Category Archives: Meditation & Yoga

Creating Personal Sanctuary – My Sacred Laundry Room

SacredLaundryRoomA personal sanctuary for rest and rejuvenation can be of great benefit for individual health as well as for the health of family and community. By allowing your soul and spirit the refuge of peace, you are able to reach out and have a positive effect on the harmony of all your relationships – including your family, workplace, community, and world.

It is helpful if you can define a physical space where you can devote yourself to inner healing work.  This can be anything from a room set aside for meditation to a small corner in your bedroom or living room or a spot in nature.  I have made my laundry room into a sacred space where I do my yoga and meditate and love the privacy and peace it provides. Whatever place you choose, this is your special sanctuary where you can do your yoga or sit quietly and meditate, free from distractions and let go of the worries and cares of the world or whatever is going on in your personal life.  In this sacred space you can focus on bringing harmony and peace into your life.

You might want to set up an altar to help focalize your meditation, contemplation or prayer.  The altar can include a candle, flowers, treasures from nature, sacred pictures or anything that inspires your spirit.  If possible, it is helpful to play peaceful music in the background to help ground and center your soul in the spirit of peace.  I would love to hear from you about the kind of sacred space you create for yourself.  It is always inspiring to know what others have discovered to help bring peace into their lives.

If you’re looking for peaceful music to use for meditation and yoga, try Healing Sanctuary which we created after 911 to give people a calm space to retreat into when the world becomes too much.

 

Peace Through Music Supports Wounded Warriors

by Dudley Evenson
WalterReedGrpInspite of our life long aversion to war, my husband, Dean Evenson and I have found a way we can “support the troops” while still remaining true to our core values.  Since so many people coming back from battle are suffering from extreme physical and emotional wounds, we were looking for a way to really put our Peace Through Music mission to work.  Since 1979, we have been producing music for healing and yoga and the popularity of our music with healthcare practitioners and everyday people made us realize it could possibly be of benefit to soldiers returning from combat and suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

We decided to reach out to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, often the first stateside landing hospital for wounded soldiers returning from war.  When we contacted the head chaplain there, Major John Kallerson, we found that he had already used some of Dean Evenson’s CDs in his own healing.  Once he realized that he had personally experienced the benefits of Dean’s music, he was enthusiastic about making it available for his patients and began to include it in the Wounded Warrior Kit given out at the hospital.

Chaplain Kallerson told us “The music helps our patients focus on their healing and not the chronic pain they endure constantly. The soothing music of Healing Sanctuary and Healing Dreams provides a needed respite from the dreams and flashbacks of the terrors that our wounded have seen and experienced.  It is helpful for them to relax and not dwell on the bad dreams or images that they can see… Some find them very helpful to get to sleep.”

Inspired by this feedback, we began to research the effects of war and the stress disorders that often plague veterans of violent conflict and learned that music can offer an antidote to some of the emotional traumas experienced.  We put together a Relaxation Basic Training Guide to help returning soldiers in their healing process.  Couched in military terms, the booklet presented concepts of Nada Yoga or the Yoga of Sound and shared many techniques that are actually ancient yogic practices incorporating breath, muscle relaxation, meditation and mantra.

During two separate visits, we performed our peaceful music of flute and harp interspersed with teachings about relaxation and sound healing.  Looking back on the content of our offering to these wounded troops and medical professionals, we realized we were actually sharing the basics of yoga and meditation.  Although we didn’t demonstrate any postures, the foundation of the information we offered was yoga.  From breathing demonstrations to relaxation to affirmations and mantra, we were able to educate these service people about this ancient practice.  Hopefully our story will inspire people to reach out in their own communities to offer yoga, music, massage and other healing modalities to veterans who are in such desperate need of healing.  The benefit is for the veterans, their families, and the community at large.  It’s never too late to plant seeds of peace.

Click here to Download Relaxation Basic Training Manual

These are the CDs they have used at Walter Reed – Sound Healing, Healing Waters, Healing Sanctuary, Healing Dreams, Ocean Dreams, Eagle River, Eagle River DVD. Click here for Memorial Day Sale

 

Chakra Meditations & Tones new release

Chakra Meditations & Tones
Dudley & Dean Evenson with Beth Quist

ChakraMeditations&Tones“Experiencing this meditation is perfect for the beginner and the advanced. The first eight tracks are instructional and provide the listener with a meditation experience at the same time. The melodic sounds of the chakra tones of the second eight tracks are delightful! Truly calming and peaceful. I highly recommend this sound experience!”
    ~ Margaret Ann Lembo, Owner The Crystal Garden & author of Chakra Awakening

The first half hour of the album is spoken by Dudley Evenson, whose soothing voice leads the guided affirmations for each chakra – concluding with a track for balancing all the chakras.  The second half hour is comprised of musical toning with the chakras and features Beth Quist whose beautiful vocalizations of the chakras reflect the essence of each energy center.

