KALAMA MEDITATION CENTER
Buddhist Hermitage Love and Light Will Make You Bright!
Sound Healing Meditation
The Awakening of Mind, Body and Spirit
Sound is vibrations traveling through the air as sound waves which are caused by the vibrations of objects in all directions. A vibrating object compresses the surrounding air molecules and then rarefies them. Although the fluctuations in air pressure travel outward from the object, the air molecules themselves stay in the same average position. As sound travels, it reflects off objects in its path, creating further distribution in the surrounding air. When these changes in air pressure vibrate the eardrum, nerve signals are sent to the brain and are interpreted as sound.
Many cultures and religions revere sound so deeply as to believe it called the universe into being. “AUM” or “OM” is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It was believed that the universe was dark and quiet until the first movement in the universe created “AUM” or “OM.” It is the mother tone, containing the frequencies of all other sounds. The goal of music therapy or sound healing is to reduce stress and pain, promote deep relaxation, develop self-awareness and creativity, improve learning, and clarify personal values.
In western culture, many modern scientists and doctors are translating sounds into physical forms, using sand, iron filings, and other materials, creating a multitude of kaleidoscopic images. Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Strang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center, and author of the new book, Sounds of Healing, uses crystal bowls and Tibetan bowls in his practice with cancer patients. He chronicles a thorough study of sound healing and a holistic approach to mind-body healing. Dr. Gaynor refers to others who are using sound to complement their medical practice. Among them are Sir Peter Guy Manners, M.D., an English osteopath, who uses cymatic therapy to achieve a near-ideal metabolic state in a cell or organ and Jeffrey Thompson, D.C., who practices a technique called "Sonic Induction Therapy", using primordial sounds and sounds of nature to promote healing at the cellular level. Sound healing is the state of coming into balance and harmony with our highest purpose. There are many methods of healing with sound. Mantras and chants have been used for thousands of years. Many acoustic instruments including gongs, and crystal singing bowls are used in a variety of ways to effect change.
Crystal Singing Bowl Healing
Crystals are fossilized water, formed when water combines with an element under certain conditions of pressure, temperature and energy. As a crystal, the element is able to express itself as a more unified and ordered being. Silica sand, combined with water becomes quartz crystal. Quartz crystals have many physical properties. They amplify, transform, store, focus, and transfer energy. We see the results in microphones, radio and television equipment, timepieces, laser tools, and computers to name a few.
Our bodies, too, are crystalline in structure. When working with crystals, there may be profound effects on the organs, tissues, and cells, as well as the circulatory, endocrine, and metabolic systems. Thoughts are energy forms. When thought energy interacts with a crystal, those thoughts are changed to more harmonic forms, which change brainwave frequencies, showing possible alterations in consciousness. Thus, the power of positive intention or affirmation combined with the use of crystals provides remarkable healing results.
Crystal bowls are made from 99.992% pure crushed quartz and heated to about 4000 degrees in a centrifugal mold. They are available in clear or frosted bowls in a variety of sizes, ranging from 6 to 24 inches in diameter. The bowls emit a powerful, pure resonance. The larger bowls are much more reverberant, with the tone lingering longer, simply because of the size and amount of crystal. The clear bowls, somewhat more expensive, are more readily available in smaller sizes.
The size of the bowl does not necessarily determine its note, although the larger bowls sound lower octaves and notes. Each bowl is tested with digital technology to identify its sound. One will have a sense of which tone "feels" most congruent with individual needs or desires. The notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, B correspond with one’s energy centers or chakras.
Some bowls harmonize with other bowls, and when both are played simultaneously, the effect is exquisite and synergistic. As thought are energy, the intention with which one approaches healing work is of utmost importance. Intention is a clearly formed thought, a prayer of sorts, and is the real healer. Of course, group intention is even more powerful. Thus, any sound might be useful for chakra resonance when coupled with clear intention. This may account for a number of existing systems which utilize different notes for the chakras and work.
