Friday 25 November 2011

Scared shitless of the big bad UUUUH sound

You have to laugh.  Talk about food and everyone flocks over. Talk about meditation and everyone runs away. But it’s okay.  If I end up talking to myself, that’s fine.  I may even come to like the sound of my own voice. Or I may just lapse into silence (it's happening more and more). J

Except for when I make the big bad UUUH sound.  Zoe mentioned the word 'chant' yesterday and it’s funny cos it’s not one I use. I never think of myself as chanting yet AUM is indeed a mantra, a chant. When I started off trying to meditate in the Labyrinth, I couldn’t get to the pure AUM. My mind was too skittery.  So I went back to a form of meditation I’d tried years before: toning or sounding vowels as mantras.  Yeah, chanting basically. Years ago I did some research on sound healing and I came across Jonathan Goldman’s Healing Sounds tape. Yes, a cassette tape, it was that long ago. I played it sitting at my desk in one of my deeply sceptical moods but I was literally blown away.  In fact it scared me because there came a point where I really didn’t know where I was; I felt completely adrift in time and space.  Now, of course, I’d love that but back then it scared me shitless and the tape gathered dust.

So, when Ma.Ste. talked about meditation in the Labyrinth, I remembered the tape, rummaged in the old chest of drawers and tugged it out.  Found that, yes, we did still have an ancient sound system with a cassette slot and plugged it and myself in.  

Wow. Triple wow actually. 

You start off with the base chakra, with a very deep uuuuh sound then slowly move up until you reach the crown with a high-pitched iiiiii sound. 
There I was, in my study, eyes shut, grunting and squeaking along.  I still can't do the really low uuuuh sound, not deep enough to feel it. Maybe I'm still not really grounded enough?  Some sounds come easier than others and you have to wonder if that means one chakra is happier than the others?
Don't believe in chakras, in the energy centres of the body? 
Doesn't matter in the least.  They probably don't believe in you either. :-)  But I do. Because I can feel them and when I make these chakra sounds, I can feel them vibrating in the relevant part of my body. 
Anyhow, if you find it hard to jump to the pure Zen stuff, I dunno, this might be a way in. It’s active, it gives you stuff to do with your vocal chords and mind (you can visualise each chakra with its relevant colour if you like).  Yet you still get pretty damn good results. 

Sounds woo-woo?  Mebbe. Or mebbe not. 

Here’s how Goldman puts it. ‘Modern science is now in agreement with what the ancient mystics have told us—that everything is in a state of vibration, from the electrons moving around the nucleus of an atom, to planets and distant galaxies moving around stars. As they’re creating movement, they are creating vibration, and this vibration can be perceived of as sound. So everything is creating a sound, including the sofa that we’re sitting on, or this table, or our bodies. Every organ, every bone, every tissue, every system of the body is creating a sound. When we are in a state of health, we’re like an extraordinary orchestra that’s playing a wonderful symphony of the self. But what happens if the second violin player loses her sheet music? She begins to play out of tune, and pretty soon the entire string section sounds bad. Pretty soon, in fact, the entire orchestra is off. This is a metaphor for disease.’
He reckons that if you can project the right resonant frequency (for a healthy organ) to the diseased part it will return to balance by a form of entrainment. It makes sense to me.
Sacred chants (such as Gregorian chants) often employ very high frequencies (around 8,000 Hz) which are capable of stimulating the central nervous system and the cortex of the brain. Simply listening to music that is high in harmonic content is beneficial to us humans.  When you make the sounds yourself, it can be even more powerful.
He also believes that it’s not the sound or harmonic alone that creates healing but that sound in combination with the intention of the person who is projecting it. Magic? No. Just science that hasn’t quite become known yet. And probably won’t because, as Goldman says, ‘You can’t patent a tone.’
Actually he says a whole lot of interesting stuff and if you wanna, follow this link to read an interview with him.  
If you go to his website Healing Sounds you can download this 'chakra tune up' for free. 

7 Minute Chakra Tune Up

There’s tons to say about sound and vibration but I reckon that’s enough for now.  What would Ma.Ste. say?  Probably this…

‘…since it’s music you are supposed to make it or listen to it, and not to write or read about it. Relax.’

And then pick up a guitar…


Zoë said...

I have been reading a lot on the Shamanic Way of Bees lately (Path of Pollen) one of the things that I have identified with is the way the humming and buzzing of the bees affects me. I have unconsciously all my live sought out the sound of buzzing insects and sat or laid myself down by them, and begun to day dream. I find doing this HUGELY relaxing. Now I have my own bees, I tap the side of the hive gently and place my ear against the wood. This time of year the hive is quite silent, but when I tap, the bees hum in reply. This never fails to make me smile and I leave feeling content.

At the end of the day Jane, so long as whatever you do is beneficial for your well being, then however we achieve it doesn't matter?

Belief in meditation, chakras and natural healing, is no more Bonkers than believing in the Bible. All is a matter of FAITH. Given that Buddhism has been around far longer than JC, one has to accept there must be something to it, even if finding empirical evidence is difficult. Whether its a real or placebo affect, if it works that is ALL that matters. Even medical science is beginning to exploit the placebo affect as if we think positively etc, we are statistically more likely to do well.

Also wanted to say listening to the chakra video broke a dream I have been having lately. I have been reading a couple of novels - both of which are set in China/Tibet and I frequently have some pretty lucid dreams exploring the countryside and mountains of these books. The background track is the unmistakable chant of Tibetan monks, which is very like the sounds on the video. What does it mean? Who knows, but I am enjoying these dreams at the moment.

Anyway, best shut up before I get locked up *grins*

Exmoorjane said...

@Zoe - Yay! So glad you're enjoying the PoP... :) Love the idea of the bees responding to you..
Yup, totally agree - we each have to find our own way.. I just find it kinda funny (in a sad way) that people rush over to read about weight loss and don't seem to realise that THIS stuff was the core reason why I shed the pounds...not fine-tuning carbs and protein and fats. :)
Tibetan overtone chanting is spine-shiveringly awesome. Those dreams sound amazing...maybe see if you can go find the source of the chanting next time.. (toldya you're a shaman!) xxxx

Alison Cross said...

Humming - when sonshine was a baby, he ALWAYs made this constant humming noise before he went to sleep. I tried it and found it very relaxing. I think that when your head is full of sound, it's not full of thought - so it's another way of achieving a meditative state.

Buddha Baby was yet another article that got binned off by the magazines lol!

@Zoe - longing to have my own bees!

Exmoorjane said...

@Ali - humming...yeah... Met a sound healer, Chris James, who was HUGE on the soothing power of the hum...which is, I guess, a soft version of AUM anyhow. He also taught the therapeutic *groan* and the deep heartfelt *sigh*...two of my favourite pieces of sound healing. :)

F said...

I don't think about chakras at all when I meditate. I feel like it puts too much pressure on the whole situation because I don't really know what they're good for.

Jane the Booklady said...

I'm a Quaker, so sitting silently makes our meetings more akin to meditation than other C of E type gatherings. BUT that wasn't what I meant to say... I was thinking about your mediation piece today as I use meditation a lot when life modelling. It helps calm you down when uncomfortable and stuck in the same position for an hour!Jane x

Exmoorjane said...

@Frankie - Yeah, I don't usually think about chakras when meditating; only when doing this kind of toning thing - or if doing specific energy moving exercises... Kinda threw it out there as another option and love the way everyone does different stuff to get to the same place. :)

@Jane - I have HUGE amounts of time for Quakerdom (??)..Quakerism?? Quakering. Heck, what's the noun? My art therapist from years back was a Quaker and he taught me (in the nicest possible way) to shut the feck up and listen. I can well imagine you need something to keep still during poses... :)

Jane in SF said...

