Tag Archives: healing

Full Moon Healing

Tom and I began the first day of 2018 by participating in a Full Moon Healing Gong Bath. Offered by One Yoga, a nonprofit studio with the mission of making yoga accessible to all, the purpose of this ceremony was to use sound to align our own energy with the powerful energy of this New Year’s Day full moon! We were excited for this experience!

quartzMy first encounter with sound healing came when I began my Feng Shui studies. One of the Feng Shui students, an acupuncturist, was incorporating crystal singing bowls in her practice for vibrational sound healing. She generously offered sound healing salons in her home once a month. They were such powerful and transformative experiences, I tried to never miss a session! I loved the opportunity to practice transitioning from my busy day to a relaxed consciousness and then into a meditative state, with those beautiful sounds pulsating through my body!

Sound travels about four times faster through water than it does through air; our bodies are about 70 percent water so the use of sound is an intuitive choice for a natural therapy. It has been utilized in ancient civilizations for thousands of years as a tool for healing.The Priests of ancient Egypt knew how to use vowel sounds to resonate their energy centers or chakras. The Australian Aboriginals and Native American shamanists use vocal toning and repetitive sound vibration with instruments created from nature in ceremony to adjust any imbalance of the spirit, emotions or physical being.

The gong is a sacred and ancient instrument of deep healing, rejuvenation and transformation. On a basic level, the gong relaxes tension and blocks in the body, stimulating the glandular and nervous system into higher, more balanced functioning.  In Bali, Indonesia, the echoing gamelan, gong, and drum are used in ceremonies to uplift and send messages.

Bells, chimes, gongs, bowls, and chanting are the foundation of Tibetan spiritual Ceremonypractice. Over the years, I have traveled to China, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan in pursuit of Feng Shui study. In those amazing places, the sounds of chanting and gongs were as integral a part of my experiences, as were the sights. When Tom and I were married in the sacred Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, the sounds of Buddhist gongs and chanting enhanced our incredible ceremony.

Sound helps to facilitate shifts in our brainwave state. A sound therapy treatment is both a passive and a participatory experience. Allowing yourself to relax and slow your breath prepares your body to receive sound. It’s in this place of calmness that you become more open and aware of each sound that comes in. Sound helps create a pathway to stillness, the same as a mantra helps you to arrive at the still point of meditation.

04GongAnd so it was with the full moon healing gong wash. Following a yoga warm-up and chanting, we were invited to lie on our mats. The room was full so it was challenging to lie passively with our arms at our sides without being in another’s space – but we managed. As we lay in the quiet, the sound and vibrational energy of the gong slowly began to enter our awareness. For 45 minutes those energies washed over and through us, intensifying and diminishing, creating a feeling of drifting luxuriously in space. I felt transported, as if on a magic carpet, to a place of deep relaxation and stillness.

What a lovely way to start the year. I appreciate One Yoga’s offering an opportunity to welcome the full moon and the New Year in a most unique, powerful and spiritual way!

Wishing you a Year that is Unique, Powerful, Spiritual and filled with Love!


Sound and Noise

Sound, a form of energy like electricity and light, is relevant to our lives. Noise, defined as unwanted sound, is irrelevant. I found myself reflecting on the distinctions between sound and noise, and their effects on us, following a recent social gathering of friends.

BowlsOur hostess has a lovely room in her home dedicated to healing using singing bowls and, this particular evening, she invited us to participate in a singing bowl ceremony. We eagerly accepted this spontaneous invitation! It was powerful and bonding as, one by one, we each lay on a massage table, encouraged to relax in order to receive the pure resonating tones of the bowls and the gentle, rhythmic chanting of everyone’s voice. Those sounds permeated every cell, allowing luxurious relaxation. Each “healing” lasted for less than 10 minutes, but the effects were deep and moving.

What a gift! How often do we allow ourselves the time to totally relax our minds and bodies and grant our auditory system the opportunity to be flooded with calming and pleasing sounds? It was a rare gift of a lovely respite from the unnatural and discordant noises that constantly bombard our environment.

We’re conditioned to expect incessant music on elevators and while “on hold” for a business call.noise2 We take for granted the “music” in restaurants which, rather than providing a calming background for dining, competes with the personal connection of conversation. We have become numb to constant environmental noise: television, electronic noise, airplane noise, leaf blowers, construction sites, dogs barking, the washing machine and on and on. All the while believing we are successfully “tuning out” the din as we go about our daily lives.

