Revealing the Sacred In All Things

Opening Sound Journey for workshop at Wholistic Sound, Saturday, June 25, 2016.
Sitting in my house, my beautiful log house, listening to birdsong on a perfect day. I was blessed with a surprise day off today when all the power went off in South County Commons where I usually do massage on Thursday. Perfect, as the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of intensity.

A weekend of sessions and workshop with my friend and spiritual healer D. Crowfeather had been planned for a while for last weekend, which I knew was going to be very powerful- and it was. More on that in the next installment! Leading up to that, just two days prior to the weekend before, I heard that an Ecuadorian shaman, Don Alberto Taxo, was going to be teaching a workshop in Jamestown. I knew nothing about him or the people who were hosting him but I was very drawn to it and immediately registered for the workshop.

What a gift. I am so grateful that I listened to the voice that pushed me forward, rather than the one that sometimes holds me back- that I listened to the voice for Spirit and Truth and Beauty which knew this would be the perfect preparation for the weekend to follow.

The workshop was about our relationship to Pacha Mama and our connection to the four elements. It was very powerful for me. I experienced and deepened my relationship to the four elements in profound ways. I learned from the air that I could let go of my past with every breath- not just distant past, old memories, old wounds and traumas but now, in every moment. That I can breathe in now and let it go and breathe in the next new moment, that I can make love to the air with each breath.

I felt the alchemy of the four elements merging within me and creating something more powerful and more magical in every moment. I felt the stardust within my cells. I felt the channels of fluid that run through my body, flowing, pulsing, nurturing, supporting and sustaining me.
Four Directions Mandala from materials found on beach. Rosie Warburton 2013
This experience deepened my understanding of who I am on this earthly plane in ways that are still being revealed to me.

Before the workshop I had been thinking about the Sacred- how we bring the element of divinity to those things (people, places) which we honor. In unseen ways it may already be there, in that All Is Truly Divine, but as we navigate the earthly plane we often miss it. So we need a dedicated and powerful intention to bring it forth- really it is for our recognition of That Which Already Is, we infuse with our sacred intention and bring that energy forth. A crystal bowl, when played, does not automatically produce "sacred sound". It is dependent upon the energy and the intention of the player.

When I got to the workshop, one of the first things Don Alberto talked about was how we have an intimate connection to the elements but we must make a practice of exercising this connection through deepening our awareness of the sacred in all things. Right away I knew I was in the right place.

I also saw by the end of the weekend how it was preparing me for the weekend to come.

That's all for today.

Until next time, blessed be.

Visioning With Sound

Today I was inspired to create a workshop to usher in the new year- Sacred Sound & Visions for New Year. It is completely last minute. Today is Tuesday. The workshop is Saturday. The 11th hour, as they say... but it was one of those ideas that grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let me go. In my experience those are the ones that generally manifest the most magnificently! (You will find a description of the workshop and the link to sign up if you click here.)

The vision that came to me around the workshop is to begin by offering a healing sound meditation- a circle of sacred sound if you will. That will be the vehicle for people to journey and see what arises in their consciousness- a vision quest of sorts. Sound is the carrier wave for intention. That is why it has been used in healing ceremonies and rituals for so many thousands of years.

Once the intentions have been set the participants will create vision boards to affirm and reinforce their intentions, putting into concrete form images that represent, ultimately, not just what they want or where they would like to travel or the new car of their dreams, but how they want to feel.

One of my favorite passages in A Course in Miracles comes under the heading "Setting the Goal" in Chapter 17. One of the things I love most about it is the point that in all things the ultimate goal should be truth.

