My Journey with SoundApr 08, 2022
The wind whistled around me, while the sounds of the birds and bugs carried on. The towering mountains above seemed almost to hum a bass note, keeping everything in a harmonic intersection. It was in this place, I found my passion for sound.
After trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, I grounded and rested in Pokhara, a beautiful city by the lake - the gateway to the ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) and thereupon, the Himalayas. Here, I sat in the most transformative sound meditation of my life and decided to extend my stay to learn everything I could from these teachers.
That first sound healing was the very first time I was present with my own energy and just how alive it was in my body. The experience was mind-blowing and I went back the next day for a second session. I could feel the energy of sound moving through my body as stuck, dense energy moved out. Nirvana Singing Bowls provided me with a space to not only learn but heal. We integrated the chakra system and were taught how each bowl carries with it a different note - each note impacting a different chakra. I ended up getting a whole set of hand-pounded Tibetan bowls and shipping them home. My very first instrument :D
This experience in Pokhara gave me an anchor to really understand how sound can transform energy. Unprocessed or trapped emotions (energy) can become denser over time and stay stagnant in our physical bodies. Sound, especially these specific vibrational tones can be used to move that. I learned that by gently gliding or placing the bowls directly on people’s bodies, the sound dilutes the energy and coaxes it to move. Sound can also entrain energy and transform it into something new.
How sound meditation can be used for profound inner healing
It seems crazy that sound can do all that, especially if you’ve never been to a sound bath or experienced music in this way. But if you think about it, even on a surface level, a song on the radio can cause you to feel emotional. So I want to share with you what intentional sound can really do and why people report feeling like they had a full therapy session after one of our sound meditations.
Sound is a frequency that can move through our bodies and change the very arrangement of our cells. How does this actually work you might ask? Well, down to a cellular level, we’re made up of mostly water. And when we’re stressed or in a flight or fight response, which for many of us is every day, our cells will be in a state of disorder. This is something you can observe under a microscope. If the cells are disorganized, they are not communicating efficiently or effectively.
When the cells are affected by sound waves, especially these healing frequencies the sound will entrain the arrangement of cells back into order, back into communicating. Under a microscope, you would observe the cells coming into these beautiful fractal shapes that you would imagine seeing in a kaleidoscope. When the cells return to order it brings the entire body and all of its systems back into a state of harmony. I’ve recently demonstrated what this looks like with water on my Instagram page. Check it out here. You can also learn more about this from the Sage Academy of Sound here.
So, now you know a bit about how sound can influence you on a cellular level, I’d like to share how it specifically affects your nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is responsible for the body’s rest and digestion state. It can only be activated when we are not in a state of fight or flight. For some people who spend all day in an activated fight or flight response, they can only switch into PNS during sleep. There are many ways to access your PNS like meditation, yoga, etc. However, to stay in a state of PSN is challenging and sound tends to keep someone there as long as the music is playing. (Source for more information).
With this type of sound meditation, you can count on reducing stress, anxiety, sleeping better, healthier digestion, more focus, mental clarity, and self-awareness to name a few benefits. Doing this work in conjunction with psychedelics, now that’s a whole other blog ;)
Sound Meditation Instruments and Techniques
Tibetan bowls, gong baths, om chanting, classical music, humming, kirtan, guitar, chimes - the list is endless! There are so many different kinds of instruments and techniques in the world, and each culture has its own offering! I want to share with you a little about some of the instruments I play now and why I love them.
My first love as I mentioned above was Tibetan bowls. When I returned from Nepal, I quickly bought a set of white quartz crystal bowls and then moved into Alchemy bowls made of all kinds of metals and crystals. “Alchemy Crystal singing bowls are advanced crystal singing bowls, where colorful crystals, fine gemstones, and precious metals, such as 24 karat gold, silver, and platinum are heated and blended in with the quartz bowls.” Each of these types of bowls holds different intentional energy and medicine.
The gong is a cornerstone of any sound meditation and it goes without saying it’s easily one of the most transformative agents of sound. While the gong can often bring up uncomfortable emotions and shadow work, it may also facilitate pure bliss and joy. People have shared with me that experiencing a very loud gong bath was actually the quietest they had ever experienced their own mind. Gongs come in every frequency on this planet and beyond. Some of my favorites are Paiste Gongs and Grotta Sonora.
Besides the notable bowls and gongs, there are chimes, like koshi chimes and flow chimes, small cymbal chimes. There are drums, like the djembe, the frame drum, or the handpan, a steel drum that looks like a turtle shell. There are strings like a guitar, or the Monalina, a 34 string instrument that feels like a guitar and harp had a baby. The Monalina is my partner Lauren’s newest obsession. This may seem like a lot of instruments - and it is… at this point, I’ve had to turn a large room in my home into my music room and I love it! Each instrument plays an essential role in the meditation and taking the soul on a journey.
Sound has been one of my favorite tools to use as a facilitator. It is not only enjoyable for me to play, but it has also been evidently effective for everybody I’ve worked with. From full moon circles on the beach, reiki and sound for 1x1 clients, to deep diving 6-hour ceremonies, my work with sound has seen incredible results.
Traveling through Nepal all those years ago, I couldn’t have anticipated this becoming my life’s work. Connecting with people this way and seeing their lives get better because of what I can share brings so much joy to my life. What’s amazing about sound is that each person can access it, whether they have the means to in person, during a live virtual session, or even just checking out a youtube video. I’m happy to share my story because everyone deserves to access that same level of profound healing.
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