“The idea that people get used to noise is a myth,” the Environmental Protection Agency has reported. “Even when we think we have become accustomed to noise, biological changes still take place inside us.”

Sadly, we’re so used to the “noises” of the world around us, we’ve forgotten how to listen to our own inner voice and the inner rhythms of our body. Noise clutter, like any other clutter, creates stress, consciously or not.

In the July–August 2002 issue of the Archives of Environmental Health, a team of government and university researchers concluded that exposure to noise “acts as a stressor—activating physiological mechanisms that over time can produce adverse health effects. Although all the effects and mechanisms are not elucidated, noise may elevate systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate, thus producing both acute and chronic health effects.” 

Begin to consciously notice the “noise” in your environment. You’ll be surprised at how much is there that you are tuning out.  Clear away as much as you have control over. Stay in the quiet for as long as you can and observe your body’s response. Similar to the response to an empty space after clearing away clutter, there may be a brief period of disorientation and, perhaps, a subtle stress in response to the “emptiness.”  But that emptiness allows our bodies and minds—as well as our spaces—to readjust to a new level of calm.

“When I say I love the silence, I’m not being entirely truthful. What I actually love are the abundant, delicate sounds that amplify when I’m silent. These curious creaks, mutters, and hums compel my imagination.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

Gradually reset the sound in your immediate environment by listening to beautiful music, the sounds of nature, ringing a small bell or playing a singing bowl. The effects are calming to our mind, body and spirit. It’s a beautiful gift, like the one our friend gave us that recent evening. And it’s a gift we can give ourselves over and over. quartz

“Like color, every SOUND is composed of many different frequencies and can be used to clear, balance and refresh the field in which you found yourself, or on which you are working.”                 Elaine Seiler


The Transition from Slither to Gallop

I don’t know how the month of January has been for you, but I found it quite challenging! Certainly, the frigid Minnesota weather has everyone hibernating as much as possible, but the challenges I experienced transcend Mother Nature. Unexpected circumstances created a situation requiring me to revisit a difficult time in my life – a time from which I believed I had long since healed. Concurrently, my life’s pace was picking up speed as I was suddenly besieged by deadlines. It occurred to me that I was feeling the transition from slither to gallop as the 2013 Year of the Snake slithers its way out and the spirited 2014 Year of the Horse prepares to gallop in January 31st.

snakeThat situation the latter part of this Snake year immediately transported me back to a life changing event nearly 30 years ago: a divorce from which I had long since healed and moved beyond. Or so I thought, until the recent death of my ex-husband. Feelings flooded back and I realized, in this Snake year, vestiges of old emotional connections were emerging and requiring my attention. I felt like the snake that has one last push to finally and completely shed it’s old skin. It is a fact that snakes shed their skin to allow for continued growth. With my ex-husband’s passing, I was being invited to reconcile and shed subtle emotional ties I hadn’t been aware were standing in the way of my continued personal growth.

Something, or someone greater than I, was nudging me to complete a cycle. The Snake year was a strong year for inner development, emotional renewal, metamorphosis, elimination, and recycling. As this Snake year was coming to a close, I found myself faced with an unanticipated opportunity to address each of these.

As executrix of my ex-husband’s Will (an unexpected surprise), I became involved in assisting my daughters to prepare his home for sale. They invited me to help them make decisions about what items to keep and what to recycle. This is always a painful activity for family who are left to make BoxReSdecisions about the things their loved ones accumulate over a lifetime and then leave behind. In Feng Shui, when an item in our life is no longer needed or no longer serves us, it is blessed and recycled. That means it is mindfully and respectfully discarded or donated. Going through the last tangible remnants belonging to a loved one who has passed is a painful yet essential component of the healing process. It affords a chance to reminisce, share stories, laugh and shed tears in honor of the memory of the deceased.

MultiImageOf course, in going through his belongings, I came across old documents and photos of my ex and me from what seemed another lifetime. I believed I had long since neutralized the pain and resentment that accompanied our divorce. We had not remained friends. But going through those old memories gave me an opportunity to re-visit that stressful period. In the re-visit, I was able feel gratitude for the good times, release any lingering resentments and lovingly say good-bye.

While experiencing these last remnants of snake shedding, I am also sensing the energy of the horse_FINfeisty horse approaching! Horse energy is wild, willful, and independent. 2014 is predicted to be a high-energy year requiring decisive action. Compassionately releasing old emotional ties to a distant past has helped prepare me to embrace the Horse’s free spirited nature! I’m ready for the sprint!