Fresh from my CIIS sound healing class tonight, I feel clear and free. One of the questions this week was, “How has your relationship with sound changed in the past month since starting this class?” Many people described their experiences as follows: listening for and craving silence, hearing the sound of their own emotions, making sound as a way to express difficult emotions, and feeling more free in their ability to make sound.

This made me think of voice and truth. I have been focusing a lot on trying to speak my truth, in words. But what about other ways, beyond words? The more ways we have of expressing ourselves through our bodies, the more freedom we can experience. Sometimes words are inadequate, as I’ve mentioned here. I do note the irony of my rushing to my computer to write words to try to capture what I’ve experienced after each of these amazing sound immersions. Now I’ve started capturing a lot on MP3 recordings, which are priceless. Scratch that. The experience of having been there and felt it throughout my body is priceless. But the recordings are one way to help bring me back.

Silvia shared with us that her own personal mantra since 1992, embarking on her own spiritual journey, has been “First Feel Free” – the 3 F’s. I liked that. She is taking us on the journey of feeling freedom with sound first. Making all kinds of sounds that don’t have to qualify as “music” or be “meaningful”. Just listen and play and feel free in your body. Realize that you are not your voice. You are not just one voice. You can have many voices. You are not a “soprano” or a “mezzo”. You are all of that and more that you don’t even know until you try.

This of course turns on its head so many Western classical music conventions and categories. I think back to all the specific training I’ve received in music, and it is like going back to study the things we never bothered to talk about – the sound elements before they all had such specific meaning and organization attached to them. Primordial sound is the essential range of human expression…before language, there was sound. We humans now have more sophisticated technology, languages, and codes, but we have also narrowed our notion of what constitutes acceptable forms of expression. The beauty is that human potential is timeless – even today we all can gain access to the dormant parts of ourselves that have been present throughout all of human existence. We can practice an “ancient” devotional chanting, or a “postmodern” conglomeration of rapidly changing voice sound clips, and it doesn’t matter what year we are living in, or what city we are standing in. We share a human experience, and can create something together in doing so.

I’m going to bask in the joy now of having let go of something tonight. I keep getting reminded over and over again that everything is impermanent. There is such liberation in this concept that our suffering, as well as our joy, are both impermanent. It reminds me not to attach too tightly to either one. It’s amazing to me that sound – so simple! – can color the mind with universal emotion that liberates us from personal emotions. Imagine that the feeling of freedom is just one vibration – one thought, one sound, one breath – away.

In closing, I share with you the sonic meditation from today’s class:

Listen, listen, this wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.” – Thich Nhat Hanh