Vak Shuddhi: Cultivating Sound That Heals

Teacher Sadhguru shares the importance of sound, language, and speaking with intent:

“Whatever sound you need to utter, utter it in such a way that it is beneficial for you. And whatever is beneficial for you will naturally be beneficial for everyone around you. If a sound is doing wonderful things to you, it will definitely do the same things to everyone around you.”

What is Vak Shuddhi? – Part 1

What is Vak Shuddhi? – Part 2

“The Sanskrit language was consciously created so that just uttering the language will purify the system. But now, most of the time we speak languages which are no longer made like that, so it is best to handle it with intention…”

Vocal Toning Resources

Vocal Toning Meditation: Level I Foundations

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VIDEOS on Toning for Peace


History of Toning

Toning for Peace Q & A Series

Toning for Peace at the Light Center

CD’s on Vocal Toning

Dielle’s Free MP3 Toning Library

Vocal Toning Meditation Level I: Foundations CD’s

VTM Level 1

Hum for Health

highres YTV pinwheelWe all want to stay healthy and happy all year-long, of course. Here’s a great article with some tips for staying healthy this winter. Toning for Peace finds #14 exceptionally interesting!! And you can do it all year-long…

It’s all about the hum! “Humming has been shown to increase nitric oxide in the nose, which is antimicrobial,” says Dr. Payne. To read the full article and item 14:

http://www.today.com/health/26-ways-avoid-getting-sick-winter-1D80290214?google_editors_picks=true

Har! Sound of the Universe

pinwheelYogi Bhajan, responsible for bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West, taught a very powerful meditation using the syllable of “HAR”. I’d like to share it with you.

  • First put your hands together in front of you, back to back like a reverse “Namaste” or prayer pose. But then let them relax and curl in toward your heart as if pointing to yourself with both hands, thumbs extended upward. They should be at the level of your sternum.
  • You may close your eyes or keep them gently focused on the tip of your nose.
  • Now begin to repeat the sound HAR over and over (it should almost sound like “HUD” as you roll the final R) and feel the sound through the fingertips as the chest moves with the sound.

Resound this sound in the heart cage and reap the benefits as Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Mercury, represented by each of your fingers, come into balance while your thumb–ego–remains out of the picture!

After chanting aloud, you may then chant in a whisper transitioning into toning inwardly, in silence, before returning once more to toning aloud. Try this for three minutes working your up to eleven minutes or more and see how you feel.

  • Toward the end, stretch your arms over head and spread your fingers wide while continuing to resound the sound of HAR. Stretch your arms and spine to equalize and distribute the energy for about 30 seconds.
  • Bring your arms down, and form a double-handed fist at your heart. Inhale, hold the breath, and press your hands into your heart. Hold. Release.
  • Now bring your fist to your navel. Breath in. Press as hard as you can. Hold. Release.
  • Finally, bring your arms close to your body, your fists at armpit level. Breath in. Squeeze your arms into your sides and your fists tightly as you hold. And release.

Yogi Bhajan taught that resounding the sound of HAR in the chest cage in this way is one of 6 sounds that can give one the power of the Universe. It will kill the unwanted self. Enjoy!

On Overdrive? Try This.

pinwheelAre you all feeling the amping of energies lately just as I am? Astrologically, we are in very interesting times. Time itself seems to be speeding up, information (and misinformation) is a constant onslaught, and change is not only imminent but mandatory. We’re all being asked to up our game. If we don’t take time out to empty and find our way back to neutral, we’re going to have a harder and harder time keeping up.

Toning is such a great way to clear your mind, body, and spirit of all the brouhaha. Even if you practice the following technique just minutes a day, you’ll feel the impact.

This particular exercise is adapted from one I learned from my mentor, Dr. Gene Nathan. It consists of three sounds and three centers:

SOUND                               CENTER
Ah                                            heart
Om                                          dan tien (or lower belly)
Shh                                          forehead

Begin by placing your hands on your heart. Tone the sound ‘Ah’ aloud on any comfortable pitch. Do this three times. Then move your hands to your dan tien. Here you will tone the sound ‘Om” with an emphasis on the ‘mmm’. Do this at a lower pitch than the ‘ah’. Finally, place your hands on your forehead. Here, you sound a ‘Shh’. Repeat this cycle, three times at each center, for at least three cycles.

