Simple Ceremonies: Exploring Sound as a Healer
“A person does not hear sound only through the ears; he hears sound through every pore of the body. It permeates the entire being, and according to its particular influence, either slows or quickens the rhythm of the blood circulation; it either awakens or soothes the nervous system”
― Hazrat Inayat Khan
I listened to a gentleman play the Native American flute today and it soothed my soul.
Has sound ever affected you that way? Healing with sound is a powerful practice that has been used for centuries by various cultures and traditions.
Over the years, I’ve used sound to relax, reduce stress and anxiety, and even alleviate physical pain. When I feel fearful, I sing to myself. It always calms me. I even play soft music for my pup when I leave him alone. Sound is an amazing healer.
Here's a simple six step method for using sound to improve your life:
1. Set an intention:
Your intention can be as simple as wanting to release stress or tension, or it can be more specific, such as wanting to heal a physical ailment. Setting an intention helps to focus your mind and energy on what you want to achieve.
2. Select the Right Kind of Sound:
There are many different sounds that can be used for healing, including music, singing bowls, tuning forks, gongs, bells, and chimes. It's important to choose sounds that resonate with you and that you find pleasant. When you're using sound for healing, it's not about forcing yourself to listen to something that doesn't feel right. Instead, it's about finding sounds that make you feel calm and relaxed.
3. Create a Calm Environment:
You can do this by lighting candles, burning incense, or using essential oils. You may also want to dim the lights, make yourself a soothing cup of tea, or wear comfortable clothes. Creating a peaceful environment can help you open more deeply to the healing power of sound.
4. Breathwork and Visualization:
Before you begin using sound, take a few moments to focus on your breath. Inhale slowly through your nose and fill your lungs to the bottom, then exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs fully. Do this three or four times. Visualize yourself becoming more relaxed with each breath. As you inhale, imagine that you're drawing love into your body, and as you exhale, imagine that you're releasing any tension or stress. This simple breathwork and visualization technique can help you to become more receptive to the healing power of sound.
5. Using Sound for Healing:
Once you're in a calm and relaxed state, you can begin. You may choose to simply listen to soothing music – or you might play a specific sound tool, such as a singing bowl or tuning fork. You can also experiment with different types of sound. For example, chanting or humming can be very powerful. The key is to focus on the sound and allow it to penetrate your body and mind.
6. Gratitude and Reflection:
After your sound healing practice, take a few moments to reflect on how you feel. Do you feel more relaxed and calmer? Are you experiencing less physical pain or tension? Take a moment to express gratitude for the gift of sound and its source. This simple act of gratitude can help to reinforce the positive effects of your sound healing practice.
Try different types of sound and see what works best for you. I am often brought to tender tears by the sound of someone I love singing to me. The sound of my sweetheart breathing next to me soothes me to my very core. When any of my sons sing, it delights me.
What sound brings you joy? Try that sound as a healing agent. How about the laughter of children? That’s my favorite healing sound! What’s yours?
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