I love sound.
I love what it does.
I love how it is shared all around the world.
I love to explore sound and how it makes me feel.
Have you ever considered how sound makes you feel?
Have you explored sound and how it affects those around you?
There is a lot of evidence to show that sound dramatically affects both our physical and our emotional bodies. This science was discussed hundreds of years ago by the rishi’s and the yogis of India. Other civilizations have also discovered the effects of sound, such as the Egyptians who taught Pythagoras about the music of the spheres. You remember Pythagoras right – the Pythagorean Theorem?
I’m not a huge theology buff, but check out the Bible where it says “First there was the Word.” That sounds like a direct expression of some sort of sound identification.
There are experiments in sonoluminescence where similar frequencies of sound are directed towards each other in a vat of water and when they meet the sound creates light. Think for a moment about how amazing that is – sound creating light?!
The yogis discussed sound as a tool to improve human mental and physical conditions. That’s what I would like to focus on in this blog. I want to share why we do certain things in yoga and meditation classes, and how we can live better and conscious lives in the world off the mat.
Firstly, sound is vibration. All of the matter around us and our composition is made up of vibrating atoms. The varying rates of vibration determine whether molecules connect or repel each other.
We can eat celery because it carries a certain vibration, but we can’t eat a piece of steel because it carries a different vibration. Both of these pieces of matter have distinct sound vibrations. We can’t detect them with our limited hearing, but there is actually a sound made by all things that exist.
Japanese scientist Emoto set out to study the effects of sound on water. Water is an essential element for life on this planet and he wanted to see how harmonic sounds would affect water compared to chaotic sounds.
He placed different cups of water in environments where he subjected them to either classical music or heavy metal music. He asked monks and priests to pray above glasses of water and asked volunteers to yell obscene remarks at other cups of water. He then froze the water and observed the crystallized structure of it in each condition. The water that had received positive, harmonic sounds had beautiful geometric shapes. The water that had been subjected to negative, chaotic sounds was disjointed and disturbed in crystal form. This has been used over and over again as an example of the power of holy water.
Years ago, the yogis and saints of India practiced an art of Japa. This is where aspirants repeat mantras (sacred chants) in order to achieve both peace of mind and spiritual gain. There are many kinds of mantras. Christians and Muslims use rosemary beads to repeat their own versions of mantras. The power of these words is what drives millions to practice.
For me, mantra practice helps me to still my mind. It puts away my negative thought patterns and allows me to focus on a vibration that is connected to millions before me. The beads that are used always have 108 in number as 108 is a very powerful number.
In India there are locked and unlocked mantras. While I was traveling there I learned that locked mantras are very powerful and can only be passed from Guru to Student. This is important in yogic practices because certain mantras serve different people. For everyone to use the same mantra would be like giving everyone the same surgery for different physical issues.
Locked mantras are best experienced by studying with a respected Guru and practicing with him or her for a certain amount of time. This could be one month or 50 years, it depends on the teacher-disciple relationship.
The unlocked mantras are what you may hear in a yoga class. There is the classic AUM, often and incorrectly pronounced as “OM”. Actually, the vibration of AUM has to be felt through the body.
Think of the A of AUM beginning deep in the belly. Feel the AAAAA in the belly. The AAAAA transitions into a diaphragmatic OOOOOO. The OOOOOO transitions into a skull vibrating MMMMM. This is the proper and traditional method of experiencing AUM, it is a whole body mantra.
From AUM we can learn and practice the Gayatri Mantra. This ancient mantra is an homage to the great and powerful light that powers all life and existence. It is the light that emanates from the sun, it is the light that emanates from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, it is the light that shines in a lightning bolt and the light that flickers in a flame. The Gayatri Mantra has a vibration of deep gratitude and respect, it is a call to arms that this existence will be used as a form of service to that great light.
Mantra practice is a great way to experience the effects of sound in your personal life. It has certainly improved my life. When I’m anxious I return to a mantra that serves that moment. I use mantra at the beginning of classes to set the intention of the class.
I have experienced mantras that dissolve attachments to our deceased loved ones. The vibration of these mantras is life changing. I consistently connect to mantra and vibration and I encourage everyone to realize sound like this.
Sometimes sound is best experienced by turning things off that make sound. Blue Osa is in the rainforest of Costa Rica, there are no sounds of cars, city buildings or other odd noise pollutants. The sound of ocean waves ring through the air, I hear birds, insects and monkeys, even the sound of raindrops on leaves.
When we embrace the sounds of nature, something inside of us opens up. A primordial healing process begins where our mind and body connect to the spirit around us. We are rejuvenated in that space.
I and others have experienced great healing by hearing natural sounds and removing the sounds that prevent healthy sleep and thought. If you want to experience natural sound healing for yourself come and visit us at Blue Osa.