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!

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?

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!