Week 5: The Far Reaches of Sound — Authenticity and Distance Healing
One of my kids participated in a drum making workshop with an elder, and this drum is such a great representation of the sense of hearing/sound and the healing capacity of the Throat Chakra. I’ll tell you why.
There is an ancient story that tell of how Shiva drank poison to save the world, but was able to hold it all in his throat so that it did not affect the rest of his being. This turned his throat blue, and so Shiva is also called Niilkant or blue throat. The core yantra of the Throat Chakra in Tantric wisdom is a blue circle. Around this cirlce are 16 petals, just like the threads of sinew holding this drum together. The Throat Chakra has the most number of petals of the first five elemental chakras perhaps because it is related with the element of ether and sound, the most pervasive and far-reaching element and sense. Tantric meditation prompts indicate to meditate on space reaching outwards in all directions, just like the fanning shape of the sinew. Sound is like this also, it extends outward far beyond distances we reach out to. And so, we can work with sound and visualizing this circular and expanding image in order to truly take up space and share authentically through our voice, our gifts, and even as a conduit of distance healing.
How might you use sound to work on the realm of sharing your creative voice and presence through Yoga techniques and in daily life?
- Practice the Bhramari breath when you wake in the morning and before bed. Laying down, inhale and then exhale a humming sound like the ‘mmm’ of Om. Keep your tongue on your palate and feel the reverberation gently warming and activating your throat and whole head.
- Sit up and start the Ujjai or Ocean-sounding breath. Restrict the glotis and inhale and exhale with an undulating or whirring sound like ocean waves.
- Chant mantras or kirtan out loud.
- Visualize a blue globe in the centre of your throat and silently or aloud chant Om Ham.
In Daily Life:
Since sound/hearing is the most diffuse and far-reaching sense, yet not as tangible as taste touch or smell, and not as ‘in your face’ as sight, invite yourself to pay more attention to sound in your daily life. Other than talking, we don’t actually make that many sounds in daily life. It’s a great place to start.
- Notice if you find yourself repeating the words of a song on the radio in your head, but stop yourself from singing along out loud. Give yourself permission to sing out loud.
- Vocalize single sounds to express emotions or meaning, such as ‘ahhhhh’ to greet the fresh air as you step out the door or step into the shower.
- Notice things like how the pitch of your voice changes when speaking to different people. At some point in my journey, I noticed that I felt more embodied and within my power when I used my deeper voice as opposed to speaking in a higher pitch. Explore the pitch of your voice and the volume of your voice. Is there any constriction in the way you use your voice that is related to self image. How does it sound when you allow yourself to be fully seated in your own voice?
Tuning into sounds that are outside of ourselves can also be a very effective mindfulness tool.
- Tell yourself this week to pay more attention to external sound. Notice the birdsong as you take your walk. Notice the sound of chimes of various types all around us, from watches to belltowers to computer chimes. Notice the sound of others moving around the house or any space your are in. Notice the hum of life all around you.
- Whenever you notice a sound, acknowledge it and take a breath. Affirm that you are an inextricable part of this vast energy network of life.
Let’s affirm that again. You are an inextricable part of this vast energy network of life.
And as a part of this whole, all of this energy work you do is not only in service of yourself, but is in service of the whole. Send a wish or prayer out into the ethers for upliftment and wellness for all.
Happy week of stepping into your authentic voice, celebrating sound and feeling a part of this whole!