Tag Archives: peace through music

Need for Stillness Greater Now Than Ever

We are pleased to announce STILLNESS, Dean Evenson’s latest album. Official release date is November 18. Preorder on amazon.com. Digital downloads available now on iTunes. Dean’s long, slow keyboard tones and rich atmospheric arrangements blend with the pure sounds of his silver flute and the deep bass flute of Doug Tessler. This deeply soothing music connects with the still, quiet place within creating the perfect mood for meditation and going deep.

We realize it has been a challenging time for many people and emotions are running high and deep. Dealing with grief and loss calls for us to lean in on the tools we know work. Any time we are confronted with situations not to our liking, we are reminded that clearing the mind and letting go of attachment to our position can be a tremendous help. This principle works both ways and applies even if we are ecstatically happy about something.


For some peace of mind, join Dean Evenson as he plays his flute and meditates by mountain lakes

Meditation can support us in letting go of negative emotions such as anger and sadness and make way for a more compassionate, joyful and expansive state of being. We can’t always control what goes on around us but we can learn to control how we react to and internalize what happens in our outer world. Meditation can have immense benefits for our spiritual and physical wellbeing. Through listening to calming music and a regular meditation practice, we strive to reach a state of inner peace and move ourselves much closer to the realization our divine nature.

Michael McGillicuddy, Owner Central Florida School of Massage Therapy, had this to say about Stillness: “I love Dean Evenson’s new Stillness album. It is like listening to soft waves of flute while laying in a peaceful place. Very relaxing, peaceful and perfect for massage and other healing modalities. I received an acupuncture treatment today and listening to the CD was very healing to me.”

We invite you to check out our free download this week to listen to a track from Stillness.

And we love to hear from you. How do you deal with challenges when they come up, whether personal or societal? We always like to know what tools and techniques others have to get through difficult times. When you comment here, we’ll send you a free download in appreciation.

Freedom, Peace, Oneness

Freedom to Be!

No, this isn’t a picture of a new Soundings of the Planet artist, but this musician has such a sense of freedom and great energy that we wanted to share his image. We met him in the desert outside Las Vegas after one of our spa shows and he had such bright energy we couldn’t resist snapping a pic. He fit the bill as a Peace Through Music troubadour and it seems appropriate for our July 4th post.

Now is a great chance to ponder the freedom that we do have in our country and honor the hard work and sacrifices it has taken over many generations to maintain it. In the midst of a fractious presidential campaign, we are called upon to reflect on our unity and the many things we have in common, rather than focusing on our differences. As you enjoy the holiday of this long 4th of July weekend, we hope you will take some time to appreciate our great nation with its rich diversity of cultures and acknowledge the many contributions that immigrants as well as natives have made to our country. In fact, most of us are immigrants unless of course you are a Native American!

Freedom and Peace for all
Peace Freedom Oneness expressed in all sorts of ways!

May we all become more compassionate and understanding of our neighbors and especially of those who are different from us. We are after all one human family and hopefully we can outgrow our sibling rivalry and find peace within and even amongst those who are different from us.

WORLD PEACE Meditation

I recognize the world for all its drama as a reflection of my own inner experience. As I work to change my perception of the world, I realize I am actually affecting the world around me. As I change how I am seeing the world, the world changes with me. I see beauty around me. I see the goodness in people and honor them for that goodness. I even practice seeing our own national/political world in a different light. I see it as a process and I focus on the evolution of human consciousness as we move toward greater awareness and compassion. I see the world becoming more peaceful and just every day as I myself become more peaceful and fair within.

Listen to this guided meditation on Meditation Moment CD or A Year of Guided Meditations DVD by Dudley Evenson.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Remember, when you comment here we’ll send you a free mp3 music track! Plus we’re having a super sale on all our albums with water!

Peace On Earth. Peace Through Music!

Peace Through Music blessings from the Soundings of the Planet team
(l to r Brett Steelhammer, Dean Evenson, Dudley Evenson, Alycia Willson, Phil Heaven)

We at Soundings of the Planet send you the blessings of Peace Through Music this season and every day. We firmly believe peace is possible in our daily lives in spite of what mainstream news wants us to believe. We live by the principle – ‘What you focus on expands’ – and we choose to focus on the goodness inherent in every person, the bounty and abundance of the Earth, and the knowledge that peace is a goal worth striving for.

We realize it’s been quite a year and we aren’t living in a cave without awareness of the tragedies that exist in our world. We do know that each one of us has the opportunity to make a positive difference in our family, our community and our world and so we move forward with hope and gratitude for the gifts we do have. We all have our ups and downs but we deal with what comes, keeping a positive attitude and doing what needs to be done.  Peace Through Music has been our mission since we founded Soundings of the Planet over 35 years ago and it continues to this day. We hope that our offerings are a benefit to you and your family or if you are a massage therapist or healing arts professional – to you and your clients. Or if you are a teacher – to you and your students. Or if you are a parent – to you and your kids. You get the gist! Continue reading Peace On Earth. Peace Through Music!

I AM MUSIC

I am musicI love this message. It is so inspiring to us who have dedicated past four decades to sharing Peace Through Music.  Here’s the quote written out so you can read it better.

I AM MUSIC, most ancient of the arts. I am more than ancient; l am eternal. Even before life commenced upon this earth, I was here in the winds and the waves.  When the first trees and flowers and grasses appeared, I was among them.  And when Man came, I at once became the most delicate, most subtle, and most powerful medium for the expression of Man’s emotions.  When men were little better than beasts, I influenced them for their good. In all ages I have inspired men with hope, kindled their love, given a voice to their joys, cheered them on to valorous deeds, and soothed them in times of despair.  I have played a great part in the drama of Life, whose end and purpose is the complete perfection of man’s nature. Through my influence human nature has been uplifted, sweetened and refined. With the aid of men, I have become a Fine Art. From Tubalcain to Thomas Edison a long line of the brightest minds have devoted themselves to the perfection of instruments through which men may utilize my powers and enjoy my charms.  I have myriads of voices and instruments.  I am in the hearts of all men and on their tongues, in all lands and among all peoples; the ignorant and unlettered know me, not less than the rich and learned.  For I speak to all men, in a language that all understand. Even the deaf hear me, if they but listen to the voices of their own souls.  I am the food of love.  I have taught men gentleness and peace; and I have led them onward to heroic deeds.  I comfort the lonely, and I harmonize the discord of crowds.  I am a necessary luxury to all men.  I am MUSIC.    ~ Allan C. Inman

*Let me know your thoughts and experiences about music and what it means in your life.  And for those who comment here, I am giving away a free mp3 track of our peaceful music.  For more about the music we have been creating since 1979 and more free downloads, visit:  soundings.com

 

Music for Health & Relaxation

By Dudley Evenson

“All the tragedy in the world, in the individual and in the multitude, comes from lack of harmony.  And harmony is best given by producing harmony in one’s own life.”

-Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Music of Life

All cultures on every part of the planet, from ancient times to this day, have used music in some way to lift the spirit and to enhance the healing process.  Sound affects us on all levels from the emotional to the physical, and reaches into our very depths, resonating through every cell and molecule of our being.

Music because of its nature is a link between the external and internal worlds, a bridge to the spirit and a doorway to the soul   Sound affects the vibratory rate of every part of the body and has a direct impact on the mental processes, muscles, nervous system, digestive system and circulatory system.  It is no wonder that health care practitioners have discovered the benefits of using music as a support for the healing process.

It is rare to have a healing session these days without the presence of peaceful music in the background.  Why is it that music and bodywork go so well together?  In addition to the pleasant environment that music provides, there are many reasons why music actually supports and extends the benefits of the healing session.  In this article, we will explore a few of them.

It is interesting to note that both healing music and massage began to have a popular acceptance about the same time.  The 1970’s were a time of new innovations and explorations into healing and consciousness so when a few pioneering musicians began to create a more spiritual and meditative form of music, it was natural that the newly blooming massage therapy and bodywork professions would discover its benefits for their practice.  In addition to a good massage table and fragrant massage oils, good music became a must-have part of a massage therapist’s medicine kit.

Surrounded as we are by the monotonous 60 cycle per second hum of machines and consuming urban life, the tendency toward tension and dis-ease has become the byproduct of our modern lifestyle.   Soothing music and the sounds of the nature remind us of the peace we desire.  Clinical research and personal testimonials attest to the effectiveness of music and natural sounds in providing a space for healing to occur.

In his landmark book, The Mozart Effect, Don Campbell states that “by listening to music with longer, slower sounds, one can usually deepen and slow the breath, allowing the mind to calm down….As with breathing rates, a lower heartbeat creates less physical tension and stress, calms the mind, and helps the body heal itself.  Music is a natural pacemaker.”