After each tone, notice how your energy is shifting. Take your time. Notice especially the connection that occurs between each center, each helping to reinforce and strengthen the others. And notice how the ‘shh’ quiets the rattled mind. Enjoy!

Vocal Toning Exercise: Spring Cleaning!

pinwheelAbout this time of year, many minds turn to the practice of spring cleaning, clearing out the closets, dusting in all the nooks and crannies of a home, and making things sparkle!

Why not do the same inside? Our bodies and minds could use a good cleansing after this rather challenging winter, don’t you think?

Winter is typically a time of reflection and hibernation. We’ve taken inventory and hopefully come to a clearer understanding of what is worth keeping and what has to go. Now, tiny buds emerge and new colors pop into our awareness as we prepare for the re-emerging of dormant life.

Vocal toning is a perfect tool for clearing out and making space for what wants to emerge from within you. So set aside 10, 15, or even 30 minutes, go outside into the sun, and have some toning fun. Choose a vowel with a vibration that resonates for you with the sweeping out of dust and debris of the winter. Maybe for one person that is “SHHH” sound. Maybe for another, it’s an “EH”. Give the byproducts of your toning to the earth for recycling; she knows what to do with it.

When that process feels complete, tone for the joy of Spring! You can tone to a tree you encounter on a walk, tone to the little bulb sprouts popping their heads into the day, or simply breath in this fresh promise of spring and exhale an “AH!”

Enjoy!

 

Happy New Beginnings

pinwheelAs you’ve probably heard, this New Year’s Day is punctuated with helpful astrological forces including a New Moon to catapult us beyond the habits of the past and into the terrain of fresh, clean starts.

Give yourself some time and space today to meditate on the following:

Your Keyword for 2014: This is a word (or words) that will be your guiding light throughout the year. The energy of this channel will color everything you experience, so choose wisely. Life will provide what you need to clear the channel, make it stronger, and express it in your daily life. Last year my keyword was “Alignment” and this year it is the phrase “Be in Love.”

6-12 Statements of Intent: These aren’t resolutions or problems to be fixed. These are things aligned with your heart’s desire to be made manifest in 2014. You may want to start them with “This is the year…” and keep the statements somewhat general. It is such a thrill at the end of a year to review these statement and see how Life responded. Indeed, from my list of 12 statements last year, 10 of them were fully realized and the remaining 2 are still works in progress. Amazing! For example, for 2013, I wrote:

This is the year I discover the reflection of love. Someone, or someones, love me for who I am and just as I am.

In April, I met my now husband. My statement was not about finding a partner. It was very open to any reflection of love. And meeting my husband was not the only way this statement manifested either; it came through in other ways as well. So don’t write yourself into a box.

Once you have your keyword and several statements of intent, write them in a journal or on the computer…somewhere safe where you can refer back to them at six months and again at the end of the year. You can always add or change things at any time.

With your words committed to paper, close your eyes and go into your heart. Allow the sound of “AH” to resonate internally…building slowly in intensity until it arises forth from your voice. Allow the sound of “AH” to saturate your words, enfolding each one in perfect love and wisdom.

Breathe and bless yourself.

Happy New Beginnings!

Quieting the Mind

pinwheelThe majority of us spend a lot of time in our minds. Even having spent years silencing the mind through meditation, the function of the mind never really goes away. It may get quieter, and we may have better control over our thoughts, but it is a very rare individual who can live the majority of their lives in that quiet state.

Working with the mental body can train it so that it takes up less and less of our energy and instead becomes a source of it. The Toltec liken it to the mind becoming our ally instead of our enemy. Meditation in general is the best practice for training the mind. Vocal Toning Meditation, through the use of sound, makes it easier for many people to quiet the mind.

Try this.

First, sit in meditative silence for five minutes.  You can be in any posture that is comfortable for you. Pay attention to how you feel, what thoughts are drifting through, whether or not you find them easy to release or not, etc. Focus on stilling the mind.

Then shift. Sit for an additional five minutes, but as you do so, tone the sound UNG. It is a nasal tone that resonates in the head. As you do this, pay attention to the energy of the sound, the space of silence between as you inhale, and how your mind and body are responding.

Now stop. Breathe. Notice any thoughts. What has shifted? How did sitting in silence compare to sitting with the tone of UNG?

