The Revelation of a Quiet Waterfall

As much as I wish to write every day about sound there are so many things that come along that seem to grab at my attention- which is feeble to begin with! And then there are so many topics in the arena that I want to write about that I flounder and often derail myself. I have resolved however that each day I do something to spread the word, how powerful the Word is- the sound, the primordial vibration, shabda- how powerful it is. Nada brahma- the world is borne of sound and is sound.

Today I write. Maybe a paragraph, maybe a chapter. We'll see where the current takes me.

When I was in the Bahamas at the Yoga of Sound & Voice workshop with Silvia Nakkach and John Beaulieu, Silvia asked us each to write about our journey and how we came to be there. A memory surfaced in the asking. I have thought about this, talked about it and written about it innumerable times; certainly the question comes up in almost every group or class I facilitate- but in that moment a very early memory came to me and it carried with it the gentle impact of a sound that soothed me as an infant.

My story, how I got involved in sound healing, stretches further back as the years go by and I begin to understand the subtleties of powerful moments that I once took for granted. For a long time the story began when I attended my first nada yoga workshop with Shyam Bhatnagar about 25 years ago.  Then, as I began to study and explore sacred sound, I was taken back to my father talking about the power of sound as a means to control the masses both in ancient and modern civilizations and as a tool for healing and enlightenment. Examples could be given but I will save those for another day! I think I was about 11 years old.

With a growing understanding of music and sound therapy I went further back to receiving my first transistor radio. I was 7 years old. That was the ultimate music therapy for me at the time. I loved music and wanted to listen to it day in and day out and this way I could. I was 5th in the line of 6 children- in classic codependent family dynamics I was the "lost child", the "quiet one." I was introverted, shy, fearful and hypersensitive. What better way than to lose myself in music? If I was unhappy or scolded I would retire to my room and listen to my radio. At night I hid it under my pillow and played it so softly that no could hear it but me. For years I went to sleep with music on in the background.

There are some gaps but that was in essence my story- those were the big events; but when Silvia asked the question two weeks ago, unbidden, another memory came forward. I was an infant, lying on my stomach in my crib, rubbing my hand back and forth on the sheet. In the past the memory of this was all about the sensation- the tingling in my hand that spread through my tiny body, but now what I remembered was the transfer of sound that I could both hear and feel, the sound of a gentle whooshing like a quiet waterfall that both soothed and fascinated my infant mind. This was the sound, the feeling and the action that lulled me to sleep as a very tiny child and, to my conscious awareness, my first experience of sound medicine.

Wow- and in writing this and reading back on it a revelation comes to me. This was the sound inside my mother's womb! When there was no arguing or fighting going on, this was the sound that I heard- the ancient rhythm of blood and water, a gentle whooshing; and I was safe there, soothed by the rhythms and the tones of the quiet waterfall within my mother's womb.

For a fascinating video on the development of hearing and the effect of sound in utero click on this link!