When you study the ancient schools of wisdom, it becomes clear that many of them (Tibetan Buddhism, Vedism, Indigenous Spirituality, Christian Mysticism, to name a few) share a very similar understanding about the power of sound.
In my work, I draw on this ancient knowledge to understand the nature of consciousness, who we are, what our purpose is, and what we are doing here, and bring my retreat participants into direct experience with the power of sound.
For example, in my sound energy workshops, while participants are meditating with a specific intention (e.g to experience a felt sense of “spaciousness”), I will often chant a certain mantra or play an instrument like a drum. What happens is that this sound often amplifies the experience of the practice. This is one of the ways that sound works: it amplifies the intention – it is the carrier wave of intention. So, whether you are angry at the dog and yelling “you stupid mut!” or calling upon the holy ones by chanting sacred sounds, either way, your voice is becoming a channel, a pure wave of the intention and emotion behind your words, and that is a very creative tool.
The ancient ones understand that, in the use of an instrument as well as the voice, when you couple the male aspect of consciousness with the female aspect of life force, you are engaging in a sacred union which is the very heart of creation itself.
So, like the Shiva Shakti union from Hindu understanding, which you’ve likely seen in sexualized images of this God and Goddess engaged in sacred union, Shiva is the male principle of the Universe which is consciousness, and he is engaging in perfect union with the female principle Shakti, which is primordial life force. Most schools have a way of expressing this. When you engage the male principle of consciousness with the female principle of life force, you are engaging in the perfect union of creative manifestation. To put this in practical terms: whatever your consciousness in focused upon, and whatever your life force is focused upon, you are creating. Fundamentally, all of our thoughts are our state of consciousness, and our emotions carry our life force. So the more clearly we are able to couple our thoughts/intentions with our emotions, the more perfect the manifestation of that which we are thinking and feeling. Thus, you can see why it is beneficial to clarify our thoughts and our emotions so that we can be a clear vessel of creative manifestation.
When we use our voice, we are literally manifesting in the world whatever we are thinking and feeling. Many schools of wisdom tell us that it is very important to pay attention to what we are thinking and feeling, and what we are expressing. This is because they understand that we are creating with every voiced expression, and we are creating karma. Whether they are good seeds or negative seeds of karma depends upon the thoughts and feelings that are behind it. When we are sowing clear seeds of karma, the result is a beautiful and bountiful unfolding in our lives and others’.
One of the practices that we do, for instance, is a Tibetan practice called the Three Lights. This comes from the understanding of the power of pure mind, pure speech, and pure heart. What they say is that pure speech is the perfect union of enlightened mind with the heart of perfect wisdom. Just think about that for a moment – what if each one of us thought about that with every word we uttered? Wow, could we not change the world just with understanding that!?
Instructions for the Three Lights Practice:
Third Eye: Become aware that there is a pure white light emanating from the third eye with the pure nature of enlightened mind, and it is emanating the sacred seed sound of Om. Both the light and the sound have what are known as the vajra qualities, which means that it has the ability to clarify all obscurations (an obscuration is something that keeps us from perceiving reality directly). So simply by doing this over and over again, and imagining that this is clarifying everything that is preventing me from perceiving from a state of pure mind, is very powerful.
Throat: Then, I go to the throat centre, and imagine a ruby red light emanating from the throat, with the seed sound Ah, also with the vajra power of clarifying everything that keeps me from pure speech. Everything that obscures me from perceiving pure reality directly. Pure reality – meaning that which is not tainted with any of my thoughts or beliefs which are not based in pure reality.
Heart: Then I move to the heart with blue cobalt light emanating from within combined with the seed sound Hum with the power of pure wisdom or compassion.
You can repeat this several times moving from chakra to chakra – visualizing light coming from each of the three chakras in turn, while chanting their individual seed sounds. End with all three luminous centers emanating their pure light and seed sound simultaneously, chanting the three seed sounds, Om Ah Hum, in each breath. Then rest in the luminous quality of the ‘rainbow body’ of the three lights, now awakened from this practice.
Zacciah Blackburn, Ph.D., is a gifted intuitive, teacher, and sound healer, trained in classical healing and shamanic traditions, and sacred sound cultures. He has been involved in the field of healing music, sound and shamanic practices for over 35 years. He teaches internationally, and practices in Vermont, USA. His work focuses on therapeutic sound, spiritual development, and indigenous earth mysteries. Zacciah utilizes sound coupled with sacred intention as a therapeutic tool, in mystical settings, for personal healing and transformation, in private therapies and workshop programs, providing illumined expertise in esoteric practices. He conducts tours world wide of sacred sites, utilizing & sharing his skills for Earth healing rituals with participants, incorporating sacred sound.
Zacciah is Director of the Center of Light Institute of Sound Healing and Shamanic Studies, in Ascutney, VT.