Greetings, thanks for visiting this page on my website. I have written below some more detail about the power of sound as meditation, sound for relaxation, and sound for healing, which is a field of experience I have been working with since approximately 2005, and forever expanding! There is countless evidence in the modern world that now shows that when someone meditates, s/he enters into a brainwave state like alpha and theta, which is highly beneficial to the body, nervous system, emotions, mind, and spiritual aspects. Meditation with sound can be such a powerful way to realise stillness, but most people today have forgotten how to listen deeply. I am passionate about sharing the beautiful power of therapeutic-based music and sound, and learning to listen deeply, with the community, and wish to explain in more depth some of the inspiration behind my work in this area. Hope you enjoy the read. Thanks, Namaste, Heather Frahn.
~ Sound Meditation, Sound Relaxation, and Nada Yoga ~
One of the key principles of working with sound as a therapeutic tool, is paradoxically, to become aware of silence – the inner silence that exists preceding all sounds, and indeed all phenomena that pass through our moment-to-moment experience. Through listening mindfully and deeply to sounds external to us, we can learn to become aware of ‘that which listens’ inside of us, and know sound and its opposite – silence. Touching this silent space, or inner sound within can bring much clarity, openness, relaxation, healing, realisation, and flow in one’s life and existence.
When we listen with mindfulness, we learn to listen deeply, and learn how to listen to sounds in great detail, but also with a relaxed awareness that doesn’t get attached to sounds being pleasant or unpleasant. Sounds from ancient monophonic instruments like Himalayan singing bowls, and Chinese gongs, are often used for ‘deep listening’ because of their interesting complexity in the sound with overtone harmonics, and also the sound is generally relaxing (when played by someone who is experienced with these instruments) and therefore, our bodies ‘open up’ to the sounds and entire experience of sound meditation because we’re more relaxed.
There is an ancient meditation technique dating back to the Vedic traditions called ‘Nada Yoga’, meaning ‘the yoga of sounds’. And it is through working with various sound based meditation methods that can bring inner silence, inner stillness, and receptive awareness. All of these states of mind-being, are touching one’s own ‘natural awareness’, the awareness that is not the human ego, not the thinking mind, not the body, but rather, the eternal, genderless, ageless, timeless stillness within that is revealed through practicing various forms of meditation and yoga. Some methods of ‘sound meditation’ or ‘nada yoga’ are playing musical instruments, listening to music, attending a soundbath or soundshower, vocalising various sounds (i.e.: chakra tones, mantras, singing overtone harmonics).
I really like the following explanation of Nada Yoga by the “Sound Meditation San Francisco” website. And I quote…
I also love the teaching about ‘Inviting The Bell to Sound” by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, and I quote…
One of the other teachings that sound can give us, is the nature of impermanence, and therefore the value of being here right now in this present moment. Sounds, can only ever exist in the present moment. Sound doesn’t exist in the past, nor in the future, only here, now. But how often are we ‘here now’? Usually we are wrapped up in a stream of thinking and are ‘somewhere else’ in the mind. Thoughts are not ‘bad’, they too, can be witnessed from this space within us (‘that which is watching’) with practice – however it’s with those habitual streams of thinking where we’re unaware of the thinking stream itself, that we’ve lost our mindfulness.
There’s also this piece from the Lion’s Roar website by Ajahn Amaro, one of my favourite websites. I quote
So learning the practice of being in the present moment experience is a valuable skill, and as we learn to listen deeply with sound as the meditation object, we are continuously observing something that is in the present moment. As sounds come and go, and come again, they show us that they are not permanent, and so go with other ever-changing sensations of touch, sight, taste, thoughts, entering and exiting the ocean of pure awareness itself, of ‘inner silence’, of internal music “anahata”. As I wrote in my article for Innerself Newspaper in 2014…
One of my favourite authors is Eckhart Tolle, and his book “The Power of Now” was one of the first ‘spiritual’ books that made a real impact on me in my early 20’s. Since then I have often noticed how much Eckart uses the teaching of ‘sound and silence’ in his books and presentations. Here is a lovely quote by Eckhart that links to my understandings on the topic… I quote: