Sound Therapy Experience
Human Life has its roots in the Five Elements in both the physical and the subtle worlds. When natural acoustic instruments are played, their sound resonates with and nourishes the corresponding element and organ in the body. They work on an organic level to harmonize and heal the body from within.
Sound, light & energy are the same. When we immerse ourselves in the simplicity of Sound, it permeates & illuminates us on a cellular level. It expands into our hearts & this awakening radiates out to the world according to our own unique physiological & mental condition. When we ‘disappear’ into Sound, we move beyond the physical resonating into Stillness & Silence….being boundless. Here then we can realize the simultaneous existence of form & emptiness beyond duality.
Effect of Sound and Speech on Humans
The Sound Therapy Experience
Sound therapy has been a life journey of self reflection and integration. Sometimes a magical moment in this work shines through like a diamond when we turn our self over to the Mystery and it supports us without our knowing why or how.
If by words we create more noise, then they have not reached their goal, for the ultimate purpose is to create silence, for the perfection of Silence is an inexpressible state of being.
My Tibetan teacher said: “the most beautiful sound is found in silence” On this walk we learn how to apply our ‘listening’ with heart in a grounded way. Excitingly this lifelong mastery has no end.
The ear is the first sensory organ to evolve and it is the last to recede at death. The appreciation for acoustical nuances is built into the human brain during its embryonic development. Our auditory capacity is 10 times larger in range than our visual capacity. This memory therefore far exceeds that of our visual memory. There is an enormously greater audible functioning happening in our subconscious than we are aware of. Language and sound activates the entire cerebral cortex, the ‘seat’ of higher thought.
Hearing, Listening & Alert Listening
Sound therapy uses audible sound frequencies that stand on their own for healing. Because these sounds are without content, harmony, rhythm or emotional colour, they amplify the right brain environment (the intuitive, creative, abstract) giving our mind relief from left brain analytical logical thinking.
In this quieter space we can better listen to ourselves and recognize the important difference between hearing & listening.
Hearing is a passive experience.
Listening is a completely focussed activity.
Alert listening is a deeply heart oriented activity.
The potency of sound can produce beauty and inspiration, or it can be destructive and shattering, violent and painful.
When we experience powerlessness it is often because most of the time our search is in our cognitive and rational area. The permeable tool of sound not only helps open our heart to learn about silence and listening, but it also taps into the unspoken, unexpressed part of ourselves. Sometimes it facilitates awareness to open up wherein we can discover our own inner mythology and source.
In Buddhism ultimately our intention to reach happiness is not enough unless we carry in our heart, the loving promise to help alleviate suffering of all beings. By doing so we tap into a morphic stream of energy far greater that the sum of its parts and our activities become empowered by the great ocean of blessings, wisdom and compassion of enlightened activity.
I have spoken more about the Power of Intention in another place in my website. Please go to “About Sound”.
Sound therapy is a meditative experience where growth is more about simplification and subtraction to get to that desert-clean essential. As the years progress science is proving that beyond any doubt, sound has greater and greater vibrational healing significance. Sound creates solid ground and safe space for those who are newly entering spiritual fields of study. It can smoothly guide us from the relative material world to the sacred. The experience of this sacred place within ourself is the gift and a blessing. Ah!…to become the flute through which spirit sings. There is no separation. Yonder shore is this shore.
The therapist and client actively listen together attaining a rapport.
We recognize emotions and gently turn away from dwelling on them. Because energy follows attention, we then move on to a creative path of self discovery. When there is vulnerability and an open heart sometimes the numinous ‘walks in’ and we are awed into Silence.
When the client’s energy uplifts, their eyes shiny and direct, spine straightens, shoulders settle and square up, with an inner certainty and spontaneous enthusiasm, it is then that I know the intention they have arrived at, has ‘hit home’. The seeds of this enthusiasm is the kindling needed for us to strive further.
Using sound and breath
……the body and mind relaxes into itself becoming fertile ground for this seed of intent to take root. The mind moves into a state of trust and relaxes into letting go merging with the all-encompassing sound dissolving into silence. This space is where transmission, healing, clarity and calm abiding happens. This can bring a complete shift of a conflicting mental landscape. Sound captivates the mind to witness beyond itself and to merge with the unknown and become unknown.
Karma and trauma can create ‘memory-locks’ deep into the cellular energy which can manifest as physical, emotional or mental disease that can be triggered at any time when a situation resonates with the original experience. Stored memories can be unlocked and recognized because sound is able to gently blend through all borders resonating and retuning the energy for healing to take place.
If one talks about sound, it is then essential also to talk about silence.
If we refer to resonance, then again it is necessary also to mention dissonance.
Dr.Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize in physics, proved that for a system to change and to evolve to a higher state of functioning/resonance, it must first pass through a state of disruption or chaos.The sonic term for chaos is dissonance. Dr.Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize in physics, proved that for a system to change and to evolve to a higher state of functioning/resonance, it must first pass through a state of disruption or chaos. The sonic term for chaos is dissonance.
