What is Sound Healing?
DR. ZACCIAH BLACKBURN, Ph.D., director of The Center of Light Institute of Sound Healing and Shamanic Studies, located in Ascutney, VT, and faculty member at The Graduate Institute
Cultures the world over use sound to attune to, invoke and transform consciousness. It is a powerful tool as it is naturally vibrational and we are vibrational beings. Indeed, the most modern science shows us that all life is vibrational in nature. This is in line with age-old mystical thought of most cultures, which often allude to the vibrational nature of Creation.
The Hindus have a saying, “nada brahma,”or “all is sound” or “all of creation is sound.” They suggest that the primordial sound of manifest creation is the sound of “aum” or “om” … if we were to attune to the creative spirit, we would hear this sound. The Judeo-Christian culture might say “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This also ties together the nature and power of sound with Creation. Other cultures have stories stating that the Creator had a thought, spoke the word of that thought, and Creation of that thought sprang forth from that word into manifestation. There are numerous theorems stipulating the melodic structures of the universe, from the spin of the planets around the sun to the sun around the galaxy to the spin of electrons in our body and the structure of our DNA. Our modern music is based upon these principals derived from Pythagoras and others.
Whatever our beliefs, we all know the power of the spoken word, music, chants and sung melodies, and how they can move us into states of rapture or despair. There is an inherent potency to the very nature of the sound itself and its emotional content, which can be amplified or enhanced by the spoken or sung verse. While so much music in Western culture has moved more into the secular arenas of entertainment, music in many cultures has historically held a deeply sacred space in the hearts and minds of their peoples. It has used as a catalyst to deeper insight, wisdom, transformation or growth.
Sound itself has an inherent transformative power. It is attuned to the creative matrix of the universe. By coupling sound or music with pure intention to attune to, invoke or transform our consciousness, we indeed have stepped into a powerful place. Sound healing is the intentional use of sound to create an environment that becomes a catalyst for healing in the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual aspects of our being.To become “healed,” simply means to become “whole.” While intent is not a necessary ingredient to affect change with the use of sound, pure or clear intention brings power to us. We cannot function without our intention. The more we are able to couple our actions with clear or pure intention, the greater our acts can manifest.
The intentional use of sound adds power to the conduit, whether it is through the use of an instrument or voice. By surrendering to the highest good, we ourselves become that conduit, or instrument, for peace, healing and change.
By coupling our highest and clearest integrity with our intention, we come into the greatest focus in the use of sound or any healing modality.
While sound can be generated from voice, instruments, recorded sounds or music, or tone generators, the more deeply and clearly we have coupled clear intentions for the highest good of the recipients in generating those sounds, the greater the outcome.
We can use conscious chanting for invocation or attunement, intuitive or “guided” music to come into deeper awareness. There are also the provocative sounds of crystal “singing” bowls, ancient Tibetan bowls or temple bells, the simple sounds of tuning forks, or formless “toning” (intuitive voicing) that all channel through our voice and body.No matter what techniques are used, sound is the current carrying the creative potency of unconditional love and grace from the subtle to physical dense realms.