Yogi 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!
About 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!”
Edgar Cayce, known as the sleeping prophet, was a highly psychic individual in the late 18 and early 1900’s. I have known about Cayce for sometime, though my knowledge is limited. For example, I owe my caster oil pack practice and rose water and glycerine spray to him and his healing visions.
But I just recently learned that Cayce was also aware of the power of sound as a healing tool. He taught that one could harmonize with the creative energy within through chanting i-e-o-u-e-i-o-umh. He taught us that chant was a means of experiencing an inner reality of color, harmony and emotion. He understood that music had the power to renew us from deep within. I was so excited to discover his teachings on sound and hope to find out more.
Cayce said that our bodies are “the temple of the Living God”. Yes! We are indeed resonance chambers that resound with the sounds of our life. Do we pollute our temple and neglect it, or do we honor it as Holy and respect it?
Toning, whether by yourself or in a group, is a superb way to not only acknowledge and connect with your temple, but to commune with the creative energy there, enhancing and raising your own personal vibration.
The Tibetans are masters at healing with sound. Tibetan bells, ting-shas, the shang, gongs, and other instruments are used to shake up the energy in the body and dispel disease, shift stagnated energy, or fill the body with healthy vitality. For example, ting-shas are special bells used to scan the body and actually change pitch or timbre to signify energies in the body that need to be cleared.
Himalayan bowls are sometimes placed on or around the body to allow their vibration to penetrate into the cells while bells and gongs are played near or around the body to shower it with intense, audible vibrations. Science has shown that these bowls emit alpha waves which are the same waves emitted by the brain in meditation. Achieving this state is essential to healing as it activates the body’s own wisdom to heal itself.
Next time: Tribal Instruments
As our lives become ever more complicated and the world around us continues to change at breakneck speed, more and more people are seeking different and deeper ways to connect and return to wholeness. The field of sound therapy, while ancient in its roots, is just now emerging into the mainstream in answer to this need, garnered by the support of ever-increasing clinical applications and research. So, what is sound therapy all about?
Sound is simply vibration. And science reveals what we can’t see with our eyes—that all of life is vibration. What appears solid, like a hard table, is actually comprised of vibrating atoms engaged in a musical composition of great mystery and complexity. Our bodies are no different than that table; we only appear solid to the limited perception of the eye. But unlike the dense table, the body is much more impressionable to shifts in energy.
Disease manifests when we fall into resonance with harmful vibrations, be they of mind, body or spirit. Sound therapy, by tapping into vibrations that are supportive and beneficial to our bodies, and through something called entrainment, brings the body back into a state of health. But just as you don’t need to understand how the internet works in order to send an email, you don’t need to comprehend the scientific or spiritual principles behind sound to benefit from sound therapy.
The world of sound therapy is rich and diverse. There is without a doubt something for everyone. But with all the choices, how on earth does one decide which form of sound therapy may help? This series is meant to provide background information to help you make your choice, but it is by no means exhaustive. Once you know what is available, follow your intuition, experiment, and trust your own experience.
Next time: The Voice