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Tobias Kaye
from: Tobias Kaye
Category: Sound Healing

Sound Deepens Awareness

Sound Deepens Awareness

Sounding Bowls  are fast becoming a must-have for music therapists working with advanced dementia patients. In advanced dementia a person forgets not just who their friends are but even who they themselves are. This leaves a void in which worry about something they feel they ought to remember becomes dominant leading to two distinct types of behavior. Frequently the sufferer will pace about the home as if looking for something they know not what. Alternatively they may sink down into a depression not responding to any invitation to move at all.

Attempting to stop a pacing person, even for a meal can lead to distress and even violence. Music therapists working with Sounding Bowls have found remarkable results in walking alongside such a one playing as they walk, often in the rhythm of the walk. Frequently the pacer will stop and reach out to touch the Sounding Bowl, if not the therapist may invite them to do so. Once the vibration reaches the touch as well as the ears something magical happens, an inner peace seems to open up in the worried mind as something deeper shines through. Astonishing results have occurred with people who have been speechless for many months remembering their name or saying, in clearly formed words:  “Don’t Stop” or some such.  This moment of peace can be extended to allow for a bandage change which otherwise may involve strong nurses, sedative or even anesthesia. 

What is it that is opening up in the worried mind? What is it that discovers calm when the mind is in distress? What is it that can cause a person to shed tears on first seeing a Sounding Bowl? What is it that also invites interest from autistic children that turn away from all other musical instruments? These questions have long lived in me alongside the wonder and gratitude that the work I do in making these round, stringed, wooden instruments has led me into such places.

Music is well known to touch places in the mind that verbal memory can no longer reach. Moments of love can also do this as this famous video demonstrates . Neurological researchers have found distinct areas of the brain that respond to musical sound separate from those that involve speech and words. This little video illustrates the importance of these areas in our learning process.

Meanwhile heart researchers have discovered that the heart responds to visual stimuli before the brain does This is in truth world shaking news and questions the modern assumption that our identity is based in our thinking, in our brains.

My own research is not based in neurology but in simple, sense perceptible observations of the response of our human self to experiences around music, sounding bowls, meditation and healing. What matters to me is how anyone can approach a deeper understanding of their own identity and purpose in life without basing their sense of self on assumptions presented by science or religion. Our own, personal sensory input is so huge, so diverse and complicated that we generally edit it into which signals we choose to work with today and which we choose to bracket or dismiss as dream or illusion. Slowing down consciousness to begin to work with the immense diversity of input is one of the ways we can begin to reference our own experience in defining our personal identity so as to free it from the definitions we absorb from science, media and parental memes.

The role of Sounding Bowls and sound therapy in this is profound. In the same way as Sounding Bowls reach people with Dementia or autism whom nothing else will reach their sound can also open us up to deeper aspects of our self, our sensory reality and our own intrinsic nature allowing us to access normally hidden aspects of who we truly, deeply are. As I began to become aware of this the courses that I ran to show people how to use Sounding Bowls and what they truly are sprouted wings of a sort as I made more and more allowance for the change of consciousness that Sounding Bowls create in people and followed the tracks of deepening awareness. Thus it became obvious that a one day course needed to be extended and with the help of my spoken sound-therapist partner Wilhelmina (webshy) Swindell we developed the two day, two night “Awaken the Language of the Heart” course that works with to bring our deep and dreaming self, more into the light of our conscious awareness. The importance of covering two nights is that we weave what happens in sleep into what happens in meditation and in Sounding Bowl playing alongside circle exercises and one to one exercises that open up our hidden selves to a softer view of the heart’s own awareness. By increasing the communication between heart and head in this way the course serves to deepen sleep as well as awaken day time awareness to more of our own intrinsic experience. 

Two further strings of developmental work include learning to track the bodily response to sensory input and discovering a sequence of self-other patterns that end in the deep self existing in all things and personalised in us as individual named experience. Together these awareness indicators allow us to strengthen our standing as individuals within this bodily experience such that the gifts that we have begin to flow more freely.

Awaken the Language of the Heart” became more and more spectacular as our understanding of the patterns we are working with deepened and the course we ran in the autumn of 2015 went so deep and had such sterling feedback that we decided to design an extended version to illustrate these practices more clearly and deepen their effect in the workshop itself. We are offering this workshop only once in this year and there are limited places available. We have chosen a quiet countryside retreat centre in France as the venue where a combination of high quality facilities with deeply peaceful surroundings will enable a fuller unfolding of the shy hidden language of the heart.

You are invited to come to the sun drenched fields of France in June and discover for yourself just where Sounding Bowls, sound therapy practices and meditative awareness can lead you. No previous experience is necessary, Sounding Bowls unlock the meditative mind even for those who normally find mediation difficult and the combined power of the simple practices we will follow cannot fail to deepen your experience of the moment and of your own self in the process. 


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