Tag Archives: toning

no more stress

Overcome Stress Using Simple Sound Tools

Are you feeling stress? Well, it sure seems like the times we live in are getting more and more crazy. With so much bad news (or even fake news) coming toward us, we tend to stress and get caught up in worrying about what did happen or what might happen to us and our world. Watching too much television or reading too many political posts on Facebook can get us quite worked up and even cause us to lose sleep at night. So, we’re here to remind you of some very basic tools to help overcome stress, whether it involves personal issue stress or stress based somewhere ‘out there’ in the world beyond.

For almost four decades Dean Evenson and I have been involved in creating peaceful, healing music. In the process of following our spiritual and creative path, we have learned of many simple, easy to use techniques that can help reduce the stresses in our lives and many of them involve music, our life passion. We are especially interested in accessing the power within us that is available when we close out all that busyness, the apparent conflicts and dichotomies pulling us in one direction or another. We are looking to get to that place inside where there is absolute stillness and a sense of inner peace and quiet.

Simple Sound Tools to De-stress

Most of the tools you are probably familiar with. Some of our favorites include breath, meditation, music, mantra, chanting, toning and affirmations. We recognize that quieting the mind is easier said than done, especially today when we are instantly aware of events occurring all over the world, many of which have nothing to do with us. What goes on in your mind is really the key. It is what forms your perception of your world. So having some tools or systems to tune into can carry us through troubled times. These are tools that we use to bring us back into that inner stillness, the quiet place within. And just so you know, we are rooting for humanity to thrive in this next coming time but more on that later.

The Basic Sigh

Probably the tool easiest to access is the breath. Simply taking a deep breath in, holding it a moment, and then letting out a long, slow exhalation is a good place to start. This basic sigh can help you reset your mind and body to a more peaceful vibration. Often when we are stressed or afraid, we are practically holding our breath, or at the very least, taking very shallow breaths. With conscious breathing, we are really bringing in the life force. Call it air, oxygen or prana, but know that without it, life ceases to exist. So take those long deep breaths and enjoy the calmness it brings. Focus on the breath and let the random or worrisome thoughts drift away.

Modern life is structured to get us geared up and ready to be productive members of society, or so they say. Drink the coffee and get the treadmill of the fast-paced world. Unfortunately, after all that gearing up we often find it difficult to unwind and settle down or are unable to fall asleep at night. So we need to develop practices that help us to slow down and bring ourselves to that place of inner stillness.

Mantra Affirmation

Repeating a short affirmation or mantra can help clear the mind. Simply saying (or singing) to yourself ‘I am. I am. I am,’ or another such positive phrase, can help to ground and center yourself. Getting the whole body to relax helps as well. Doing yoga or some stretches relaxes the body and at the same time, releases tension in the mind. In fact, one of the most important functions of yoga is not just to make your body strong and flexible, but it is primarily to ‘still or calm the whirlpools of the mind’ according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Walking is another simple way to move the body and calm the mind and conscious walking in nature takes one even deeper.

Often when you’re getting ready for bed and trying to fall asleep, that’s when all the mental chatter comes in. We recommending playing quiet, peaceful music in the hour or so before bedtime so that you can start to calm down from all the gearing up you have done all day. With a regular meditation practice you can develop control over your mental thought processes leading to a more relaxed and peaceful state of being. You can read more about chanting, affirmations, toning and mantra in other blog posts or articles at soundings.com. These are simple tools that will benefit you in the long run and make you a more calm and peaceful person. I believe that whatever peace we have inside us will extend out and when we touch the people around us with our peaceful nature, and they touch the people around them with their peaceful nature, we will surely have a more peaceful world.

Keep in Touch

I hope you watch my video. You can hear the fun story about singing my prayer song for Dr. Larry Dossey. I’m sharing these simple possibilities so you’ll know there are some easy and meaningful things you can do to make your life better. Let me know what resonates with you. I love to hear how others navigate their own turbulent waters. And when you comment on our blog, we’ll send you a free mp3 of our music in gratitude.

