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William Berk

Souk Sound Meditation

I was raised as a buddhist and have a longstanding meditation practice. This belief system and routine carried me through to my current career as a nocturnal ER doctor and assistant professor in Lower Manhattan. Over time, meditation and mindfulness have centered my medical practice in empathy, joy and presence, and I’ve always been interested in combining these two worlds. In 2020, I was exposed to a form of meditation using sound as the focus. I was captivated by how the harmonic tones from singing bowls, gongs, and a cadre of other instruments could be powerfully utilized to reach a deep meditative state. With the help of numerous teachers, I incorporated my own practices of breathwork, visualization, and loving kindness into a unique approach to meditation that I’m so excited to share.

When COVID came, it took a massive toll on both my patients and my coworkers. I found that after all we’d been through, loving compassion was becoming harder and harder to access and burnout was rampant. I started facilitating small meditations with my residents, nurses, and staff with profoundly positive effect. With the help of the instruments and focused meditation techniques, people who had never meditated before found they could quiet their minds and drop into a mindful state with ease. I witnessed firsthand that when stress melts away, people’s inherent goodness is allowed to shine through- causing ripples of goodness in difficult environments. In doing this work I deepened my connection to my role as a caregiver and teacher, something that has been important and necessary in times where those roles would have otherwise been strained.

My excitement in sharing this work has opened exciting new doors for me as well. I was hired by my hospital system to do longer form loving kindness and resilience meditation programs for the staff. And outside of the hospital, I facilitate meditations in numerous studios and venues in NYC. It has been incredibly rewarding work and I feel much closer to my role as a caregiver by helping people connect to their own source of self love and inherent compassion.

IG: @spiral_sounds