ASMR as a Form of Meditation

Do you remember in school, when all fell silent except for the sound of pencils scratching over paper? Perhaps the sound of those collective pencils put you into a bit of a relaxed state, but perhaps not. Pencils on paper is a memory shared by most people I encounter, and is also a good place to start when discussing, as we are today, ASMR. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. School is a common first encounter with the phenomenon of ASMR for many people. Granite giving way to any number of paper mediums, producing simultaneously a sight and a sound, the sound caught secondhand by the other students, and repeat this 20 times over as every student in the class writes. The number of people who experience ASMR seems minuscule, as I rarely encounter individuals who can familiarize with the phenomenon. Maybe the equivalent to only one in every classroom.

YouTube is the medium through which ASMRtists, as they are called, showcase their talents. If there are ASMRtists practicing outside of YouTube, it is unbeknownst to me. (Interestingly enough, in typing of the previous sentence, it brought about the idea of simply putting some of my favorite ASMR videos somewhere on my website, and maybe I will do that to coincide with this article.) When one searches ASMR on Google, they get: “Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia.” As one who experiences ASMR, I would certainly say tingles down your spine is an accurate way of wording the phenomenon. It is a relaxing sensation that can flutter through your entire body. Upon discovery of the ASMR community on YouTube, I experienced the sensation frequently. As time has gone on, my ASMR senses have become more honed, and I listen to the videos more often than I reach ASMR. An advocate however I remain. I have watched many ASMR videos at this point, but this article is my first real contribution to the ASMR community. It is an introduction of sorts, as I will continue to post articles relating to this subject in the future.

If one does not receive the “tingles” prescribed by the intended function and use of the ASMR videos available online, one of two thing will happen. They will continue to utilize the videos for meditational purposes, or they will steer clear of ASMR videos in the future, as many find them off putting. This is what I have found. For those who continue to read this article, interested to find out which category they filter to, I suggest this video. It is an introduction video for one of my favorite pages, and in itself a quality piece of work from a practiced ASMR artist, demonstrating many things in a short period of time. It is not the page’s current trailer, and it is also one of more strange ASMR pages, as demonstrated in the video linked above. Whether you have chosen to forgo that video or watch it, allow us to move on. This is a list of all the ASMR artist’s I currently subscribe to on YouTube:

 

 

 

 

Some of those artists I only follow because I saw one video, but I follow them because I like to have a plethora of content available to watch. I however, usually gravitate toward just a few artists I take a particular liking to. Springbok ASMR and Ephemeral Rift and two of my absolute favorites, and as of recently I have been watching Tarot Reader ASMR very often. I obtained a deck of tarot cards, and Tarot Reader is helping me to learn my way around the art form with great success. Accidently Graceful is also one of my favorite artists, and as she semi-recently became a mother, I wish her the best. Her reading a portion of The Fault in Our Stars turned out to be a favorite of mine, as I grew up with books on tape as a topic of conversation. I believe she would excel in the field and would certainly be a listener.

So now you sit, with a list of ASMR artists in front of you, and with this information there is hours upon hours of exploring to be done. Ephemeral Rift alone has 990 videos at the writing of this article, soon to be over 1000 as he posts often, and some of these videos are over an hour long in themselves. I often times will fall asleep with headphones on, and wake up several hours later, ASMR still playing through the headphones. The drawback however with many ASMR videos are the commercials beforehand. There once was a time artists would promise to keep advertisements off of their page, so the listener could sleep soundly whilst video after video played out through their normally noise-canceling headphones. Nowadays almost all ASMR videos will be subject to the possible commercial. This is a tragedy, but an unavoidable one. Especially if we want the ASMR community to grow, and I certainly want that, we need artists to be able to make money from their work so they can spend more time doing what they love; some of that being the practice of ASMR, and any profit gained be well earned as these ladies and gentleman of ASMR guide my soul to a place of peace, and stabilize my days. They give me a consistent, free form of guided meditation, which was something I had spent time seeking.

Prior to my discovery of ASMR, I was watching the videos of a man named Mingyur Rinpoche. Some of his videos are now quite popular, and it has been an honor to watch meditation videos like his as well as the entire ASMR community grow in popularity and viewership over time. After finding peace with the meditations of Mingyur Rinpoche, I was guided to The Water Whispers Ilse, the memory of how I came about the channel is lost, but it is an ASMR channel I am fond of still to this day. A quaint, and seemingly incredibly nice lady from Nederland, she is another long practiced ASMRtist, and if you want to start where I did, this is the video to watch.

I have always been drawn toward ASMR which has the artist speaking over it, but there are many videos which feature no talking at all, and sometimes these are the best videos to receive tingles from. ASMR Sound Space is a master at his craft, and I highly suggest his channel for an occasionally strange but always relaxing set of videos. He uses a 3Dio microphone, which is fairly common in the industry, if we should be so inclined as to call it an industry. An important aspect of these microphones, and some ASMR artists choose to use these microphones while some can’t afford them yet, is that they are binaural. Microphones that are binaural utilize a left and a right microphone to mimic the effect of human hearing, so sounds appear to be coming from a certain direction while you listen through your headphones. There are many haircut videos, that being by far the most popular, which utilize this effect, and many of them can be used for ASMR purposes as well. Many of my favorite videos are not binaural, so it is certainly not a necessity for any aspiring ASMR artist, but it certainly adds to the relaxation, and I am sure many will agree.

Diving so quickly into the world of ASMR as we have, if you had never heard of the phenomenon prior, may seem like a bit much. As one should’ve expected however, like most things with a name, ASMR itself has sub-categories. We have already discussed the type which have no talking, as well as guided meditations. Some ASMR videos are hard to put into a category, and not all artists are going to categorize their videos the same. One category that is commonplace however, is Role Playing. In the world of ASMR, roleplaying is a simply when an ASMR artists appears in costume or is pretending to be someone they are not. The videos in the roleplaying category vary widely, but almost every artist I listed in this article has a video categorized as roleplaying, if not an entire playlist or more. One of my all-time favorite videos falls into the role play category, an ASMR Cylon detector, by Springbok ASMR.

I have been watching ASMR videos for over five years at this point, and it really has ingrained itself into the long-term of my life. I am a dedicated listener without a doubt, one who utilizes ASMR on a near daily basis. I watch as new artists emerge in the ASMR community; all the time and it is a great thing. I will be continuing to delve deeper into the ASMR community myself, and with this article I am contributing in my own way, besides simply viewing the videos. The artists of ASMR, like many artists I’m sure, get over encumbered creating their work. I have seen many artists abandon their channel for a various number of reasons. Low viewership and lack of ASMR acceptance are two main causeways to abandonment, or to the closure of a page entirely. I am here to help spread ASMR awareness because it is my duty as a viewer, and it is my privilege as the writer of a blog. Even Rooster Teeth has gotten involved in ASMR, which is pretty cool. Please join me here at HeartofZeus as we continue to promote not only ASMR, but meditation of all kinds. A healthy mind, body, and soul for everybody that chooses to put in the time and effort to achieve them, and an understanding that improvement has no end destination or set-course. It is simply garnered or regretted as time passes.
Chris- 7/31/2017