Seriously I intend to get on this page EVERY DAY! The truth is I have amazing experiences related to sound and music and healing or at least one of those three EVERY SINGLE DAY- and I want to write about them- I want to share them. That is a true desire of mine.
The time slips by so fast. Amazing how real an illusion can feel. Heh heh…
Well, I couldn’t let this one go by. New song by AA Bondy, after 8 long years of… I don’t know. Couldn’t tell you. He’s been quiet. I only know that I loved AA Bondy from the first song I ever heard by him… which was? Don’t remember, a whole lot of his music hit me at once. My son Moose loved him (still does, turned me on to this song earlier today) as did my friend Devon and suddenly there was a lot of AA Bondy around.
So, he has released this one song as a preview to his new album which is being released in full on May 10. I think I have listened to this at least 8 times today- the last time on YouTube through my TV which is hooked up to my stereo. One more thing, his house burned down in the California wildfires the day after he completed the album- which is called “Enderness” by the way. Life is so weird.
Yeah, I don't have that many- but I do have one. An observation that came as I was working with someone on the Soundweaver recently. Holding a sort of witness consciousness, watching as my hands slowly came into their energy field, gently resting on either side of their head and after some minutes very slowly, almost imperceptibly releasing, hands moving away in slow motion. Moving to the next place on the body I was called to. Could have been the heart, the solar plexus, the knees, the feet, one shoulder or the other- or both. Listening, observing, waiting, letting go, moving on. What is happening in these subtle delicate moments- these listening moments which are full of power, intention and awareness?
At some point during the session I wrote this note: "The trick is to match the client's energy and hang out with it til a total synergy is apparent- then LEAN INTO IT- gently- enough to allow their energy/physiology to shift."
In other words, you hang out until you become ONE with their energy. No pushing, no forcing, being fully present- WITH INTENTION. Using a sound analogy, it is the difference between crashing a mallet against a gong so that the volume is almost unbearable and a shock to the system, or playing the gong so that the sound slowly builds, as if you are coaxing the sound forth and allowing the waves to wash over the listeners and then to recede like waves on the shore.
I used Estas Tonne today for my inspiration and therapy while I was doing some stuff in the kitchen. I wanted to escape but there were things I needed to complete on. Once I put this music on I was captivated and happy to be right where I was.
First things first: To all the moms in the universe, past, present and to come, Thank
you for your love, care, courage, nurturing and sustenance. I am
grateful to be here in this moment breathing this now-breath.
And to my own precious mother, I adore you. I love you, I thank you, I respect you. I am grateful to feel your strong presence in my life even though you are no longer in your physical body. You remind me that only the love is real. Thank you.
My blog has been calling me for days. You know what they say, "All are called but few choose to listen." Okay, I'm listening!
I feel like I physically hit a wall a few days ago and have been achy and exhausted for close to a week now. A lot of massages, and sound journeys which entails transporting some fairly heavy instruments. In between those two things I have been trying to get some gardening done and somewhere along the way I got kind of knocked down. I feel like that's unusual for me. My pecs, rhomboids and neck have all been very uncomfortable. My cure? Long baths, a massage two days ago- which helped greatly- and listening to sound journeys.
I am feeling like changing the name to Restorative Sound Journeys rather than Healing Sound Journeys for two reasons. One because I am finding that they are exactly that- incredibly restorative- and two, because there are too many implications inherent in the word "healing". I define "healing" as being at peace with what is, rather than "curing" but not everyone might agree with me on that. For example, if someone has tinnitus I have found that through sound healing sessions and a certain amount of guidance, that the person's perceived ringing in their ears may not go away, but they may learn to relax into that experience, meditate on the sound and let go of their resistance to it. Through that, they can completely shift their perception of their experience of it so that it is no longer perceived as a "problem". Also, when they shift their focus and allow themselves to follow the sound they often find that over time the sound seems to be quieter or not as constant and when it does occur it is simply a reminder to go inside.
I had a lovely Mother's Day today. My son Nic and my grandson Jonah came over with a dozen pink roses and cooked a delicious lunch of grilled teriyaki salmon for me, I worked in the garden and then came in and had mango-strawberry shortcake and a glass of Prosecco.
Life is good. It really is. I love my life. I am very grateful.
We all have two powerful tools for healing- our hands and our voice. This May I will be teaching a workshop in which participants will learn to use their voice for personal transformation and as an application for healing others as well. We will learn toning and overtoning focusing on how to balance the bioenergetic system and do body scans with the voice, learn sacred mantras for transformation and healing and learn Sanskrit seed sounds, "bija mantras", for aligning and balancing the subtle body. We will also learn some simple and beautiful sacred songs and chants from a variety of traditions.
