In order to learn more about the sacred practice of sound healing, I spoke with Philippe and Lea Garnier of Sage Academy of Sound Energy about the work that they have been doing in private sessions and in retreats in the US and Europe for the last decade.
Philippe: During a shamanic ceremony in the jungle, I was given a download of teachings and visualizations about what sound is, what the world is made of (intelligent, conscious particles), and how to work with these particles with sound to heal. After that I went home and quit my job and my whole life changed.
Lea: The turning point for me happened when the sound of a Himalayan signing bowl opened my heart in a way that I have never, ever experienced before.
The Power of Sound Medicine
Not everyone is able or called to go through intense shamanic rituals, but sound medicine is accessible to all. Not only that, but we believe that the sound aspect of a ceremony is the most powerful part. Also, some of the physical, emotional and spiritual healing that happens in a night-long indigenous ceremony can be offered in an a one-hour sound healing experience. Sound is a fast way to get answers, and everyone gets something from the experience.
Lea: I have seen the power of sound to open the 5th chakra (the throat chakra) which is the stopper between the heart and the higher centres, and if this is clear, true transformation can happen. There are many tools that can be used for sound healing, but for me the voice has been an incredible asset to heal myself and others.
Philippe: What we have learned through the pioneers of the sound healing movement (such as my good friend Dr. John Beaulieu, creator of the therapeutic tuning forks from Biosonics, and a major innovator in the area of sound healing therapies), is that in addition to the more esoteric shamanic sound journey you may experience in the jungle (or elsewhere), there is a whole science of sound intervals that influence the cells of the brain and body. We focus a lot on bringing science into sound healing so that people can understand why sound is so effective in healing and awakening.
The Yoga of Sound
When it comes to creating sound with a Himalayan singing bowl, for example, of course there is certainly some protocol and some technique involved, but it is truly the practice that goes alongside the sound (meditation, yoga, or whatever your practice is) that informs the frequency of the sound that will come out of your bowl. This helps us to begin to see life as sound, or Resonance - and we can begin to feel when we are in harmony with ourselves and others, and life itself. Sound is a path to Source, and can show us the essence of who we really are. Even if it just for a moment, sound can be a portal to Enlightenment and show us what it is to be in the state of the heart where thoughts and ego-mind disappear.
Philippe and Lea Garnier started Sage Center for the Healing Arts in 2007. This quickly became a Mecca of teachings, workshops, classes and experimental sound healing concerts in the Upstate New York area. They now offer retreats in Europe and the US each year, and continue to see clients and host workshops locally. Learn more here.