The first of our five senses to develop in utero, and the last to fade as we pass from this world, is our sense of hearing.
Throughout our lives, sound is a magical, mysterious medium that surrounds us, moving, inspiring, enchanting and healing us. Sound is a gateway to the NOW moment, and the healing shift into pure presence and awakened awareness. Music offers a vibrational bridge to the ineffable and unseen worlds, to our undefended heart, and is medicine for our bodies, mind and soul.
We are vibrational beings, and the health of our mind, body and spirit is influenced by our environment, and the sounds we are exposed to. Conscious music and sacred sound has the ability to bring us into our heart center, bypassing our busy minds, allowing us to ‘feel to reveal what is arising to be healed’. Music has the unique ability to deliver the truth to our body/mind, and can take our breath away, or bring tears to our eyes, as we feel the resonance of this sensory sonic massage.
Sound, offered with the intention to heal and uplift, creates a vibrational bridge to the NOW moment, where all healing occurs. Music can slow down and equalize brain waves: music with a pulse of about 60 beats per minute can shift us from the beta waves of ordinary consciousness to the alpha waves of heightened awareness and calm. Music helps us feel good because it allows us to befriend the entire spectrum of our emotional landscape. There is beauty in the light and the dark, and music takes us on a journey to every corner of our human heart, allowing us to love every part of ourselves through the sonic experience of emotional catharsis and release.
Music and sound therapy has many physical benefits that have been documented by scientific research, ranging from reduced blood pressure and heart rate to increased energy, stronger immune function, and an overall sense of peace and well-being. The miraculous power of sound to bring healing and inner harmony has been known for centuries; Pythagoras used ‘musical medicine’ to eliminate inner dissonance, and alleviate ‘passions of the mind’. Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, took patients to the healing temple of Asclepius, and used music to restore inner harmony and physical vitality.
Modern day applications of sound healing are vast and varied, from music therapy, drumming circles and kirtan singing, to the use of instruments such as didgeridoo, gongs and Tibetan singing bowls. In my sound healing circles, I use a variety of world instruments, including the Indian shruti box, buffalo drum, quartz crystal singing bowls, rattles, shakers and xylophone. The voice is a powerful healing tool, and singing together is a sacred way to create community, relieve anxiety and depression and literally ‘raise our vibration’ with the collective energy generated by the circle of sound.
In her book ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’, Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “To sing is to use the soul voice. It means to say on the breath the truth of one’s power and one’s need. It is to breathe soul over that which is ailing or in need of restoration.” My vision and intention with every sacred sound circle is to breathe soul through our voices, to create a space for deep listening, and to heal ourselves and our ailing world with love, harmony and compassion. It is a joyful experience to carry our woe and wounds on a wave of love, and sing ourselves into a holy wholeness. – Pamela Jane Gerrand