First Weekend-Long Sound Healing Retreat/Workshop at Wholistic Sound

Awesome sound healing workshop/retreat this past weekend- a 2 1/2 day event which included two people staying at the house, preparing meals, and a kirtan on Saturday night. A very full weekend with a really lovely fun and eager group of five women besides me. Six of us altogether- a perfect number for the first weekend workshop here at the home of Wholistic Sound.

5 Exquisite Singing Bowls

I can't believe that after three years of not being able to upload videos from my computer to YouTube, it is so easy from my phone!
So here's what we have tonight- a few days ago I got a shipment of Himalayan singing bowls. This is a grouping of five of them that sound absolutely gorgeous together. I find myself haunted by the sound. Every time I walk by them I have to hear them and even thinking about them does something indescribable to my mind. I find them completely intoxicating.

Click here to find out about the upcoming workshop on Toning, Tuning Forks and Singing Bowls on August 1-2 in St. Petersburg, FL.

Letting Go In Trust

Yesterday morning pretty much from the moment I woke up I had the Durga Stuthi in my head, a beautiful Sanskrit prayer to the Divine Mother in all her different forms and manifestations- as sleep, as memory, as abundance, as compassion, as peace, as power... I was preparing to teach the second day of a workshop on Sound Healing for Balance and Joy. Day number two, Sunday, was all about joy- I had a sense of how we were going to begin the morning, doing some exercises to open the voice. I am also always open to inspiration and guidance while trying to stay within certain parameters.
I started to wonder if for some reason I was supposed to share this prayerful song with the group but it didn't make any sense. It just didn't fit. It was too long and we had an important piece to start the day off with. We had to do the vocal warm-ups before getting into anything else. A different workshop, on chanting perhaps and it might be a nice fit but this just felt like something stuck in my head that I needed to let go of.

I started the class but almost as soon as I began I had to go upstairs to get something I had left up there. On my way down I suddenly realized it was Mother's Day! Ah- that's where the song had come from- Durga was tapping me on the shoulder giving me a reminder! It had taken me about an hour to realize it, so when I got back downstairs I wished all the mothers a happy Mother's Day and told them the story about the chant that had been in my mind since I woke up.

Now that I had gotten the message I shifted gears, got out the guitar and played the Durga Stuthi- there are many verses but there is also a beautiful chorus they were all able to sing along with. Everyone present had powerful experiences of their mothers. Some of them including me had lost them fairly recently- within the last 2-3 years- one woman over 40 years, but we all felt their presence and their love. As it turned out it was such a beautiful, moving and intimate way to start the day. It was also a way for us to connect very deeply which created a beautiful setting and mood for the rest of day.

It was a reminder for me, once again, to trust my guidance and not second guess. Things show up- ideas, thoughts, inspirations, people- for reasons we cannot know. We just have to trust and let things unfold and be revealed in their own time and their own perfect moment.

Deep Listening

A very short post today to say that the weekend's workshop went well- 6 people yesterday and 9 today- and it seemed that everyone got something that they felt they could take home with them at the end of the day. Two things I endeavor to share in a workshop- a sense of safety and the presence of joy.
One magic moment- at the end of one of our sound practices, as we were doing some breathing for centering ourselves back in our bodies a train went by. I suggested they listen deeply to the sound of the train with all of its overtones and breathe that sound into their being. It was full of beautiful sounds. Paul said he would never hear a train the same way again. Now he would listen. That was a gift.

Musical Toilets and Synchronicity

If I could have any toilet in the world, this would be the one I would want. Unfortunately it belongs to someone else.

Three years ago, when I went to Holland the first time, my friend Jane Tipping and I decided one day to go to the medieval town of Amersfoort to go shopping. Jane had heard it was great place to shop and she finally had someone to go with!
The tall narrow houses in Amsersfoort, which form the perimeter of the town, were built from a fortification wall that surrounded the town in the 1300's. In the 1600's another wall was built around the inner one as the town was growing rapidly and the inner one was used as the foundation for the Muurhuizen, or wall houses.

We hadn't been there but about ten minutes and were walking down the narrow street on the perimeter of the town when we were stopped by an old man who insisted we come into his house and see what the buildings look like from the inside. I think his name was Fritz (or Frans?)...
 We were mildly uneasy about going into a persistent old man's home- but he WAS persistent and we were ready for an adventure so in we went! He had a crazy little place that was FULL of knick knacks- but when I first walked in the house I looked around a corner and found myself looking in the bathroom at the toilet pictured above. I know that usually a toilet is not the first sign that you are in the right place unless you have to pee really badly, but I was there to teach a sound healing workshop. Sound and music were very much my focus, as they tend to be most days and there was this wild musical toilet. I couldn't believe it. I did indeed take it as a sign from the gods that we were in exactly the perfect place!

It turned out, needless to say, that he was a musician- a stand-up bass player- and that his whole family had all been musicians. His father had been a musician- I think maybe his mother had been a singer and his sons were both musicians. He had a picture of his father as a very young man with a group of musicians- maybe an orchestra or something. I don't remember the details but it was all just great, funny and as magical and synchronistic as anything in my life. I had the feeling I had just walked into some crazy, dreamlike, divinely orchestrated scene that I couldn't possibly have dreamed up on my own!

He tried to get us to go up the very narrow stairs to see the upstairs but we managed to escape at that point. The picture below is Jane looking slightly unnerved and clearly ready to leave at this point! I have often wondered whether it was just a weird synchronistic event or if he actually just hangs out outside of his house accosting every obvious tourist and stranger that walks by. Was he lonely or was he just an old man who was totally turned on by the heritage of his town and his family and wanted to share it? Who knows, but I am leaving for Holland on Tuesday and my guess is that very soon Jane and I will be headed for another shopping spree in Amersfoort (we found some great clothes there the last time!) and I am definitely wondering whether we will run into Fritz and his musical toilet again.

Leap of Faith

I have had to do some processing around my trip to Holland as I did not state my needs clearly enough in advance. Meanwhile however I have been acting as if I was going to be going and immersing myself in practice and writing so that I am well prepared for the workshop. Today I talked to my dear friends Paul Goudsmit and Jane Tipping and confirmed that yes, I am going to take the leap of faith even though there is no one confirmed for the workshop. There is definitely interest and if there are not enough people to make my staying the extra week worthwhile than I will simply come home a little sooner than planned.