Sound Healing

Sound healing is meditation to a soundscape. For me it can be transformative. Something about sound healing shifts my mental state so that I can get enough distance between myself and my problems to see them from outside my mind. Usually that is when solutions present themselves, even if the solution is simply me thinking, it isn’t a catastrophe rather a mountain I must scale one foot step at a time.

Given that it is new and thousands of years old at the same time, I should explain what it is. In just about every culture there is music in some form and there is the use of it to access the spiritual side of our being. Meditation is an ancient tradition used to access our spirituality. In the modern era the combination of these is called sound healing. Vibration is the important part. The healer uses musical instruments but it isn’t listening music, it’s simply abstract sound that is pleasing. Which excludes the five year old playing wack-a-mole on the tongue drum. The effect is a relaxed body. The affect is a peaceful mind.

For me, I close my eyes and let go of my mind, as in I stop pursuing the thoughts that come up. I let them rise, flow, and fade. One time in the midst of the covid wave there was a sound healer who didn’t wear as mask nor was this person vaccinated. I looked around the crowded room, no one was masked. It was right about the time mask mandates were being lifted but news about variants wasn’t wide spread. Many people, including me, thought it was over. And yet, it bothered me. The healer had said vaccines were of no use. I put a mask on and lay down. I was vaccinated, I’d be fine. The problem was, I spent that entire hour stewing over this. I couldn’t let go, I couldn’t stop the wandering thoughts even though I tried to come back to the sound again and again. When the sound healing was over, I sat up and realized I put my life in the hands of that person and their decision not to protect others by being vaccinated. I did that every time I get in a car and someone decides to speed, run a red light, text while driving, or any number of things that cause preventable accidents. Life isn’t fair and early death isn’t always preventable. If I let anxiety overrun me then I won’t be able to live my life to it’s fullest.

These are very small shifts that happen with each sound healing. It isn’t like I jumped up after that sound healing and shouted with glee or walked in graceful peace. But I found myself more comfortable with the idea that I need to accept a certain amount of risk in order to live my life to the best of my ability. One time about 9 months after my father died I went to a sound healing. I didn’t think about him even once. He lived a long life with many happy moments, I missed him, but I accepted the loss. On the drive home, in the last ten minutes, I suddenly felt a burden lift. I hadn’t realized until that moment that I was burdened by his expectations for my life. Dad was grateful for what he had but the grass was always greener on the other side. If I was a yoga teacher then the question was, how many followers do you have? That I had overcome my fear of public speaking was not even considered an accomplishment.

Sound healing works in the subconscious. I do not know how. All the science in the world can not measure this. It can measure the heartbeat and how it changes to the sound of music but not that the mix of crystal singing bowls and didgeridoo can shift the neurons in my mind that create a fear of preventable death or limitless expectations from a loved one such that those things no longer impact my life in a negative way. It heals. I don’t ask how. I went to a workshop to become a sound healer thinking I would learn the answer to that question. Instead, I learned there is no formula. The special skill a person needs to master in order to be an effective sound healer is to first find peace within the self. Understand the self. With that comes the ability to hold space.

Julian conducted the sound healing workshop, he is my favorite sound healer by far, and he often says that what he is doing is manipulating energy through vibrations. I gave up figuring out how he does this and decided to simply have faith that it works. Not every single sound healing has a profound effect on me. Sometimes I’m just too annoyed by the ants that found their way onto my mat at an outdoor one or the fire engine that raced past the studio during one. Sometimes it is simply pleasurable like the one that happened in Maymont on a soft summer day with the breeze blowing through the leaves overhead. They are like lying on the beach or among tall grass watching clouds float by, moments to be enjoyed, lived, without the expectation that they will last forever. That in and of itself heals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: