Tag Archives: consciousness

The Healing Power of Sound with Jonathan Goldman

Jonathan Goldman has spent a lifetime dedicated to creating sounds, vibrations, and frequencies that facilitate healing within the human body, mind, and spirit.  He is the director of the Sound Healers Association and can be found at www.healingsounds.com.  I have been enjoying the 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up which is available on his site.  It is a quick and enjoyable experience you can include in your wellness routine.

There are many world traditions that have long known the healing power of sound.  On Goldman’s site you can research these ancient belief systems as well as learn about how modern science is finally beginning to validate these ideas.  Feel free to take a look at this PDF where he explains how we can best receive the benefits of the 7 Minute Chakra Tune Up.  The health improvements one can expect include:

 Increased oxygen in the cells

 Lowered blood pressure and heart rate

 Increased levels of melatonin

 Reduced levels of stress-related hormones

 Release of endorphins—self-created opiates that work as “natural pain relievers”

 Increased levels of nitric oxide (NO), a molecule associated with the promotion of healing

 Release of oxytocin, the “trust” hormone

I have no affiliation with http://www.healingsounds.com or Jonathan Goldman.  I am a fan of his work, appreciate what he does, and it is my hope as many people as possible can benefit from it. Happy listening.


Mindfulness and Dharma Talks with Tara Brach

The past two months I’ve witnessed my head space and thoughts move to a better place due to Washington D.C. based meditation teacher, Tara Brach. I first heard about her thanks to Maria Popova over at brainpickings. Through listening to her dharma talks via podcast and using some of the guided meditations on her webpage I have found deeper compassion for myself and a healthier way of viewing the world. Her teachings offer a chance to move from victim-hood to being an agent of change in your own life and others.

If you have the opportunity to scroll through her past talks Parts 1 and 2 about the “Power of Self-Compassion,” will give you new insight into the human condition and how to deal with it.

One titled, “Earth’s Crisis,” created an arena for me to deal with my own fears regarding the worldwide ecological crisis.

A Generous Heart,” explores not only why generosity and giving make us feel so good, but how creating that space in our heart can actually help us heal ourselves and our relationships with others.

Perhaps my favorite part of the podcast, aside from the peaceful state of mind it puts me in and the space for reflection on current issues in my life it creates, is all of the great quotes, anecdotes, poems, and comics she shares with the audience. From Rumi to Emerson to comics about things like a mouse with a cat psychiatrist, and everything in between, Brach infuses each lecture with references that either make you laugh or truly do inspire. Here are just a few that I’ve enjoyed so far.

  1. From Paul Hawken’s 2009 commencement speech, “In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”
  1. Also from the same speech, “Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.
  2. From Cami Walker, No matter how much we have materially, we are often in a place of scarcity. We never think we have enough or that we’re good enough. Instead of getting lost in a sense of lack, once we realize we are part of something bigger, it becomes clear we have many gifts to offer the world.”
  3. From George Eliot:

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard, 
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went —
Then you may count that day well spent.

  1. Joanna Macy’s poem, “Bestiary.
  2. From Rumi,

    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I’ll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass
    the world is too full to talk about.”

Scientific Studies Validate What Our Hearts Have Been Intuitively Telling Us For Millenia


I had the pleasure of rounding out Thanksgiving weekend by reading some great articles about the heart.  Many of us have felt the intuitive power of the heart.  Those of us who have been sick may have seen how our emotions affected our health.  We talk about how when you live from your heart you will be aligned with all that is.  At the Institute of HeartMath they call this “heart coherence” and they have been working on making it scientific fact.

Please enjoy this article about “heart coherence” and heart consciousness and follow it up with this video from the IHM that conveys the information visually.

“The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about 60 times greater in amplitude, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.”

A big thanks and shout-out to the Institute of HeartMath, everyone involved there, and all of the incredible work that is being done.

Origins Movie, free until Sunday, November 23rd, don’t miss!

“Four years, 19 countries, and 24 experts in anthropology, medicine, ecology, and health have exposed the roots of our DNA and how to prevent the modern world from making you sick.”

Watch the Origins movie here!  Free until Sunday. November 23rd, 2014.

Are you looking to take your health into your own hands?

This movie provides a basic overview, with a positive spin of course, of where the modern world is headed and how we can take care of ourselves given the issues we face.  It talks about the importance of looking back towards millenia of tradition before stepping forward.  It also reminds us to vote with our wallets by stopping giving money to the people who are making us sick. I really enjoyed it and hope you do too.


Please follow the link below to read a great article by Amy Lansky.  She is the author of Impossible Cure, an incredible book on homeopathy that helped me put my own healing journey into perspective and understand the workings behind my experience.  The article below gives a nice introduction to homeopathy and the basics on how scholars and scientist believe other energy healing modalities work.


Healing and the Hero’s Adventure

“…we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.  The labyrinth is thoroughly known.  We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god.  And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.  Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence.  And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.” – Joseph Campbell

Dealing with a chronic condition can be viewed as a long ordeal, but in many ways it mirrors the hero’s quest. A journey is undergone and eventually some greater knowledge is gathered and brought back to be shared. There is always a moment of isolation that separates the hero from ordinary life, a “why me?” sort of lament. It could come in the form of an illness, a task or destiny that needs fulfilling, or as in the case of Bilbo Baggins, an unexpected journey. In this moment we are forced to ask ourselves how to proceed.  Along the way helpers and demons will present themselves in many forms. Healers may come save the day, while in other cases one may receive misguided information. What works for some will not work for others. Each adventure into the unknown is different, but one’s faith will be tested in every case.