Avatar “OM” Circle

  • pinwheelI was inspired after watching the movie Avatar for the second time recently to try something new in my toning group today. It was an experiment that went quite well, so I thought I’d share it with you.

In the movie, there is a scene when the tribal people are offering a healing to the dying scientist. In the scene, they are sitting cross legged in circles around this magical tree, each person with his or her arms around the shoulders of the neighbor to the right and left. They are swaying back and forth in unison while singing a sacred healing chant.

I adapted this moving idea for Toning for Peace. At the Light Center in Black Mountain, the geodesic dome has a vortex right in its center. So we made a circle around that sitting cross legged on the floor. We discussed out intent…what it was we wanted to create or evoke with our sounding. We sat close enough together so as to put our arms around one another’s shoulders. Some folks weren’t physically comfortable with this, so they had the option to place their hands on the neighbor’s knees instead. Obviously, this wasn’t meant to be an exercise in discomfort!

We then practiced moving in a circle with the energy flowing first left to right and then right to left. We waited to sense the natural shifting of the energy currents.

Once we felt ready, we closed our eyes, focused on our intent to celebrate love and balance, and began to OM. I had spoken earlier about how to OM, that one should give equal time to the O and the M. I also mentioned that it didn’t have to be one long, sustained OM but could be a pulsing series of short OMs.

The exercise was beautifully meditative; the combination of movement, touch or connection, and sound was powerful. It unified the group in a magical way quite quickly.

One person did suggest afterward that it be done standing up. I’m sure this would have been fine too and more comfortable for certain folks. So, as always, be flexible with how toning practices are done. Honor the body, not the idea.

Do you have a toning idea to share?

The Great Awakening

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from a philosopher named Herbert Whone who wrote: “Humanity has been enchanted–sung to sleep. In the depths of that condition, we are given the capacity to make our own sound, which is in effect a means of escape, a way of breaking the spell.”

This quote reminds me what the true purpose of vocal toning is. It is a means of awakening from the influence of the dream. Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, just as we are about to approach the Emerald City of Enlightenment, we fall under the spell of sleep in a field of poppies…two steps from the door. The practice of toning is our alarm clock. It reminds us the shake off the effect of our complacency and do the inner work. It reminds us that the path is strewn with temptations and obstacles and fears, so by all means, hum a tune. It reminds us that we have within us the capacity to take those two extra steps despite our need for comfort and familiarity. Toning gives us the smarts, the heart, and the courage to keep going.

So the next time you feel yourself getting pulled under, take just a few moments to literally “tune” in. Consider the illusion you are being asked to buy into and choose to remain awake. Use your voice like a shield and create a vibratory field of protection around yourself using an OM, AH, OO, EE, or whatever feels right to you. “You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night….”

 

 

 

Balancing & Purifying the 5 Elements: A Tibetan Bon Technique

tingsToday’s toning at the Light Center was so yummy! What a great group of people…deep listeners with open hearts and open voices. After connecting with each of the elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether) with chi gong, we practiced balancing the five elements with this Bon series of mudra and mantra:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImTEB35new0]

We wrapped up the meditation with the mantra of all the elements, A YAM RAM MAM KHAM DROM DU. By then, we were all so ready to create with each other in a deep freestyle toning session.

Give it a try! It’s easy, feels great, and works wonders.

AH OM HUM for Sleep

pinwheelReady to settle down for the night and want a toning exercise that will quiet the mind and help prepare you for restful sleep? Give AH-OM-HUM a try.

It is very similar to AUM or OM, but there is a subtle yet powerful difference.  These three syllables are a purification practice, perfect for releasing the day and all its constructs and entering the dreamtime.

Rather than toning AH-U-MM or OH-M, you are toning the three sounds, AH, OM and HUM (pronounced HOOM) in sequence all on one breathe to the end of a single exhalation. On the inhalation, rest and reverberate the sound in your mind. Then begin again with sounding on the exhalation.

Some of you may be familiar with the Buddhist mantra OM AH HUM.  The sounds serve the same function. They just do so in a different order. I learned AH-OM-HUM in my trainings in Yungdrung Bon. You can experiment for yourself and find the sequence that works for you. Each way you do it will stimulate different aspects first.

Sweet dreams!