Tyler Glenn

Neon Trees Frontman on Meditation and Leaving Mormonism

Tyler Glenn
Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees on sound bath meditation and his disavowed Mormon faith.

Tyler Glenn is the lead vocalist and keyboardist of Neon Trees, the rock band from Provo, Utah, famous for their energetic live performances. He also performs as a solo artist. Two years ago, he came out as gay.

Neon Trees Frontman on Meditation and Leaving Mormonism[/tweetthis]

It has been especially difficult for him since he belonged to the Mormon faith, and the LDS Church does not fully accept homosexuality. Still, he held on to his faith, to prove that he could be gay but still be Mormon. However, last year, the LDS Church implemented a new policy that barred baptisms of children from gay parents until the age of 18. Glenn, who wanted to raise his kids when he would have them in the future, in the Mormon faith, felt completely dejected. He abandoned his faith and started drinking.

Last April, he released a video titled Trash, in which he literally trashed the Mormon faith. In the video, he spits on the altered image of Joseph Smith, the founder of the LDS Church. The video also shows him drinking from a bottle of alcohol. Drinking alcohol is prohibited in the Mormon faith. The video not only generated controversy among the Mormons but also distanced Glenn from his brother and the Mormon members of the Neon Trees.

As part of his healing process, Glenn recently took on to sound bath meditation. He is doing it under the sound-therapy practitioner Sara Auster. Auster usually conducts group classes at the MNDFL, Meditation Studio in New York City. The classes start at $10. According to Auster, the objective of the meditation is to become an observer of one's own thoughts, and thus become more present. However, a lot of people struggle with finding focus. Sound, in general, is ephemeral, it is happening at the moment, and connecting to it means becoming present. Sound bath meditation offers an access point.

During the 50-minute sound bath meditation sessions, Auster sits behind her disciples on a pillow. She then plays a series of instruments, such as carnelian, charcoal, smoky quartz infused crystal singing bowls, a shruti box (a harmonium-like musical instrument), steel tuning forks and so on. The transcendental tones created by the instruments brings the body into harmony with the vibrations. All the instruments are adaptations of tools used in Eastern practices, tools that have been used by practitioners for centuries. The last step in the process is the chanting of “Om,” a sacred sound in Hinduism. The goal of sound bath meditation is profound relaxation and connectedness.

At the end of a recent session, Auster asked Glenn how was he feeling? Glenn answered, “calm.”


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