power of music to connect us with our Divine Source and
to open our whole being to the natural healing forces within
is widely known and largely ignored. Music has been used
in spiritual and healing rituals for many thousands of years
by virtually every culture and civilization on the planet.
In nearly every culture that has existed, the power of music
has been amplified by group participation in music, rhythm
and dancing. Most of the music created in the past has been
used to connect with a higher source, to induce healing,
and often to tell stories and preserve history through the
the present day, particularly in the West music is predominantly
entertainment. There is little group participation as musical
events tend to be spectator events with a "star"
performer and an audience. Outside of churches and spiritual
and new age centers there is little use of music for spiritual
purposes or for healing and almost no group participation
in music with family, friends or community. Sadly, most
of our spontaneous expression of music as children is greeted
with another family member putting their fingers in their
ears or worse. In rare cases where obvious talent is present
and recognized, the talented person is often looked upon
with awe and envy.
cultures past everyone participated. They all chanted, they
all sang, they all danced and made rhythm. There have always
been leaders and specially gifted musicians but they have
not always had the exclusive right to the joy and higher
experiences that music so easily provides to all who participate.
of the power of music is still very evident, of course.
Thousands of people pay a sizable percentage of their pay
check to experience their favorite bands or musicians. There
IS some group magic that can take place in a concert, as
the power of the words and the music itself connects individuals
to something deeper in themselves that connects them to
that same something in others. There is still a great deal
of popular music with meaningful words and gifted musicians
who are truly channels for something larger than their egos,
but percentage wise not very much.
This is changing however, and
many are now beginning to experience some of the higher gifts
music offers us all. Group drumming is becoming increasingly
popular as people discover the hypnotic and healing high of
losing oneself in ongoing repetitive rhythms and dance. Chanting
is growing in popularity as people experience the grounding
and at the same time the ecstatic high that can be experienced
through chanting. You can chant by yourself or listen to chants
or in my opinion experience the greatest high by participating
in group chanting.
has evolved in every culture from Indian, Native American,
Sufi, Christian, and on and on! It has even surfaced in
some popular music such as John Lennon's "Give Peace
A Chance". There are now new age and world music sections
in most music stores where you can find chants and spiritually
uplifting music from many sources. In new age bookstores
and catalogs there is a great abundance of healing music,
chanting, meditative music and sounds, and universal spiritual
music. The power of music to soothe, relax, invigorate,
release emotion, and organize our thoughts is widely recognized
and experienced by millions daily. Still, as a central force
capable of uniting us with the very source of creation and
the vast storehouse of healing energy, music seldom receives
recognition equal to it's power.
are however, now available, volumes of great books and articles
about the healing and spiritual power of music. There are
thousands of case studies of psychological healing that
has taken place through the use of music. Music has successfully
been used to access and release deeply hidden and repressed
emotions to aid in the healing of unprocessed emotional
trauma and psychological damage. The use of music and rhythm
has been used to greatly enhance physical therapy when repetitive
movement was necessary for rehabilitation but painful for
the patient. If you listen to music with a tempo slower
than your heartbeat, your heart will slow down! The mind-body
connection that has finally gained acceptance and scientific
validation tells us that our emotional health directly affects
our physical health and vice versa.
meditation, movement and dance, affect our whole being,
physically, emotionally and spiritually in profound and
tangible ways. The cosmology or creation myth of nearly
every culture has sound, music, words, or vibration as the
source of all that is. "In the beginning was the Word."
Science and physics today corroborate the ancient wisdom
of the Vedas from India, the world as we know it is an illusion!
There is nothing that is really solid, just pinpoints of
energy that seem to pulsate in and out of existence and
everything vibrates! Ultimately vibration is all there is!
Hazrat Inayat Khan expresses this thoroughly and eloquently
in his book, "The Music of Life". It's all so
incredible, so amazing and so simple. Like all the secrets
of the spirit and of the universe, the answers are always
present and immediately available, we need only be awakened.
Music possesses the power to awaken.
& SUGGESTED READING
Healing Voice" by Joy Gardner-Gordon
Roar of Silence" by Don G. Campbell
& Your Mind" by Helen L. Bonny & Louis M. Savary
Medicine" by Ralph Spintge, M.D., Roland Groh, M.D.
Gift of Music" Compiled by Suzanne Beilenson
as Medicine" by Kay Gardener
of Music" by Carl E. Seashore
Medicine & Miracle's" by Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
and Sound in the Healing Arts" by John Beaulieu
the Soul" by Larry Dossey, M.D.
World of Sound" by Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Therapy in the Treatment of Adults with Mental Disorders"
by Robert F. Unkefer
Studies in Music Therapy" by Kenneth E. Brussia