January 25, 2012

Three College Roommates Check Out BetterListen! (Review). ~ Lindsay Friedman

Photo: mei_fang_chan

Do you need healing, relationship counseling, meditation, guidance from God, or Buddhist teachings? BetterListen!com is an online media distributor of video, audio and downloadable mp3s.

As a senior in college, who has a part time job and just began an internship with elephant journal, meditation helps me relax.  I frequently attend yoga classes, and meditate by the creek after my runs—but I am by no means your new-agey spiritual woman, I just like to relax and reflect. I have never listened to audio on meditation, or spiritual healing, so I was open to experience the the power of healing and self-empowerment during me time.

To get the best understanding of Better Listen! I gave each of my roommates CD compilations that spoke most to them.

I listened to a few CDs by the New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson. After a few chapters from The Luminous Mind Workshop, I was able to grasp that she spoke with a somewhat religious and spiritual tone—which I can appreciate from all my years at Temple, but I don’t really connect Jewish Sunday school Temple with relaxation.

Her live recordings accompanied by small injections of tranquil music and audience participation can be persuasive if a listener wishes to feel that they are in her presence.  She called to her crowd as if they were part of a fellowship of spiritual knowledge attending her sermon.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe sermons teach communities a great deal of lessons and give space for personal reflection, but during my me time, I did not want to be disturbed by the coughing in the background or the unison of laughter from the crowd, I wanted pure undistracted me time in my head.

I believe if a listener wishes they had time to be part of a motivational/spiritual group, then listening to Marianne can be a great substitute or as an addition to groups listeners already belong to.

This month, listeners can download one of Marianne Williamson’s lectures, The Power of a New Year, for free.

Photo: Of Steve Gorn by JolieNY

One roommate is studying anthropology, so she listened to The Power of Story – Women and Wild Animals and Dance Without End told by Laura Simms and music by Steve Gorn.

This is a beautifully told vivid story accompanied by majestic music. It touches the anthropologic side because it unravels the relationships between humans, animals, and the environment. My roommate could not make it through the entire story, but that may just be because us young folk have a hard time devoting all of our attention to a CD without becoming distracted.

If you want an inspiring story, download Laura Simms 4 disc compilation. I would recommend this to my mother, who is an avid listener to books on CD while she drives.  That’s another thing, when my friends and I get into a car we want to listen to music and not silently focus on a story.  I believe this story would be best for an older and more mature crowd.

My other roommate is in the process of recovering from knee surgery, so she listened to The World of Relaxation – A Guided Mindfulness Meditation Practice for Healing in the Hospital and/or at Home with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and original harp music by Georgia Kelly.

To prepare listening to the CD with my roommate, we dimmed the lights in her room, lit an ocean breeze candle and got comfy in her bed.  As comfy as you can get with an ice machine wrapped around an elevated leg. With our eyes closed, we listened to the soothing voice of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Though I am not recovering from surgery I felt that it was helpful to me as well. His message was to find the strength within, and anyone can use that kind of advice.

She liked listening to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn because it reminds her of her yoga practice.

“It is nice to have someone to guide you in yoga, even if you know the moves.  Even though I know what I have to do to get better, it is nice to relax and have someone guide me. His voice brings awareness to my reality in a way that helps me focus on healing rather than my pain.”

Better Listen! not only hopes to transform the lives of their listeners, but transform the ways we interact with the Earth with small mindful acts of environmental consciousness. They recommend that listeners stream mp3s from their computers rather than ship CDs.  The CDs are in plastic box compilations—to mention all of the shipping materials—but listeners who would rather listen for more than 120 hours before the mp3 deletes, CDs are the best way to go.

Note: elephantjournal.com received these BetterListen! CDs for free, in return for a guarantee that we would review said offering.  That said, we say what we want—good and bad, happy and sad.


 Lindsay Friedman is a senior studying environmental science and sustainable development at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also an intern at elephant journal and has a part time job at The Fitter. She is a true Chicagoan turned mountain girl. Follow her on twitter, Laine0315.


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