Day 11 on “Use Your Voice”of “Silence & Sound” Chapter
From Remembering “Who Am I” Series
[Listen to the audio here]
Sound is used as a tool for healing, as previous post shared. One of the easiest method we can apply now is by using our voice. Something I am very passionate about, thus, I studied more and found out some good tips and practices from a book.
Entering The Power of Our Voice & how to use it
PS: The following content is based on what I have learned from James D’Angelo’s book: “The Healing Power of the Human Voice: Mantras, Chants, and Seed Sounds for Health and Harmony”.
The voice is with us wherever we go plus we have a conscious control of how to use it.
How else do we use our voice besides speaking? By singing. It is healthy to sing because the voice box or larynx can create far greater resonance effects than it can in speaking. Unnatural speech patterns are often bypassed through creating singing sounds.
Recap: In Tune & Out Of Tune
‘Tone’ in Greek means tension, that is produced by human voice or musical instrument. ‘Out of tune’ is when certain vibration pattern lose their correct frequencies then lead to dis-ease. ‘In tune’ is where every aspects of it vibrating at its correct frequency.
Sounds & Its Vibrations
The Hindus associate R sound with the fire element; M sound is the inner-directed passive vibrations felt in the head; AH represents from the heart region. The vowels are link closely to our feelings while the consonants relate more to the mental plane.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, founder of the Sufi Order in the West and master Indian musician, has written about the qualities and elemental characteristics:
- Earth: hope-giving, encouraging, tempting
- Water: intoxicating, soothing, healing, uplifting
- Fire: impressive, arousing, exciting, horrifying, awakening
- Air: uplifting, calming, detached
- Ether: inspiring, healing, harmonizing, convincing
How can we use our voice?
Note that James D’Angelo categories 4 ways:
- natural sounds,
- vocal toning,
The highest form of healing vibrations is by chanting and toning which has greater healing power than singing. With toning and chanting’s concentration and repetition, it allows time and space to enter deeply in the singer’s body, mind and spirit. While for music, there is a constant change of rhythms, keys, vocal lines and dynamics.
The word emotion means “a moving out from.”
In between speech and singing, there are other forms of natural sounds of our emotions such as laughing, screaming, crying, yawning, whistling, humming, wailing.
How can we utilise it?
- Natural sounds like gibberish (in high, low, soft, loud, whisper),
- yawning (open jaw to relax the throat, tongue, jaw),
- laughter (relief with 2 mins select one sound – ‘HUH-groin, HOH- belly, HAH-heart, HEH-throat, HEEE-head’ sounds),
- groaning (express frustrations with ‘Aw’),
- wailing (with ‘EE’), sighing (with ‘OH),
- humming (with ‘MMM’)
We can also start using our voice in..
1 Silence and meditation
During silence and meditation, toning and chanting can happen in between.
The preparatory silence before using our voices to set intention and prepare ourselves, it can be up to 30 seconds before producing sounds. It is also said to be ideal to not clap hands collectively after music performance as the irregular noise of clapping hands would disperse the aura-like energy established by the music which audience can be feed upon live. In India, audiences show their appreciation for classical music performance by waving their hands in the air. The silence after the vocal sounds are important to assimilate what was experienced and for centering.
Suggested Posture: Sit straight with feet on the ground, and hands with palms up resting on the legs. Lotus position is applicable too.Sitting upright is the ensure the energy flow from the base of the spine.
Close eyes to focus inward. The outward sound can slowly be in silence when it reaches the quietest level.
Voice toning or chanting can in movement meditation like Taichi or Qigong which are executed slowly in harmony with the energy flow. Develop your own intuitive movement by focusing on the parts of the body or energy centers. Say, to tune the heart center, you may put your hand on your heart and move them away from the body then return to the heart in rhythm with your toning or chanting.
3. Vizualization and touch
Vizualization can assist to direct the vibration of your voice to the areas in need of harmony. Using the hands as the tool for the mind to visualize as how ‘Reiki’ works to interchange circulation of energy. Combined with touch will creates more impact emotionally with a sense of self-love. This can apply on partnerships as well on cultivate mutual trust and bonding.
With simple form of breathing can improve the quality and the length of sound, plus with more air.
Practice this: Placing both of your hands on the abdominal area, breathing in with your stomach pushing outwards, and breathing out by contracting the abdomen muscles. This might not be a common practice for some but it allows our lungs to open up and to inhale more air, regardless if you breath in through the mouth or nose. Spend at least 3 minutes of this before the exercise.
Create a Ritual for Daily Practice
Practice: Open the throat
With 3 sounds: GING GANG GUNG
shape our mouth as though there is a round ball with lips open wide. Do not over stretch the jaw.Keep the tongue still at the bottom of the mouth. The voice will come from the throat. Repeating one after each other by allowing the air to flow through the throat and end with humming.
Morning before breakfast for a finer energy throughout the day. Or during evening. Basically, any time of the day.
In your own space, best not to fill with many things or feel saturated.
Suggested a ritual of toning or chanting (5 mins-10 mins) followed by silence (10 mins – 30 mins).
The basic position is done standing with feet apart, knees lightly bend to feel grounded. Loose hands at the side. If sitting, sit with straight back, slouching will inhibit the sound.
- Standing or sitting straight.
- Open your jaw as wide as possible to relax.
- Start with open throat exercise followed by breath work to get your system activated.
- Surrender yourself to the sound with intention.
- Close the ritual with silent period.
Enjoy listening to your voice and tuning yourself.