Giving my friend Ine a toning session in Holland, 2012
This is simple powerful effective work that we can all do. You do not have to be a musician, you do not have to "know how to sing". (The good news is, you already do!)
I am excited to offer this workshop in my home where I have room for 2-4
people to stay. The rest will have to find other accommodations if they
are not local. Before I opened my sound healing center in Florida I used to teach workshops out of my home. It was so wonderful during breaks to be able to keep the energy flowing between us all by gathering around the dining room table or outside and sharing food, stories, laughter and music together. Once again I have the perfect environment for this! It's been a while...
I do not have the link set up yet for people to sign up but it will be there soon.
I watched this video yesterday several times. It is so fun, bright and uplifting. It made me feel good all over.
Is not the fact that music makes you feel good enough of a reason to say it heals? What is healing? Is it a "curing" of symptoms or is a shift in consciousness? If you go from feeling poorly- physically, mentally, or emotionally- to feeling light, happy, positive- does it matter whether you took an aspirin, had surgery or listened to a fabulous piece of music?
Yes, I know. I already wrote about Jeff Bridges' new album, The Sleeping Tapes, a few days ago but I am kind of obsessed with it, especially now that I listened to it while going to sleep last night. Of course I missed however much I missed because I was falling asleep, but it is very interesting. It's not just pretty music to go to sleep to, or ambient music with delta waves to entrain the brain for deep sleep- he is setting you up for your dreamtime. As he says, sleeping implies other things as well. It implies dreaming, and it implies waking up.
I don't have any trouble sleeping. I love sleeping and I love dreaming. I wish I had time to do a lot more of it! I never put on music when I am going to sleep. I used to, years ago, but these days I spend so much of my time immersed in sound that I really enjoy the spaces without sound and music. I wanted to hear this however, because I had listened to the first few tracks of it a couple of days ago and found it both funny and fascinating. I knew that there was talking through at least some of it and I wondered how that would play into the non-act of falling asleep. Would it enhance it or make it more difficult?
As I listened I was also observing, and to some extent analyzing, with one part of my mind what he was actually doing with his words. As I said, it is not just music- it is for the most part a monologue, an odd quiet narrative, inserting imagery to influence one's dreams, all the while reminding us that we are headed off to sleep. For example, there is a part where he starts creating an image sequence about walking up a hill with him and someone (I don't remember who because I was half asleep) starts pulling Spanish doubloons out of their pocket. And then he gently suggests forgetting about the Spanish doubloons because we're here to sleep, not to find doubloons. But there you are, with doubloons set into your subconscious as you are nodding off.
It is so interestingly random and a sort of stream of consciousness word flow, and the music behind the words is very effective for shutting down any internal chatter, allowing one to fall into a deep state of relaxation very quickly. It begins to affect the direction of thought and imagery before you actually start to fall asleep. I will say here that generally I remember at least a chunk of my dreams when I first wake up. This morning I was aware when I woke up that I had been dreaming and in my mind I had a sense of some of the imagery from the recording but I had no full recollection of my dreams- only the awareness that the album seemed to have influenced my dreams. I had a "sense of memory" if you will, that seemed directly tied in to the album but nothing conscious- and obviously I had also had a very deep sleep so i would say it was effective in it's purpose.
Aside from the Jeff Bridges factor, this is a very fascinating topic for me. Ever since I was a teenager I have loved working with my dreams. I have gone through long periods where I wrote down my dreams every morning and found that, over time, I was able to work through some very big issues. For example, many years ago I had a relationship with a man who was very abusive to me and my children. He kept us all in a state of fear. through threat of violence and intimidation. I was at a very low point at that time in my life- totally disempowered and full of self-loathing. After I had finally had enough and was able to end the relationship I started doing a lot of work on myself. Some months after ending the relationship, I had a series of dreams. In the dreams he would show up at my house, at my door- maybe I'd come downstairs and he'd be in the kitchen and I would tell him he had to leave; that he was not welcome and could not treat my children and me in this way. I was totally unafraid of him. Sometimes I would tell him that I would call the police if he didn't leave.
One day about a year after we split up, the phone rang. I picked it up and it was him. My body registered- fear. My heart started pounding and I felt heat on the back of my neck. He wanted to "make amends"- to absolve himself. In spite of the cellular response in my body, my mind was totally calm and I told him very clearly and unequivocally that I no longer had people like him in my life. I even told him how my body was reacting in the moment because it had its own memory but that I was no longer afraid of him. I told him how he had damaged my children and never to call me again. I didn't get angry. I didn't get upset. I simply said everything I needed to say and then said, "And now I am going to get off the phone and I don't ever want to talk to you again." It was unbelievable, even to me!
