I have been interested in sound meditation practices and sound healing for many years. Many of these practices are beautiful, supportive and very healing. Some of them make me go ??? And others I find just plain silly. But the one question that keeps me puzzled is why people can clearly see the radiating, spherical nature of sound which is produced by instruments such as singing bowls, bells, chimes, symphonies, etc, but do not see this in respect to humans meditating through sound.

Many sound meditation practices utilize sound as a means to help the ‘sounder’ achieve an altered or meditative state, then guide them through healing visualizations or physical processes. Others use the sound as a diagnostic tool to help the ‘sounder’ to find problems and once the problem is found other healing modalities are used. And still others use sound to trigger somatic or emotional release and interpret the sounds coming from the ‘sounder’. All of these methods are valid and can be efficacious and healing. However I find them missing key ingredients of what sound is and what it can do.

For me it comes back to the tree in the forest conundrum. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, did it actually make a sound? Well, yes. Just because there weren’t people doesn’t mean it was in a vacuüm (wherein it probably wouldn’t have fallen anyway) and that the vibrations that it made in falling didn’t radiate out into the universe. The entire Universe not only heard it, but felt it and in that way experienced it. So when someone is doing an active meditation with sound, not only is that sound affecting the person, the singing bowl as it were, but also everyone and everything around it. The sound is not only moving the singer it is moving all the objects around it which are being impacted by the vibration and the structure in which the singing is occurring, any animals or plants in range, etc, etc.

And, as life is a huge conversation between everything and everything else, the Universe responds (positive/negative/neutral/ambivalent). So what if the sound meditation being done were entered into with the conscious thought that the sound be healing or active or whatever the purpose, not only for the person sounding, but for everyone else participating? What if the sound made was geared to bring the sounder into harmony with not only their best self, but the best self in that moment and with the Universe? Would that change the sound completely? Would other sounds occur to complement or argue with or discourage the sounder? If we focused on sound as radiating out from our center and getting a response, how would that change what we did and how we experience ourselves? Instead of navel gazing what if we saw ourselves as the center of healing that reaches out to everything through this action in this now?