A path opens up to those on the quest. One full of hardship and suffering, despair and deceit.  We feel deceived by our bodies and by fate or God, and then by doctors who can help with the symptoms, but fail to offer an optimistic view or how to deal with the cause. However, it is also a path full of unexpected coincidences, spontaneous remissions, the right healer with the right method of healing, and other fruits brought forth by this forced adjustment to our usual way of life.

The hero’s journey is one of suffering and isolation, but at the same time one of union and sometimes even great joy, particularly upon breaking through to the other side, having attained a new perspective. Whether one becomes fully cured or simply adapts their condition to a new way of life, without a doubt there is always a healing that took place. An emotional healing that only one who has walked the path can understand. A coming to terms with the state of the universe and their place in it, a way of viewing the world that finally makes sense. It is there for anyone to find, we are all heroes after all, but those faced with illness are offered a special opportunity for rapid change, a freedom to leave all preconceived notions behind.

I recently watched a movie called The Sacred Science. It follows eight people with chronic conditions who journey to the Amazon of Peru seeking healing. They agree to spend 30 days working with the healing Shamans there. The patients under a special “diet” that includes certain foods, long periods of isolation and treatment with ayahuasca, and other plant medicines, as a means of gaining a new insight on their condition and breaking old life patterns they may have been stuck in. The majority are patients who tried everything allopathic medicine had to offer, and only then decided to give a different method a shot. Five of the eight patients come back completely off their medications and markedly improved.

Each participant reflected on experiencing a new level of consciousness and way of viewing their life and the world. Although they may never be able to fully explain the experiences leading to these insights to others, they know the impact it had on their own lives. An inner journey towards inner and outer health; mind, body, and soul. Having come out the other side (even when not completely cured), illness can then be viewed as a gift of suffering, a gift that led to a higher state of awareness, a higher quality of being. Many heroes have walked the labyrinth before and I hope others will continue to see their struggle and opportunity in the same light.

A personal case study: How much does our mind affect our symptoms?

Back in Spain again. The frightening images begin to replay in my mind. Lumbering up subway stairs fatigued, only to find myself nearly too weak to push open the heavy door. Leaning on a desk for support in front of a full class of students, pretending to feel OK. Waking up with fear every workday, wondering if I’ll have enough energy to get through it. Hours and hours in waiting rooms and on public transportation between appointments with people who have little time for me, lacking the personal touch most doctors don’t seem to possess anymore. Standing on the scale to see I’m 20 pounds below my normal weight and then being told by various specialists that I’m allergic to many foods or that my body won’t tolerate other ones…what to eat to keep from withering away? The terror of being in a crowded subway train full of people with sniffles and sneezes on a rainy day after having a doctor tell me my immune system was functioning at a sub-par level. Frightful hours on the internet trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with me (never a good idea).

Suddenly, being back in Spain, old symptoms start to show up again. It doesn’t make any sense. You see, I felt fine over the summer. After close to 10 months of getting worse and worse and then eventually slowly improving, from what was determined to be Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, I had a pretty great summer back in California. It wasn’t perfect, there were bad days and moments of doubt, but for the most part I was pretty normal. My symptoms were mostly under control. I had started doing activity again. Light hiking, short jogs, yoga, I was even starting to get back into surfing. I could enjoy a beer or glass of wine without instantly feeling light-headed. I took trips to Mexico and New York. I was back up to my pre-Peace Corps weight and looked just the same as before I left.  Most importantly, I didn’t go to bed wiped out, wondering how I’d feel the next day.

So how could this be happening again? This year in Spain was supposed to make up for last year. I was actually going to have energy to dedicate to my English classes and students this time, rather than feigned enthusiasm masking a depressed-laden exhaustion. But here I was…manifesting many of the same symptoms I thought I had overcome. Strange nerve sensations made my arms feel numb. My sciatica was back, and my legs felt weak when I walked. I was sore all over and felt nausea when I tried to eat. I had trouble getting down most types of food. My groin, parts of my arms, and chest were red and itchy. Physically I felt like I had been catapulted directly back to the land of all of the issues from before.

Logically it didn’t make any sense. How could changing geographic locations, returning to a place, bring back all of this? At home I was fine. This went on for 3 to 4 days as I explored the issues at hand and dove into my emotions about the whole thing. Once I was honest with myself I realized that I was afraid I would get worse again and thinking about a lot of “what if” scenarios regarding my livelihood. It was starting to look like last year because I was afraid it would be like last year. I was consumed by a subconscious fear that had worked its way to the surface. I cried and I panicked. It was all one, big nervous breakdown. At last as I slept one night I had an overall sense of calm wash over me and I knew it would be okay. The next day I felt back to normal.

To what extent do our thoughts and fears dictate our experiences? Just what’s lying below the surface of conscious thinking? How do we put ourselves in a place of mind to thrive rather than thrash about? To choose health rather than illness?