I believe that through my dreams I had been able to "practice"- that they actually prepared me for when I would have to face him and stand up for myself. Not only was I able to do that when called upon, it also gave me an opportunity to see my own growth and self-empowerment. They could have just been really cool dreams in which I felt empowered but in fact the change had actually taken place on an internal, and very real, level.
Artwork by Jorge Ramirez- distributed by Henry J. Steffes, Jr
I was looking for some inspiration regarding what to write about tonight so I went to Facebook to see what was happening today on the Your Turn Challenge page. There are always so many inspiring posts. I never got that far because as soon as I opened Facebook this post came across my screen and I felt compelled to respond. I found myself so strongly disagreeing with the text on this picture. I know it's supposed to be inspirational but right from the first sentence the core of my being said "No, this is wrong." Usually I post something about music or sound healing but this really stopped me in my tracks.
Love and you will always be loved in return for you are love. Give and you will receive, because that is the law of the universe. ("To give and to receive are one in truth." Lesson 108, ACIM) When you offer help to another, it will come back to you. Nothing is ever taken away from you when you love, give, trust, forgive, or pray for others. When you give, you are you are giving to yourself as much as to the other person because the nature of love is expansive and all-encompassing. You cannot be left out of the equation! You can never subtract anything from yourself or make yourself "less" by giving to others. "All that I give is given to myself." (Lesson 126, ACIM).
We may not recognize the form in which our love, our prayers, our generosity comes back to us and it may not come back according to our "timeline". It may come back in the form of unseen unrecognized miracles. According to A Course in Miracles, "A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware." (Chapter 1, Text, #45 from the Principles of Miracles)
This is so important to remember as a healer. We need, always, to let go of our agenda and any perception of what we think "healing" should look like. We really have no idea what that might be for the other person and we must always trust that our intentions for the highest good will serve exactly that purpose.
Love, give, help, trust, pray, forgive and DON'T BE AFRAID! The one sentence I agreed with "NEVER EVER NEVER let anyone else stop you from being YOU." All of your goodness, all of your love, all of your prayers will come back to you in more ways than you could ever imagine or dream!
Tingsha Bobo has been a rare but most welcome visitor in my life. I have experienced the gift of his wonderful ability to touch people's hearts and tickle their funny bones only twice in my life. The first time was on my 50th birthday several years ago ("several" is more than 3 but probably less than 10, yes?). Last Saturday he reappeared as if by magic while a few family members and I were in the midst of a celebration for my mother's 90th birthday.
I decided to write about him in this blog because sound is one of the vehicles he uses to transport people into his world of magic. His recent visit was quite short- no more than 7 minutes altogether- but during that time he played a small didgeridoo which he pulled out of his knapsack as well as a set of Tibetan tingshas (presumably where he gets his name) and a small rattle. When he appeared at my birthday he brought out a long haunting flute and quickly brought a group of 50 or so people under its spell. Both times he has combined the gifts of music and laughter, two of the best medicines known to man. We also discovered that he has a marvelous voice when he unabashedly serenaded my mother with her favorite birthday song! Anyone who has ever had a birthday in her presence has heard her sing that song. How did he know???
I have been looking on line for a derivation of the word "Bobo" which seems to be a fairly commonly used name for a clown. So far this is the most interesting and seemingly relevant bit of information I have come up with:"Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning “stammerer”. Grant notes that the name Bobo has been extremely common for clowns since at least the 1940s, and the bobo/clown/jester character is prevalent in most all cultural folklores, be they African, South American, or Anglo-European."
So, if anyone were to ask me "Who is Tingsha Bobo?" (which they occasionally do since we have an extra line for him on our phone just in case someone needs to reach him for some laughter and song- hopefully we could call him in through the ethers) from my brief introductions to him my answer would be that he is a clown, a very sweet clown, who uses music as his medium- although I suspect he has some other tricks up his sleeve (or in his knapsack) that have yet to be revealed.
I have a particular fascination with the fact that certain music can evoke such a powerful emotional response- part of what makes it such a powerful healing modality... that it can assist us in accessing deep places within ourselves of joy, angst or ecstasy- sometimes taking us on a white water raft trip and sometimes a gentle sail on a balmy sea and ultimately deposit us back on the shore feeling soothed, peaceful and whole once again.