Crystal bowls containing the qualities of amplification, storage, transfer, and transformation, are powerful tools in effecting change in one’s life. It is important to approach the use of the bowls with a reverence for the potential contained in combining intention with the properties of crystal.
Clear quartz heals by clearing out blocked energy that is stuck in a person's energetic structure. Quartz "loosens" up stagnant energy so that it can rejoin the energy flow. When an organ or body part is healthy, it creates a natural resonant frequency in harmony with the rest of the body. When the vibration of a part of the body is out of harmony, we are off balance or developing a blocked energy. When sound is projected into a blocked energy, it corrects harmonic patterns are restored. We are made largely of silica. Quartz is also made largely of silica. This means that it is easy for the crystalline structure of our bodies to interact with the crystalline structure of clear quartz.
Clear quartz also energizes. It is a conduit, similar to copper. It provides a strong and clear channel for energy to come in and leave a person's energetic structure. Because crystal singing bowls are made of quartz crystal, they have the same healing abilities as quartz. It's not just about how they sound. It's the "vibration" of the bowls that produces it's healing effects. Even if a person is completely deaf the crystalline vibrations of the bowls still enters their entire energetic structure and cell structure.
The vibration of a bowl being played carries through the air. A person can feel them 15, 20 feet away. If they are energetically sensitive they can feel them 100 feet away, even if they hear nothing. That vibration occurs when the bowls are played. It literally moves through the air and into everything around it. It aligns you with the energy of clear quartz.
Since the bowls are tuned to specific musical notes which correspond to the chakras, when a bowl attuned to a chakra is played it works to balance that chakra and remove stagnant energy from that chakra. Crystal singing bowls are one of the most powerful chakra balancing tools.
The Gong Sound Healing
The gong is a sacred and ancient instrument of healing, rejuvenation and transformation. It produces a strong sound wave, almost tangible to the touch, which stimulates the physical body by influencing the surface of the skin and every cell. On a physical level, the gong releases tension and blocks in the body, it stimulates a higher functioning of the glandular and nervous system, it increases prana, our vital life force and improves circulation. The sound of a live gong stimulates circulation while its wide range of frequencies stimulate nerve endings and may prove useful in recovering from injuries in which nerve damage has occurred.
As physical distress and illness often have an emotional and stress related component as well, the gong affects the physical health by working in these areas. It also appears that the sound of the gong stimulates the glandular system to a higher level of functioning. The pituitary gland seems directly affected by its sound which in turn causes the whole glandular system to become balanced. The gong also works deeply on the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. The gong purifies and quietens the mind. It literally cuts through the linear mind and clears the clutter from the subconscious mind to reveal the radiant and authentic self. It has the capacity to bring us to our neutral mind that is wise and non-judgmental. It helps turn the mind to zero, a state of stillness where innate wisdom can be accessed.
The body is where life force energy exists, commonly referred to as Qi, Chi or prana. The body is known to have thousands of meridian points that are mapped out through the body. Meridian points are used to pinpoint areas that have restricted energetic flow to our physical body. When the body holds imbalances and traumas, it forms blocked energy which disturbs our mind, body and spirit. We use sound to release tension and blocks in the body as well as to stimulate a higher functioning of the glandular and nervous system to increase Chi and improve circulation.
Kalama River Meditation Center offers music therapy/sound healing to promote deep relaxation, develop self-awareness and creativity, improve learning, and clarify personal values, as well as reduce stress and pain. The technique we use including the use of chanting, gongs, and crystal singing bowls. Our body, mind and spirit always want to be moving in a direction toward balance, yet we often have too much outer stimulus and noise and not enough time to dedicate to ourselves, which can prevent us from achieving a better state of harmony.
Many of us already have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of healthy eating, and the same can be true of sound. This is another example where mindfulness practices like chanting and vocal toning, can help us to find a center and feel grounded. In doing so, when we do have those stressful trigger moments, we may be better equipped to appreciate and discern the sounds more as our own unique symphony constantly happening around us, rather than feel overwhelmed by random cacophony.
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