Thank you for the chakra tune-up. I've recently started meditating several times a week and this was great. I think it's easier to comment on weight loss and food as they're easier, more conversational topics. Your readers are probably just taking in and mulling over the gems you give us about meditation and spiritual life.

Tattieweasle said...

I love to sing and enjoy the vibrations it makes in my body. I also love to dance with the music up massively loud so I can't think just go with the noise.

Irene said...

Why are you trying so hard to convince us of all the things that worked for you, which seem like an eclectic bunch of whatever you could gather together? Are you feeling insecure about it yourself? I'm becoming more convinced of your lack of knowledge. Nothing you say here assures me very much. XOX

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of Maste this and Marek that. Maybe there's a bit of subliminal hypnosis going on with this non-teacher non-guru Marek or Maste chap. She is obviously quite taken in by him. If this non-guru guy is so high up there, then he wouldn't need to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it's all a big put on to make some money from those gullible spiritual types.

Exmoorjane said...

@Jane - thank you! Great that you're getting good results from meditation. I love it. But you might have got that already. :)

@Nora - I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. Why would I? :) Everyone finds what works for them. I am simply putting down what happened to me and what I have found, so far, that works for me - because this is where I write *for me* - not for editors, not for other people. If nothing I'm talking about convinces you then I guess that means none of the stuff I do is right for you.
How boring would it be if we were all the same and one answer fitted all of us?
What do you find works for you? I really love it when people have added in stuff that they've found useful - because you never quite know what might help someone else.

@Anonymous - I'll happily answer your questions if you have the guts to use your real name. Otherwise, if all this pisses you off, my answer is really simple: don't read it. :)

Ashen said...

Wonderful stuff if we remembered to employ intention :) Found a quote Wilber picked up ... 'I read how Quichotte in his random ride came to a crossing once - and lest he lose the purity of chance, would not decide wither the fore but wished his horse to choose. For glory lay where ever he might turn - his hand was light with pride. His horses shoes were heavy and it headed for the barn.'

Anonymous said...

I am simply a surfer who came across this blog, carried out a little analysis and posted a few comments with my opinion. What seems to be the problem?

I see a lady who has written self-help books, but who is so full of sickness, both physical and mental that it's quite laughable. As for you; well, you're so transparent, even a monkey could figure out what your game is. Just my opinion; nothing personal.

Exmoorjane said...

I don't believe in censorship.

I have deleted the above conversation for one reason only: my son often reads my blog and - while I am quite sure he knows all the words used - he would rib me endlessly that I clearly know people who use them rather, liberally, shall we say. :)

familyAffairs said...

I have no idea what you are talking about - feisty little comments though! Lx

Anonymous said...

If you need a copy of the deleted posts anytime you will find them here

Ren Warom said...

Doesn't take long for the negative numbnuts to come a calling, does it?

I think fear is such a huge motivation in those who seek to tear others down. Fear of difference, fear of the unknown, fear of freedom. So many differing types of fear...

Perhaps they should meditate on the origins of their fear instead of wasting energy attacking a person for simply sharing their experiences in an honest and forthright fashion. Just a thought.

Exmoorjane said...

@L - *grin*...

@Ren - Shit happens. :)
Whenever someone feels the need to hide behind 'anonymous' I just feel terribly sorry for them as there is obviously fear there. Sad innit? :(

About Last Weekend said...

Hi nice to meet you. Jody here, Kiwi in Ca. Great info about chants. Basically I love laying in bed, just lying there and relaxing, but maybe that't called lazy rather than meditation?

Exmoorjane said...

I've been thinking (rare, I know) and, Anonymous, you may be right. I shouldn't have taken down the comments - everyone is entitled to their opinion and it went against all my principles to delete comments and to moderate comments. I no longer have copies but you are very welcome to repost them here if you wish. I'm sure Marek wouldn't mind your reposting his either. Apologies to both of you for removing them.

I had to smile though when I found that you had started moderating comments on your blog. And not posting my comments. :D Woof woof!