Peace Through Music Helps Local Vets

Dudley Evenson dogtags

Recently I was invited to do a presentation for veterans at the Bellingham Vet Center. Several years ago, Dean and I had visited there and dropped off some of our music and videos and it turns out they had been showing our Eagle River DVD at their gatherings and potlucks where people really enjoyed the relaxation effect of the images of nature and the peaceful music. Eagle River was actually created after our first visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC where we did a presentation on music and healing to the patients, many of whom were wounded in combat or suffering from PTSD . We received feedback from the commanding officers that they really needed that video of eagles and nature along the Nooksack River as it would help people dealing with their flashbacks and nightmares from the trauma related to their combat experiences. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is what many people suffer after extreme combat situations.
Walter Reed dog tags 2These are the dog tags the chaplain at Walter Reed gave us when we visited there a few years ago.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call a few weeks ago requesting a presentation about music for one of the local PTSD men’s groups.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but found a group of older Viet Nam era vets as well as some younger ones from more recent wars who were ready to work on dealing with their issues. As the leader said later, the men appreciated being able to step out of their comfort zone. I actually had them breathing, toning, singing a mantra and doing ‘I am’ affirmations. I also shared the RELAXATION TRAINING GUIDE we created for Walter Reed so they would have an overview of how to use music in their process.

Then a few weeks later I was invited back to work with a group of women dealing with PTSD, either as veterans themselves, or because of being married to a veteran who was suffering form PTSD. I found this group of women very open to what I was teaching them and much more able to express themselves through the singing, toning and affirmations I had them doing. It is interesting to me that what I am actually teaching these military folks is based on the yoga of sound and it really seems to work. The women want me to come back and go deeper into the process so I am excited to be able to share what Dean Evenson and I have been learning and teaching all these years about the healing power of sound and music, meditation and self-expression.

Here’s a link to the Eagle River DVD and also to Healing Sanctuary, an album we created after 911 to help people deal with trauma. Both of these were among several of our albums used at Walter Reed and given out by the chaplain there to the wounded.

Please add your thoughts about this important issue and especially if you have or know of anyone dealing with PTSD and I will send a free mp3 healing music track to those who comment.

World Sound Healing Day February 14, 2014

World Sound Healing Day

What if enough people set an intention for love to prevail and they all decided to take a moment on one day of the year to send out a tone representing their commitment to love – do you think it would make a difference?  Well, in case you want to be part of a worldwide experiment testing the LOVE FREQUENCY in action, you might want to join a great many of us who are choosing to send out the great AH tone of the heart chakra with the intention of sending out love to the whole planet.  This will be on Valentine’s Day when so many are considering love in all its facets.  Our good friends Jonathan Goldman and Andi Goldman have been sponsoring this planetary toning for many years. You can learn more from their new video and actually participate in creating a live group sound on their website on February 14th.  Whether you go through the process and listen in with others or just find a quiet space in your own home to sit and make the Ah tone, please consider joining this powerful sound healing experience of elevating the frequency of love on the planet.  Not much to lose and much to possibly gain.
Goldmans Evensons

Join thousands throughout the planet for the 12th Annual World Sound Healing Day on Friday, February 14, 2014.  At 12 noon (local time in your time zone) sound forth for 5 minutes with the ‘Ah’ tone created and projected with the energy of compassion and love, sending a sonic valentine to Gaia, our Mother Earth.

At that time, you can also go to the Temple of Sacred Sound to enhance the vibratory effect as we sound together for Global Harmonization, planetary peace and healing,  If you cannot tone at noon, sounding any time during the day will help create positive shift and change for our planet on World Sound Healing Day.

The purpose of World Sound Healing Day is to:

  1. Heal Our Planet!
  2. Heal Our Waters!
  3. Raise Our Consciousness!

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.