Sacred Sound Retreat coming to Christine Center on February 14-16
LAST SUMMER I WAS INTRODUCED to the “cosmic hum” while attending the Healing Sound Intensive at Sunrise Ranch near Loveland, Colorado, with Jonathan Goldman, an international leader in the harmonics of sound healing. We chanted the Divine Name, a series of vowels for the unspeakable name of God. The phrase, like a sigh, repeated again and again, carried not only harmony of voice, but an awakening of spirit.
The gathering of almost 100 people became transformed into an open-hearted community. Were we brought into unity because we spent full days breathing those prolonged deep breaths while toning in harmonics? Was it the vowel sounds themselves that resonated and projected healing sounds all around and into us?
“Everything in the universe is in a state of vibration,” Goldman says. “Everything is in motion and produces a sound or frequency.”
So what has that to do with inner well-being and transformation experienced by chanting?
I looked deeper for the answer. Cynthia Bourgeault author of The Trinity and the Law of Three wraps her head around the question of creation (how something came from nothing.) Being a theologian, she explores the Holy Trinity as the creator, but pushes beyond familiar descriptions of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as she explores questions of what primal action actually brought the “big bang.” She includes sound and vibrations that responded to inaccessible light and reflected light that existed before any matter.
When it was time in the unfolding process of eternity, a vibration began to stir, a something out of nothingness from which everything evolved. This everything holds the vibrational thread with the Source — and now, 14 billion years later, here we are in this vast, complex multiverse. I see that Presence in energy as the creative, healing power of sound.
There is something that wants to heal us, something deeper than our DNA, some constant self-regulating current that gets heightened with our intention. This seems to be accessed through sound, the healing sound of chanting or the intention of aligning oneself with a hum, a sound of nature or an instrument. The roar of the ocean, the wind through the forest, the gentle lapping of water at the shore, the trill of a bird, the sound of a flute: We live in a world of healing sound, of sounds that calm us, or energize us, that grate on our nerves or set us on edge.
Sounds may soothe or stir us to action. Sounds alert us to danger or lull us to sleep. But sound does not only come to us. Like the wind, we each carry our own vibrational presence. We may be aware of it as a movement that beats with our heart, but sometimes we are the last to become aware of this pulse inside of us that carries life and healing to all parts of our body. Through our own voice, our humming, our song, shout or scream, our sobs and the sighs we emit, we seek well-being, integration, authenticity and union.
Today, studies confirm that the ancient practice of chanting and toning can calm the mind and ease the heart. Through harmonics, we have a greater understanding of frequencies of pitches and the power of metal or crystal bowls and tuning forks to enhance sound and vibrations. These practices and instruments, when used by sound healers, open the mind and heart.
Add intention to all the vibrational stirring within and the possibilities for transformation are multiplied. When one consciously chooses to direct one’s voice to carry love and healing, we become a prayer and our compassion rides on the current of sound outward to its destination. It is a simple practice that sends out healing energy. It can be done anytime, but on occasion there are opportunities to join our voices to others around the planet.
Even as I write, I am interrupted by an email: Jonathan Goldman invites all of us on February 14 to join him for the 12th annual Sound Healing Day for the health of the planet and our own well-being. [Visit www.worldsoundhealing.org for more information.]
SACRED SOUND RETREAT
The Christine Center, a spirituality retreat center in Central Wisconsin, will sponsor a weekend retreat, Praying with Sacred Sound, on February 14-16. The public is invited to learn the many spiritual and healing benefits of chanting and learn how to let tones, vibrations, and frequencies fill your consciousness as the group chants together.
“Explore chanting to experience a field of harmonic sound that is permeated with love,” says Cecy Corcoran, FSPA, Ph.D., who will facilitate the retreat with addictions counselor Wendy Kohlhass. “As we vocalize our heart’s desire through simple chants, we surrender to the healing power of sound. We come to be more present to ourselves and to one another.”
The chanting will take place in the Center’s meditation hall, which features wonderful acoustics. Every voice is welcome. No skill or ability is required. Come to listen, to be present to your voice and to the voice of the group. Wendy will use her singing crystal bowls to create calming, healing frequencies that lead to that still, interior place.
Both facilitators studied last year with Jonathan Goldman’s Healing Sounds Intensive at Sunrise Ranch, Estes Park, Colorado.