Daniel Levitin, author of Your Brain on Music, psychologist and researcher has been exploring this curious power that music has over us for many years. As more and more study is being done in the field of psychoacoustics- the effect of music on the mind- scientists are beginning to get clues about this phenomenon. Yesterday there was a fascinating article in the New York Times Science Section which actually followed up one written several years ago specifically about Mr. Levitin's works and his book. This latest article has some very interesting input from a number of musicians as well, including Paul Simon and Bobby McFerrin.
Enjoy the read. This may actually open up to an interactive page where you can listen to different pieces of music and then enter your response. If the link doesn't work (I couldn't find hte "embed" code) then just cut and paste the url. It's worth it if this topic is even mildy interesting to you.
Watched the movie "Young at Heart" last night, which follows a senior citizen chorus from Northampton, MA over a period of six weeks as they prepare for a concert in their home town. The music is great- songs by James Brown, Talking Heads, The Clash, The Police, Bob Dylan- and the old folks ROCK! I showed it at my sound healing center and was disappointed that so few people showed up- four to be exact (besides me). It is such a wonderful inspirational movie and I cannot imagine how anyone would not love it, so I felt badly knowing that so many people missed it. It speaks to the power of music, and in this case singing, to bring people together- to connect, uplift, inspire, empower, heal, motivate, and above all to keep the spirit alive. Here they are doing a song by Kurt Cobain... totally cool!
Earlier this year I received a sound healing session from a friend. She didn't want any money for it. She said she had been guided by Spirit to offer these sessions free of charge. It was quite a lovely session, very powerful and beautiful. The word "transcendent" comes to mind because it really lifted me out of my body and carried me to another dimension. It didn't change my life. It did add to my experience and wonder of the ability of sound to transport us to other realms and realities and remind me again of why I so love this work. The curious element was the discussion that followed and her very strong stance that it is wrong to charge money for the sacred work of sound healing.
The day before yesterday I took my last $100, which I had been saving to buy stocking stuffers for my family and paid the electric bill at my sound healing center, which was due to get shut off. While I was out doing that the internet service was disabled for nonpayment. So, I have sound and money on my mind.
Part of what was put forth in the aforementioned discussion by the woman who gave the session was the idea of trust. Specifically she said, "What ever happened to the idea of trust? That if we do the work Spirit will take care of our needs?" Apparently for her it does. I have no idea whether she has other employment- a "day job". My day job is putting all my effort, energy and time into running a sound healing center, trusting that I am doing the right thing, and that even on what sometimes looks like the thinnest of shoe strings (like this week!) that my needs and the needs of the center will be taken care of!
I confess that I am feeling defensive right now and irritated at the implication that charging money for my sound healing sessions suggests a lack of trust. Or that money is inherently "dirty" and soils whatever (and whoever) it touches. Interestingly I spent years undoing my own belief that "money is bad". So maybe for me this whole conversation was actually reflecting that back to me, inviting me to look at that old belief again to see if I have really healed it. (Judging by my bank account, maybe I have a little more work to do!)
I have had a sound healing center in Florida for almost 6 years- the Sound Body Wholistic Health Center in St. Petersburg. I had no money when I decided to open the center. (You say "Well, you must have had some." No, I had none!) It was initiated by clear direction from Spirit and is continually supported by love, prayers of gratitude and an abundance of TRUST. Financial support and and sufficient income have been sorely lacking and every month that I am able to come up with the rent seems to be a miracle and I see the hand of Grace in all of it.
Most people love sound and music, they seek solace, comfort and healing and they want to learn simple of ways of healing themselves. Most people have music to listen to, many have instruments and we all have a voice. With a little more clarity of purpose and consciousness of how to use the tools already available to us we can greatly enhance our sense of well-being.
I provide a service. I am very clear about this. If I drove a bus- providing a service... say, to a special needs population?... no one would question that I should be paid for it. "Well of course, there's gas, there's your time, there's maintenance to keep the bus running, etc." Is driving a bus for those who need the service, for whatever reason, any less sacred than offering a sound healing session for someone in need? If we put the word "sacred" in front of the word "sound" does it preclude an energy exchange from the person receiving the treatment? Both persons in any relationship should have the opportunity to give and to receive in equal measure in whatever form is befitting, comfortable and appropriate for the situation and the people involved.
Is it less sacred to give than to receive? Is there any difference between the two? I think not. A Course in Miracles puts it like this, "To give and to receive are one in truth."
Sound is a catalyzer- it has the ability "to produce fundamental change in; transform", specifically the bioenergetic system, and in fact all matter when used with intention and understanding. Wholistic Sound... therapeutic sound, healing sound, sacred sound... all varying shades in the spectrum of wholistic sound, all have the power to heal and transform us from the inside out and from the outside in.