” Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony?”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
” Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other in the integration of the human being because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the Soul on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the Soul of him who is rightly educated truly graceful.”
Often, when we are in troubled times, we may put on the radio or our stereo to bring us peace, and sometimes clarity, to “sooth our troubled breast”. We know the power of music to affect our mood and to make us feel better. For some jazz is what they turn to, while for others it may be rock or even classical music. Even humming a favourite tune can help us feel better, or more in touch. It is no coincidence that, when we are happy, a song will spring to mind and rise to the surface, finding its way out past our lips.
And playing music can be deeply beneficial. I have a friend who, when he is angry or troubled, will go down to the harbour and sit by the water’s edge, playing his guitar. When I asked him why, his reply was that playing to the harbour made “my thoughts straighten out and get out of my head”.
But sound can do more than that. It can actively help healing and repair damage. Here is why:
We are energy beings, energy slowed to a crawl. We are pure energy, and a tiny section of a great energy field, in fact of all energy. Our cells and atoms vibrate in tune with the universe and with every other thing, animate or inanimate. Animals vibrate; plants, rocks and trees vibrate, for they are all energy, and in no way separate from all that is around them and all that is. That is a powerful thing to contemplate, for it means there is no separation, either between us or everything around us. That means that even when we are standing apart from another person, we are part of them and they of us. We are joined intimately to each other, to the rest of the planet and in turn to all the stars and galaxies.
And the universe has its own music. It is constantly singing. However, it is very difficult if not impossible to hear in a city, with all its noises and constant background hum. The best place to be is out in nature in places of peace and utter quietness.
The truth of this came to me early one morning in the Tankwa Karoo National Park in South Africa. It was bitterly cold but still. We had stopped in a place with few if any shrubs, and my companions had gone for a walk. I stayed to see what I could photograph. There were no animals and the nearest habitation was at least 60km away. As I stood there in the closest thing I have ever experienced to complete silence, I heard a high humming sound, an audible vibration which continued on and on, sometimes rising, sometimes falling. It sounded like a single high note from a violin. I looked around. Perhaps it was insects. But no, it was too cold for them to be about. I wondered if it was expansion in the rocks, however we were in the shade and there was no heat or wind. The sound remained for some minutes and I stood still, entranced. I was listening to the Universe singing. As it always had and always will.Then my friends began returning, and the movement of their feet broke the spell. I have never heard that sound since.
And this is pure energy. This is the energy which binds all things.I am convinced that this is happening everywhere. We merely have to be open to and able to tune into it.
The Yogis of India have studied the therapeutic effects of sound for centuries, and yogic chanting is an important part of wellness and healing. Remember that healing begins at a soul level and then progresses outwards to the body. Soul>mind>body. An initiate is given a mantra specific to them and them alone, chosen by yogis who do just this. The mantra is carefully selected to attune itself to the unique vibration of the individual. Frequent and disciplined chanting of one’s own mantra will begin to bring one into balance and work at a cellular level, helping to heal damage done. Any old mantra will not do.
This is one of the ways that we can do our own inner and outer work. Time spent in an ashram is time not wasted, for it helps to bring us into sync and realign our own vibration with that of the universe. If you live in New Zealand, and are prepared to make the time, you will find one here at the top of the South Island.
Another way is music. Choose your music carefully, for it can help you rebalance, or do the opposite and throw you off-balance. Studies have shown that listening to the music of Mozart and Strauss can have a powerfully positive effect upon the cardiovascular system. Read more here. You could load some Mozart piano sonatas on your phone, and listen to them through some good-quality earphones when you are travelling to work, or on the car stereo when you are stuck in rush-hour traffic. More evidence here.
Choose your words carefully, and the way you speak them. Words are energy you have generated, and they can be positive or cause harm to your listener. This is a lifelong journey for each of us. Words generated in a state of non-judgement and love will be far more beneficial to another’s welfare and well-being.
We ignore the importance of sound at our peril. And the benefits can be marvellous.
About this card:
Recently, a new series of Kete O Te Ao Mārama have been calling to be brought out. At this stage I have no idea what their number will be. Time will tell. However, I thought I would share the first one with you. It insisted.
Mōteatea. Mōteatea is a traditional chant or lament. It is an ancient incantation, containing its energy and truth both in the kupu (words) and in the way it is sung. Correct chanting is critical, for a mōteatea has enormous power.
Lesson: Consideration, Non-judgement, Discipline
Affirmation: Sometimes I speak before I have fully considered the effect of what I say and how I say it. I am learning to weigh my words carefully and balance them lightly upon the pivot point and support of Universal Love.