The learning from this is to listen to and appreciate dissonance in our lives, for the challenges and crises can be opportunities for extraordinary growth. Resolution happens when dissonance becomes resonance.
Working in a quiet safe environment sets the ‘listening’ tone and gives a sense of timeless space with sounds swelling, merging and sinking into nothingness. These sounds nourish the 5 Elements which are the building blocks of the physical and subtle worlds. They penetrate at a intra cellular level vibrating, entraining and healing the body from within.
Instruments Used in Sound Therapy
The various instruments that are played during a therapy session gradually slow down and become less. Finally only one instrument is played allowing the client to float in sound and become inwardly silent.
Clear high sounds of Tibetan handbells and tingshaws (hand cymbals); subtle rotating tones from singing bowls softened by the rolling thunder of gongs; the thunderous shimmering sound of gongs precedes the rainstick patter of droplets…..and the final heartbeat of the drum, giving way to the repetitive undulating drone of the monochord. It is in this space that the physical slows down and the energetic speeds up. Within this stillness the experience is different for each person.
Tibetan singing bowls are made of 7 different metals which resonate uniquely according to their shape, size and the proportions of the metals mixed into them. The undulating pulsating sine wave sounds of these singing bowls entrains the brain into deep relaxation, alpha and even deeper theta states. I also use Crystal singing bowls that resonate and re-pattern the crystalline energies within us. Crystal sound rebalances and elevates the etheric radiance of the individual.
The monochord on which the client lies, is an instrument that I precisely tune to the frequency of the OM or Heart Chakra. When the long piano strings underneath this resonant table are repeatedly strummed, it produces a rotational drone with a myriad of audible overtones and undertones vibrating through the body. Clients are drawn into very deep states of relaxation.
Tuning forks are used in sound therapy instead of acupuncture needles on meridian points, reflexology points and any relevant blocked or painful areas of the body to re-establish the natural flow of energy.
Frequency vibrations transferred to cells using these tuning forks, cause spiking of nitric oxide that sets off a cascade of physiological events directly influencing health, well-being, state of mind and consciousness. Vast scientific research proves these numerous benefits beyond any doubt.
In my view, key significance of Cymatics (where we can see the geometry of sounds) shows how our life patterns can change on a new fundamental level if just one new tone is introduced.
I’m in full agreement with the ancient Greeks that all forms and processes in the universe are in sympathetic and resonant relationships.
The History of the Monochord
It was used as an instrument as early 300 BC by Euclid and as a scientific instrument by Pythagoras in the 6th century BC. No one knows when it first appeared, as its origins extend into prehistory.
Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher who made influential contributions to religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He was also a great mathematician, mystic and scientist. He imagined a serene, harmonious order presiding over the Earth and the heavens. He was also a great mathematician, mystic and scientist. He saw a well-proportioned, mathematically perfect order which corresponded in the harmonies and tones heard in the monochord. Pythagoras proved the association between the world of numbers and the world of musical sounds upon this instrument which tradition holds, he invented. The monochord originally consisted of a single stretched gut-string with a moveable bridge. When the bridge precisely divided the length of string, it demonstrated the mathematical ratios (logos in Greek) of musical intervals and the harmonic laws.
Ratios mathematically express musical intervals:-
For example: C Major chord consists of notes of CEG
E is the mathematical ratio of 5:4 (third)
G is the mathematical ratio of 3:2 (fifth) – three fifths of the whole (Half of the whole is an octave and is the mathematical ratio of 1:2)
In the 16th century Robert Fludd summarizes his assertion of the underlying harmony and congruity between the macrocosm, man and the microcosm. In his ‘Divine Monochord’ he shows a double octave representing the harmony of the universe, ‘musica mundana’.
Evident from 9th century manuscripts, letters of the Latin alphabet were used to codify tones of the chromatic scales, which were derived from divisions of the monochord. Previously the lack of a method for recording musical ideas was a crippling limitation on composers and music had to be memorized. This breakthrough towards modern notation was introduced by a Benedictine monk named Guido, who was a choirmaster. From here on more complex music could be created providing an enlightening connection between our earthly existence and ultimate eternal reality.
Buddha’s first utterance
….after enlightenment, spoke of ‘the drum of immortality’ which he wanted to make heard throughout the world. Here he compared the eternal law of the universe with the rhythm of the drum – this is a heart-orientated experience.
The monochord is precisely tuned to the frequency of the OM or Anahata (Heart Chakra), which is also the Earth Year tone/frequency. The secret of the meditational effect of India’s music lies in this primordial tone. In this meditational space, the physical slows down, the energetic speeds up and in this ‘time-warp’ the alchemy of healing and consciousness takes place. Always, space must be created to allow something else to enter and to happen.
I invite you to walk towards your Dream with Sound and you’ll ‘Live the Dream’ instead of hoping for it. We can make our individual Dream sacred through impeccability and by ‘doing’ so we also then feed the World Dream. The gong is sounding for each of us to step into alignment and resonate in awareness.
To experience Sound, go into Meditation and Silence or come for a Sound Therapy session.