Stress.  The American Institute for Preventative Medicine cites it as a key role player and contributing factor in both heart disease and cancer, two of the leading causes of death in the United States.  Best-selling author and physician, Dr. Andrew Weil, concurs saying “I am convinced that stress is the primary cause or aggravating cause of the majority of illness.” Tension in the mind translates itself into tension in the body and can cause a state of dis-ease in the body’s organs and systems.

No wonder the many forms of bodywork now prevalent in our society such as massage, Reiki, healing touch, acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, tai chi and Pilates are resulting in a direct benefit to our health.  Used in combination with peaceful music, the positive effects can even extend the healing experience beyond the hour or two of a session.  Some healthcare practitioners are “prescribing” music for their clients in order to extend the beneficial effects of their work.  If someone has had a positive experience listening to a certain piece of music during a session, being able to play the music at home will allow the effects to continue and cause the “Relaxation Response”  to kick in when the music is played and the memory stimulated.

What is it that makes music healing? Healing music as we have discovered is much more than just slow music with nature sounds.  We have identified multiple reasons why the music has a positive effect.  Some of them are listed below:

• Slow rhythms entrain bodily systems (heartbeat, pulse, digestive system, respiratory, muscles)

• Natural sounds (if present) give sense of peace

• Tones are nurturing, clear, warm and gentle

• Pace is slow but with a sense of joy and beauty

• Music doesn’t have hooks and repeated refrains that engage the mind (not demanding)

• Feeling is more like nature, flowing

• Sub-audio frequencies (if present) entrain brainwaves to alpha or theta state

A relaxed body and sense of inner calm are beneficial to restoring health and maintaining balance in the face of disease.  Often, the mind needs an extra tool to assist it in letting go of disturbing or repetitive thoughts.  Music has the ability to give the mind another focus and helps to lower stress levels, which in turn, helps strengthen the immune system.

Healing is about re-aligning the body with its own divine blueprint.  It is about returning to a dynamic state of balance from a temporary state of imbalance.  A primary way sound heals is through physical and emotional resonance.  Resonance occurs when two energy systems vibrate at the same frequency.  Certain music will cause the body and its systems to resonate with it and return to a state of balance.

Another aspect of healing with sound involves slowing down the brainwaves. Our brains emit a continuous and often varying vibration reflecting the state of our consciousness and attention.  When we are busy, physically and mentally active, or stressed, our brains emit Beta waves (15-21 hertz or cycles per second).  When we are in a peaceful, calm and meditative state, our brains emit Alpha waves (7-14 hertz) and we are more receptive to healing.  Theta brainwaves (4-7 hertz) are emitted in an even deeper and more dreamlike state.  Delta brainwaves (.5-5 hertz) indicate deep sleep, coma, or trance states.  Music with very slow sub-audio frequencies can help entrain the brain to go into the desired states.  Entrainment simply means causing one system to vibrate with another. A sub-audio frequency can be felt but not heard.  (Audible sound is in the range of 20-20,000 cycles per second.)  Music that contains very low frequencies under the mix can extend the healing effect of the practitioner’s work.

The intention of the musician is another aspect to consider when choosing healing music.

Sound is a carrier wave for intention and spiritual energy so the integrity and original intention of the musician are very important.  If music is made by formula and simply for commercial purposes, that is the intention of the artist and the music will have minimal healing effect.  On the other hand, if the musician is coming from a truly spiritual place, the benefits of the music will be all the more effective.

The level of healing gained by any musical piece is a function of the balance between the elements of intention, harmony, resonance, frequency, rhythm, and entrainment.  Because music is a form of art, there are also creative and artistic levels to consider and here we get into areas that are more intuitive and based on individual perception.  Slow music that is morose and moody will not have as positive an effect on the healing process as music that is joyful and uplifting and carries a sense of beauty and spirituality.  The good news is, there is much healing music available today that can assist the body worker to support the healing process and help the individual return to a state of wholeness and harmony with oneself.

Dudley Evenson and her husband, Dean Evenson, are award-winning musicians and co-founders of independent record label Soundings of the Planet, celebrating 30 years of creating Peace Through Music. They are sound healing pioneers and have produced over 60 albums since 1979. Contact Soundings of the Planet, www.soundings.com.

