Because Sound Healing is so powerful in itself, our most popular session is a simple Sound Bath. After breathing, humming and chanting, we ask the students to lie comfortably on yoga mats and practice deep listening while two or three practitioners walk around the room playing the instruments. The sound vibrations create calibrated waves/overtones that tune the nervous system and promote inner peace. The students are invited to share their experience with the group, voluntarily. The session should last at least 45 minutes, ideally one hour.
Or we might introduce group discussion, musical improvisation, drumming, body percussion and psychodrama to accompany themes that are relevant to their reality. Listening to others respectfully and being listened to is in itself a healing experience. The goal is to create a safe space where damaged self-esteem and personal issues may be brought to light without judgement.
Protocols and Methodology / Themes for the HeartTones workshops:
Non-Violent Communication: (This is a special four part series to foster compassion and combat bullying)
The Iceberg: What we see on the outside of a person vs who they are under the surface
Deep Listening: Reading between the lines, interpreting with the ears of the heart.
Walk in their shoes: Observe and empathize by developing the ability to see through someone else’s eyes.
The Trust Factor: Analyzing the word trust through story-telling and psycho drama. What happens when trust is established/broken?
Crossroads - decision making
Discovering my voice
The power of my thoughts
What am I most afraid of? How can I face and overcome it?
Peer pressure…what is it and how does it affect me?
Staying true to myself
Recognizing and Overcoming Addictions
Grit and Resilience
Creativity or mediocrity
My decision to go all the way
Each complete workshop should last at least 1.5 - 2 hours
Example: "The Iceberg" designed to foster compassion and undermine bullying, might look like this:
Opening: Deep breathing and relaxation followed by chanting on a single note, and then in harmony, the group is divided into five or six smaller groups. The facilitator will give each group a note to sing. Everyone is encouraged to participate without criticism, for the sake of creating one big sound. With eyes closed, everyone moves around the room freely singing their note and stops at the signal next to whomever they have near, forming a new circle. Everyone acknowledges the new person on their right, and their left.
Body percussion and vocal improvisation with sounds and rhythm until the group is synchronized and relaxed. Everyone sits down in this new position.
The facilitator draws an iceberg on the board. The smaller part above water represents what we can see about another person, the students call out what these characteristics might be; how the person is dressed, the color of their skin, how they speak, their manners, their age etc.
Now, we talk about what’s under the water or the unseen aspects that might make the individual behave the way they do; upbringing, culture, self-esteem, lack of self-esteem, fears, losses, traumas, customs, loneliness, need for approval, dreams, expectations, handicaps, failures, successes, difficulties, talents, personality etc. We begin to see that the greater part of the person is not visible to the eye and what we judge outwardly does not accurately represent what’s going on inside. Everyone is the result of many factors. We ask everyone to tell us where they are from and we gage the number of places, cities or countries represented in the room.
Group discussion: How does this change our way of seeing others? If we could remember the Iceberg when we meet someone, would this help us to be less judgmental? Are we all the same? Should we all be the same? What makes us hide who we really are?
Song: (Everyone gets the words in hand) True colors, Phil Collins…. sing together, anyone who wants to improvise harmonies is encouraged to do so. At some point, each participant should try to focus on the person they have next to them while they are singing. This can be a bit embarrassing, but it helps to overcome barriers and shyness. It might take a few repeats to get the song sounding nice.
Conclusion: Yoga mats, everyone lies down and closes their eyes. Repeat deep breathing and bring the image of the iceberg to mind, remembering the message of compassion, understanding, looking deeper, friendship, helping someone etc. The facilitator will play the instruments; Kochi chimes, singing bowls, tuning forks and rattles, passing the instruments near each one so they can hear the sounds clearly. The group is encouraged to let the sounds and embrace the vibrations.
After about 15-20 minutes of listening, everyone sits up and is invited to share a reaction to the experience. This is not a requirement, but absolutely spontaneous. Some of the student may fall asleep which is perfectly fine. No one should feel at all ashamed or confronted.
I have experienced wonderful reactions to this workshop in particular. It sets the tone for further communication in the group, everyone feels safe and accepted.
The group dynamics will change according to each theme. Psycho drama, improvisation and story-telling are some of the ways to make the workshops fun and effective. Trusting in the power of Sound to deepen the experience, we always end with a Sound Bath.
To ensure that the Sound Meditation Program is relevant to your students and aligns with issues being addressed by other professionals, it would be helpful to work with you to tailor the Program in advance.
Compensation: To start off, our group of therapists are willing to offer a series of workshops with or without compensation. A complete proposal for ongoing intervention will be directed to the appropriate departments or individuals on request.