The first appointment is R600.00 (approx. 2 hours) and therapies from there onwards are R550.00 (approx. 90mins). Phone Lindi for an appointment 021 – 786 9325 or 083 509 5505
By working with energy respectfully (e.g. in ceremony) through the medium of sound, our body (including that of Mother Earth and the many different species that she nurtures) and consciousness can be brought into alignment by following the cycles and laws which govern the 5 elements.
- Wood – liver, gallbladder – Flute, Woodwinds – Spring
- Fire – heart, small intestine, pericardium, triple warmer (sexual energy) – Stringed Instruments – Summer
- Earth – spleen, stomach, pancreas – Peruvian Clay Whistles – Summer
- Metal – lungs, large intestine – Gongs, Chimes, Singing Bowls, Bells – Autumn
- Water – kidney, bladder – Drums – Winter
Overtones heard in the Sandawa monochord, Tibetan bells and Himalayan singing bowls, are linked with the nervous system, chakras and the subtle bodies. At the energetic level, the slower the musical rhythm, the faster the inner energy or chi will run, e.g. as in Tai Chi, Chi Gung. Slow movements or slow rhythms create large inner space for healing and/or consciousness to enter. Consciousness is ‘tickled’ when the sound resonates sympathetically with our memories, both on a subjective cellular level and also on objective subtle levels.
Based on pure sound values, the Sound Journey has a timeless quality of the universal. One experiences the deep realm of meditation space where there is no time. Different elemental sound arises from a silent potential – swelling, merging, and sinking back – like the OM mantra in an ever-changing dance.
A therapy where core-contact and communion is made – where ‘the longing’ of return is briefly satiated.
This SOUND MEDITATION THERAPY which is offered, meanders through, between and within a safe space for about 75 minutes. Phone Lindi for an appointment 021 – 786 9325 or 083 509 5505
Letter to Aspiring Sound Therapists
UPDATE: February 2020 June in her 96th Year
My intention is to share with you a little about my personal journey into Sound.
Maybe there will be something in this that resonates for you.
In this journey I worked through the noise of chaotic emotional blockages and ignorant choices, learning more about stillness and silence. Slowly I have realized the nature of my humanness and how to apply ‘listening’ with heart in Sound Therapy in a grounded way. This is a lifelong mastery which excitingly has no end.
I was like blotting paper soaking up all the incredible talents and ideas of people who taught with an open mind and heart. In the 1970’s there was no one who worked in Sound Therapy, and Music Therapy was still unborn as a subject. I worked on myself to ‘unplug’ my ears and to become robust enough to hear the Life’s taunts, tears and screams. Scared to hear and scared to be heard. These learnings created an ever stronger passion to work with Sound. So like many others, I serve in the very area that had been my greatest suffering.
Therefore the clarity of what deeply motivates you as a sound therapist is extremely important. Once you become aware your calling, then you can significantly make a difference and serve others to grow. Sound Therapy is not fey and ungrounded. But if there is no clarity, the therapy in turn lacks depth and direction and becomes an unconscious ‘bliss-out’ sound journey deficient of any growth. You will find your own way with heart in achieving this intent and will make it yours in your own unique way.
“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” Kofi Annan, the second African to lead the United Nations 1997 to 2006, was 80 years old when he passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August 2018 after a short illness. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his humanitarian work, determined and striving throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. He carried that Madiba Magic effortlessly reaching out with his deep compassion and empathy, selflessly touching the lives of millions. I trusted him. I saw in him a “servant leader” – a trait so lacking in global political leaders today.
Looking back upon my long and focused creative life, the Silence of my mind was unmistakably evident in the great simplicity of my art forms that were subtly honed stretching into space.
It is only in these recent years that I recognize that I was mastering not only the art of form, but also that of formlessness. It is interesting that if the sculptures are given their space to stand alone, they hold their noble energy beyond their boundary. You cannot master the creation of form, if you too do not merge with its counterpart of the emptiness and formlessness around it and how it ‘shapes’ the space beyond its immediate boundaries.
Finally being unable to work anymore after 75 years, I slowly was lead to recognizing and accepting the impermanence of my life. My sculptures continue to lie clearly and profoundly engraved in my mind. I am still and always will be a Sculptor, although the physically active part of this work has ceased. Now in the silence and stillness of this time of mine, I can clearly recognize the value of the teachings from a lifetime of dedication and focus given with unconditional love to my creative practice. Here now too I remember that innocent grand kite of love and joy, still carrying that same aspiration…and now…I am so happy that it flies free.
I am the kite.The sculptures are kites. I am all the sculptures. I always have been the Love & Joy. I now live in this awareness of deep loving and great thankfulness. At 96 life has evolved into so very much more than I ever expected. Now the love of and for my daughters, and the lifelong devotion to sculpture has brought out the very best of me…and always with the compassionate mind with Akong Rinpoche.OM AH HUNG
Sound changing Mind States, affecting Healing of the Physical, Emotional, Mental & Spiritual
There are 4 main states of brainwave activity with associated brain functions. In every state we experience important chemical and physical function in conjunction with these levels of consciousness. A summary of the major functions of these brainwaves states can very clearly be seen below.