Sound Healing in the Community

Report from two Transpersonal Conferences by College Tutor Hara Willow

I represented the College of Sound Healing at two Transpersonal conferences this autumn. I hadn’t worked for a year due to disability and surgery, through which I used Sound Healing consistently to support my healing process.

Months of being unable to walk, experiencing life in a wheelchair, and having brutal surgery had profound impacts on my psychological state. So I came to these events not knowing how this would have changed me and my work.

I created a totally new Sacred Sound based Celtic Medicine Wheel Ceremony, using chants I wrote in Welsh, for both events. This included chants to call for guidance in the east, and to connect to land, sea, sky and Awen (flowing spirit) in the west.

We used toning for the chakras in the south. In the north I used an adapted version of a Druid peace prayer from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) and a Shamanic healing practice called Transfiguration.

The first of these events was the British Psychological Society’s Transpersonal Section conference in September. I was somewhat intimidated and dismayed when one Keynote speaker, Philip Carr-Gomm, the last head of OBOD, told me he was going to attend my Sacred Sound Circle.

Labyrinth and Woods

The ceremony proved so popular that most of the delegates came. I hadn’t worked for a year, and I had lost my confidence as a result, and so I was feeling like a novice all over again. Talk about working outside your comfort zone. I was so nervous I asked everyone to close their eyes while I sang my medicine song!

I included a sacred drumming circle in the ceremony in the UK as I was able to bring all my instruments in my car. The ceremony was wonderful with so many of us joining hearts, minds, souls and a shared intention to send waves of healing sound into the collective consciousness of humanity. I was overjoyed when Mr Carr-Gomm told me before he left that he thought my ceremony was beautiful.

I was a little less nervous when I offered a slightly different version of the ceremony in early October at the European Transpersonal Association (EUROTAS) conference in Tuscany. This was a much larger event with around 460 people from 43 countries. I decided to hold my ceremony in the woods, underneath beautiful umbrella pines.

When I reached the spot I liked I found a large labyrinth already set up there, made from pine needles, cones and leaves. It was the perfect place! Lots of people came and we sang, chanted, toned and joined our hearts together.

It was a multitude of people from many nations sharing sacred sound and sending it out to lend strength, courage, love, peace and harmony to all our relations, to our Mother Earth, to all people and realms of being.

It was truly a gift and an honour to hold sacred space at these events and to represent our wonderful College, which has brought so much joy and meaning to my life.

Sound Healing with the Homeless in Glasgow - Sarah Perricone

I was engaged to work with Scottish Opera on a singing project with homeless and formerly homeless people in the East End of Glasgow that was in partnership with the Lodging House Mission. I worked on an opera that had been written for and by them and gave two performances of this in Glasgow.

Having worked closely with them I got to know some of these people's stories. I had no doubt in my mind that they could benefit from sound healing and approached the project manager to ask if I could offer a group sound session and explained what would happen.

At the first sound session I did ten people turned up and lay on the floor and experienced the session. I used my gong, singing bowls, tingshas, violin, chimes, rattle and did quite a lot with my voice. I started off with a gentle relaxation to get them settled and explained a bit about it. Some people took longer to settle than others and were messing about and laughing but within 5-10 minutes there was peace, very little movement and a sense of deep relaxation.

The feedback I got was :

  • "most relaxed in years"
  • "loved the tuning forks and the gong"
  • "takes you away from all your worries"
  • "feels like a spiritual experience"
  • "I wanted to stay there all day"
  • "it really helps you feel better"
  • "gets you away from the noise of life"
  • "lets you switch off from your problems"

One man said he felt that he was on the top of a mountain listening to the most wonderful concert. They were so appreciative of it and said they were so privileged to have it. Word got around the homeless centre and I was invited back and the manager asked to take part on the next session, which she did, and the feed back was equally good.

The homeless people have asked if they can have the sound healing every week. The manager told me that very few things that are on offer for the homeless have a 100% positive feedback. She is looking into the possibility of running it on a regular basis.

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