I want to meditate in a new space. Yes, I should be able to close my eyes and fall into a mindful pattern with ease, but my apartment — these four rooms including the kitchen and bathroom which I've barely left for the past 11 months — is just not doing it for me anymore.
Luckily for me, I discovered ambience videos on YouTube, thanks to Tuesday's issue of Inside Streaming. They aren't specifically meditation videos, per se. The intention is to build a calm, relaxing experience in a dedicated space. Here's an hour with a crackling fire inside Sherlock Holmes' flat. Or spend three hours in a cozy New York City restaurant while it's raining outside.
With these videos, you can transport yourself to another space and, perhaps more importantly, into another feeling. Eliza Brooke in The New York Times presents ambience videos as a form of "self-medicating media," in the same category as ASMR videos or a meditation app. They're something we use to break away from the "hypermediacy" of our modern lives — where we feel compelled to interact with several forms of media at the same time.
For meditation, you only need pick a space you'd like to inhabit for a few minutes. Look at the dynamic image, listen to the sounds, and imagine what it would be like to really be there in this time. If you like, you can close your eyes and let the sound sink you into meditation. Most of these videos are long enough to allow you all the time you need to yourself. It might just be the momentary teleportation device you're craving.
Below are some of my favorite ambience videos that I've discovered.