronic stress. But I was not prepared for the added effect VTI had on my meditative practice.
When I used the mat to give myself VTI, I found that I could quickly slip into a deep meditative state without any noticeable effort. No more involved preparation, setting the mood, or being in the “right” mindset to enter my meditative practice. The more I used the mat, the more consistently this was the end result.
I began using my mat to offer Vibro-Tactile Input, paired with Reiki, to help others. Many of the individuals had never really meditated, but, they too found that they could reach that level where they could leave their mind behind. They often describe feeling “more centered” and “still” after a session.
Recently, I upgraded my Vibro-Tactile Input equipment to a liquid sound table, which has a water bladder through which the sound vibrates. Now, when I give myself VTI, I slip deeply into a free state; one where I feel that I am just floating conscious energy. I can honestly say I never reached that state with any other method of meditation.
As I have worked with VTI, I find that it allows me to gain the benefits of deep meditation without going into complicated or difficult methods. I find that my meditation becomes a “no-brainer” as my mind is left behind and I return to the Source, and the Source of all is sound.