"The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means to make it happen. You will therefore make every effort to overlook what interferes with the accomplishment of your objective, and concentrate on everything that helps you meet it. It is quite noticeable that this approach has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit's sorting out of truth and falsity. The true becomes what can be used to meet the goal. The false becomes the useless from this point of view. The situation now has meaning, but only because the goal has made it meaningful.
5 "The goal of truth has further practical advantages. If the situation is used for truth and sanity, its outcome must be peace. And this is quite apart from what the outcome is. If peace is the condition of truth and sanity, and cannot be without them, where peace is they must be. Truth comes of itself. If you experience peace, it is because the truth has come to you and you will see the outcome truly, for deception cannot prevail against you. You will recognize the outcome because you are at peace. Here again you see the opposite of the ego's way of looking, for the ego believes the situation brings the experience. The Holy Spirit knows that the situation is as the goal determines it, and is experienced according to the goal."

Sarasvati, She Who Flows

The goddess Sarasvati is the Hindu deity of learning, creativity and knowledge- the goddess who revealed language and writing to man. She is the consort of Lord Brahma, the creator in the Hindu trinity. In the Vedas, Sarasvati is personified as a river goddess. At one time the Sarasvati River was the greatest river in India, originating in the Himalayas. The goddess Sarasvati is "She Who Flows." All of the creative endeavors that flow through us are through the grace of Sarasvati. When we begin any creative project it is helpful to invoke the Mother Goddess of art, music, language, learning, literature, science. Her flowing energy purifies our mind and provides the stream of inspiration just as the water cleanses and purifies the earth and our bodies. She is also called "She who dwells in sound."

Today I spent the afternoon practicing the harmonium, singing sargam, and practicing a Sarasvati chant in the "bilawal thaat"- which, in Indian music, is the equivalent to the Western major scale.

Here is a beautiful Sarasvati raga by my teacher Silvia Nakkach. Enjoy!

Yoga, Chant and Vibration

Major piece of work done today! Met with my friend Morgan and we hashed out the details for our upcoming class on Yoga and Chanting. The name is actually much jazzier- Mindful Yoga & Sacred Chant. The format- about an hour of yoga followed by a half hour or so of chanting- very exciting. The idea is that opening with yoga clears and balances the nadis, or energy channels in the body,  allowing for sound then to flow forth with ease, and taking the work that has alre ady been done to another level.

The discussion led me to looking for a picture for our flyer. I found two gems in my files. The above is where the different seeds sound in the Gayatri Mantra emanate from the subtle body. If you don't know the Gayatri then this may not make a lot of sense. They are just a bunch of different syllables floating around. However, if you know the chant then you can look at the picture and follow the path of sound.
Bhuh bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyoyonah prachodayat
Then I found this gorgeous drawing by my Sanskrit teacher's teacher and guru, Dr. Ramamurti Mishra, known to many as Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, which I believe is inspired by a drawing from an ancient text. It is a drawing of the subtle body with the major chakras and nadis. In the drawing, the nadis seem to flow outside of and around the body but they are actually all contained within the body.  The different nadis and chakras respond and correspond to different frequencies which are designated by the Sanskrit writing on the chart. The writing in larger Sanskrit letters on the top right says "Pranayama" and underneath the drawing (not shown) it says, "The cosmic state of meditation of I-AM." Thus, we can infer from this that control of the breath, pranayama, will lead us to the perfected state- or to the awareness of our own perfection. Even in a simple black and white drawing we can see how the subtle body is illuminated and vibrating at a very high frequency. 

Every Sanskrit syllable (seed sound) has a very specific vibrational quality and by chanting we experience the effect of those sounds. The vibrations charge the brain and travel through the nervous system and the subtle energy system. In the Vedic tradition, all of the different deities in the Hindu pantheon carry the vibrational qualities of the seed sounds contained within their names.For example, the vibrational quality of the sound "Ga" or "Gam" (the "a" is pronounced like a short "u" in English, ie "gum") is that it removes obstacles. Hence, Ganesha, the Hindi deity with the head of an elephant, is the Remover of Obstacles. If we want to remove obstacles in our life we can chant, "Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha". "Gam" is the seed sound for Ganesha- so we chant that sound first which is packed with potency and potential. "Ganapataye" is another form of Ganesha's name- the vocative. We are calling on Ganesha... and "Namaha", we bow down to him.