For more than three decades, Dudley and Dean Evenson have immersed themselves in the exploration of healing through music.  They have traveled to temples, interviewed healers and worked with masterful musicians around the world.  On this progressive path, they have developed an understanding of the multi-dimensional uses of music.  Their album “Chakra Meditations & Tones” reveals the basic steps of healing through sound on a journey through your chakras, body, spirit and mind.

These award-winning sound healing pioneers have created this beautiful album as an effective tool for energizing and balancing the chakras. The album is designed to be listened to frequently and is arranged so that one can add their own tones to the sound track. It is ideal for meditation, healing, yoga and overall relaxation.  Liner notes explain the chakra system.

The Hindustani Scale (Sa Re Ga ma Pa Dha Ni Sa) and the Sanskrit Seed Sounds of Bija mantra (Lam Vam Ram Yam Ham Sham Aum) are used along with the vowel tones (UH, OO, OH, AH, EYE, AYE, EEE) to evoke deep inner peace and set the ground for the rhythms and tones of this mind calming, meditative, body healing, musical album.

Official Release date April 8, 2014 Pre-order on amazon.com 

Pondering Our Blessings

Dean meditating beach bowl

Pondering the many blessings we have is a focusing, choice-making process that allows us to recognize and appreciate the simple things around us that we take for granted.  For starters, we are a consciousness gifted with a functioning body that experiences the stimuli of life and interconnects us with other spiritual entities encased in similar protoplasmic form.  The life sentence we receive is a gift from the source energy of creation and as such is plugged into the constantly recycling energy fields flowing around us. We did not create ourselves, however once we recognize our own existences, we are responsible for what we use our heart/mind energy/our thoughts to focus on.  And we all know that what one focuses on expands.  Think about it.  What we fill our heads with is what naturally envelopes us.  So let’s keep our thoughts pure and saturated with a heart connection of unconditional love.  The whole world will reflect that love back to us in an expanded multiplicity of forms, bonds, opportunities, and connections.  Everyday brings a new sunrise.  ~ Dean Evenson

Mindful Revolution Reaches Mainstream

 Time MindfulWe picked up a copy of Time Magazine recently because of this awesome cover article on mindfulness.  It is satisfying to learn that what we have been working on for over four decades has reached the mainstream with cover stories such as this.  The article talks about how technology and our many devices have fractured our attention to such an extent that we are never able to give our full attention to any one thing.  Fortunately, through a practice of mindfulness and meditation, we can learn to focus and use various techniques to quiet our busy minds and become more aware of the present moment.

Since Dean and I first began meditating in the early 70s, we have seen the benefits that such a practice can bring to our daily lives.  We have also learned that the peaceful music we create can also help the process of centering and calming the mind and body and help bring about a deeper sense of inner peace.

The good news is that these same mental training techniques are used by people in all walks of life from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 titans and soccer moms to students wanting to enhance their learning and people dealing with health issues.  One technique discussed in the article is called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and was developed in 1979 (the same year we founded Soundings of the Planet) by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT educated scientist with a PhD. degree in Molecular Biology (like Dean Evenson’s Masters in Molecular Biology).  We have had the privilege of meeting Jon many times at the various mind-body conferences. He is also the son-in-law of author and social activist, Howard Zinn, but that’s another story. In fact, Jon and his wife Myla told us that every morning they wake up listening to us on their alarm clock which is set to play Soundings of the Planet’s music.   Now that’s a good way to begin the day with Peace Through Music!

If you are interested in using music to support your meditation and mindfulness practice or simply to reduce stress in your life, here is some of our music that is good for meditation.

A Primordial Clear Light Mind

A primordial clear light mind
Is something that we all have within us.
It is not something external to us.
It is on this basis that we can attain enlightenment
When we can see, straightforwardly and non-conceptually,
the nature of our clear light mind
and remain totally absorbed on this nature
without ever regressing from it we have become a Buddha
– The Gelug/Lagyu tradition of Mahamudra

Buddha gardenWhat is this Pure Light Mind that the scripture above speaks of?  Is this something attainable by us mortals or only available to the realm of the Buddha and the Christ?  Modern scientists recognize that our DNA emits light in the form of photons. So even on the physical level, it is understood that we are made up of light.  Fortunately, many people across the ages have been able to access this aspect of their divine mind though their steadfast practice of meditation.  So, although it may take some time and of course personal discipline, there are tools that can help you in your own quest.  The goal of our meditation should be to move us closer to seeing clearly the nature of our mind which is ultimately pure light. Through meditation, we can hope to remove the impediments to this light by letting go of that which causes our suffering – clouds of worry, fear, anger, hatred, envy, craving and self-doubt.  As we let go of these negative emotions, we make way for a more compassionate, joyful and expansive state of being.  Through a regular meditation practice, we can expect to reach a state of inner peace and move that much closer to the realization our divine self.

Do you have trouble clearing your mind of worrisome or busy thoughts?  Fortunately music has been found to help the process.  Here are some of Soundings of the Planet’s meditation albums.

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams! The official blog of Dudley Evenson, co-founder of Soundings of the Planet. Featuring helpful hints, inspiring stories and guidance on how to live a healthy life in harmony with others & the planet