Sounding the Chakras to Bring Balance and Overcome Stress

by Dudley Evenson

Over the past few decades, much has been written and shared about the chakras.  Information drawn from ancient Indian metaphysical teachings has been joined by modern psychological and anatomical awareness to bring about a synthesis of understanding which has practical application in helping us to live healthy, harmonious lives. The chakras are the seven major energy vortices located along the central meridian from the base of the spine to the top of the head which are associated with major organs and glandular systems.  They also have psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects and are important to the harmonious function and integration of body, mind and spirit.

The word chakra means ‘a wheel that spins’ in Sanskrit.  We can imagine them as orbs or spherical balls of vibrational energy.  These subtle energy centers serve as gateways or transfer points between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our being.  As we come to a greater understanding of the chakras and how they work, we are better able to bring into balance the various aspects of our being and create a truly fulfilling life. Vibrant, radiant balance among all the chakras is the goal.

In these times of great economic uncertainty, many people are feeling vulnerable and unsure about their ability to pay their bills and cover their basic survival needs.  Issues such as these are very much related to the First Chakra or the Root Chakra as it is known.  This chakra is related to the Earth element and has to do with survival issues, what we do for work, how we feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves. Do we feel supported and well taken care of?  If not, we need to address these concerns by focusing on that chakra and use certain tools and techniques to enhance its function.  When we learn to identify our issues and become aware of which chakra they relate to, we are better able to bring that chakra into greater functionality and allow it to radiate fully the life force as it flows through us.

The first three chakras are related to the physical aspects of our being and are associated with the elements of Earth, Water and Fire relating to our needs for food, water, and energy.  Our Fourth Chakra is the transfer point between the lower physical chakras and the three higher spiritual chakras.  This Heart Chakra relates to the element Air and is about exchanging energy and of course giving and receiving love.  The Fifth Chakra is at the throat level and has to do with communication, relating to the element of Sound or ether.  The Sixth Chakra is our mental and vision center and relates to Light, while our Seventh Chakra is our Crown Chakra and connects us with Consciousness and Spirit.

A helpful tool for bringing the chakras into balance employs using the voice to tone and resonate the chakra.  Since sound is also a subtle energy, it has the ability to alter our state of consciousness.  When sound is coupled with intention, the result is magnified.  Of course, one of the most important aspects of making a sound relates to the breath.  When we focus on breathing deeply and fully, we are in fact bringing in more of the life force.  As we learn to control our breath, we are better able to control our thoughts and our mind.  Breathing that focuses on a short, full inhalation and long extended exhalation will have the greatest effect.  Including a sound with the exhalation can help to slow down the exhalation, creating the desired ratio of in and out breath.  A meditative practice that involves toning can help to resonate the various chakras and bring them into balance.

There are several systems of toning that can be used.  The ancient Sanskrit system of Bija mantras can be quite effective.  The order of the Bija mantras are (from first to seventh) Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Sham, Aum.  When done in a meditative state and when possible, using mudras (hand positions), toning the Bija mantras can be a highly effective way to center oneself and resonate all the chakras.

Another system that is helpful uses vowel tones associated with each chakra.  These are longer more open tones and can be very effective in controlling the breath and energizing the chakras.  A system developed by Jonathan Goldman uses these vowels (from root to crown) – uhh, ooo, ohh, ahh, eye, aye, eee.   With the Bija mantras one lets the ‘mmm’ sound resonate, whereas with the vowel toning system, the focus is on the long open sound.  The vowel tones can also be done in a scale from low to high, for example using the notes c-d-e-f-g-a-b.   The rainbow spectrum of colors can also be visualized from the lower chakras to the higher as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

One can also use a short affirmation to sing or state the principle one wants to focus on for each chakra.  It is important that the statement is positive and in the present tense.  Repeating it frequently with high intention or using the toning and color visualizations can help to create healthy chakras that will support the well being of body, mind and spirit.

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Dudley Evenson and her husband, Dean Evenson, are award-winning musicians, multi-media producers and co-founders of independent record label Soundings of the Planet which celebrates 30 years of creating Peace Through Music. They are sound healing pioneers and have produced over 60 albums since 1979.  The Evensons’ inspiring music of flute, harp and natural sounds has been used in hospitals, prisons, schools, and spiritual centers to support people’s healing or life process. The Evensons present multi-media events and teach an online courses at DailyOm.com called A Year of Guided Meditations and Satiama.com called Deepen Your Meditation Using Sound Tools: Toning, Mantra, Chanting and Affirmations.