As a practitioner, teacher, and author on the topic of a holistic sound practices, I have come to terms with many awakening aspects of the practice many practitioners seem to overlook or have a misunderstanding thereof. Sound is often something many people in wellness seem to pick up, and assume their intuition will carry them through the understanding of try practice. To a point this may be true, but the reality is much different.
For the next few weeks, we will explore the idea of what it means to hold space. It is a concept thrown around. Yet, many people tend to simply lead a group rather than hold space. My approach to sound is not to work with individual energetic bodies, but yet to clear the clutter which surrounds them energetically. Thus, the body of the individually receiving must present itself as a feeling of safety to allow the parasympathetic nervous system to be the dominant aspect of the system to fully receive the benefits of the meditation. If one were to stay within the sympathetic nervous systems traits of fight or flight, the mind moves into places that are not conjunct with the body…thus creating a friction between what is needed and where they are at.
With this in mind, the most important part of holding space and working with sound is the individual…. you. The person who is holding space is more important than any gong, singing bowl, or instrument being used. The power of the individual to allow someone to feel welcomed as they are, at that moment, within their unique mental capacity is something chic carries greater weight above all else. No one truly knows what one carries into a space, for the burden of healing falls upon the individual. As the person they come to see, the practitioner holding space must hold love as a virtue above all else. My teacher once told me the best sound healers are those whom do not use sound at all. This is because the individual is a drop of water within the ocean of consciousness. The instruments are an extension of that same consciousness, grown from creativity but yet a non-biological form of consciousness that speaks its own language. The sound instruments bridge the gap between the still mind of the practitioner and the mind of the individuals which will receive what is needed in those moments.
So then, the practitioner must present themselves to the forefront of their own healing and spiritual journey. This is not something requires hours of meditation or hours of yoga. It is more a greater understanding of the evolution of life and being human. As someone whom meditated for three hours in the morning and took up to 3 yoga classes a day, I can say that that moment in time was cherished and full of cleansing, connection, community, and ease. The question then is, when that which is loved is taken away and you feel as if your actions are your identity, can you live the lessons of the practices and not the practices themselves? Did the deep lessons integrate into the true practice of life? Now, I live in the mountains of Vermont with the closest yoga studio about an hour away with a young daughter. My time and situation are to assure my family are secure. My practice is now a karmic and Bhakti practice, where I dedicate this time to lessening the burden to others. This is what I carry into the ceremonies and sound meditations. I took the time earlier to cleanse myself to be fully present for you.
In this, each person whom enters a space is carrying their entire life into the space. The evolution of a person’s entire life has brought them to a moment of time which is shared. Holding space for the evolution of consciousness is a regarded and scared event, and thus should be for the benefit of each person within that space. Remaining grounded during elevated practices allows one to anchor into the physical space and monitor somatic responses, changes in breath, or hypnotic jerks (involuntary movements). This awareness allows the practitioner to adjust the play to support the moment in that space. If an individual simply closes their eyes and drifts in the realm of consciousness, they are not holding space and there is no anchor within the space. We will dive deep into this in the following weeks.
In summation, the first step to holding space is holding one’s self as a regarded instrument that is more important than anything else within the space. To be kind, welcoming, and full of love is the greatest and most important aspect to any wellness practice. Your kindness will do more for the work than anything else. More so, being kind should not be something you must practice, it is something you are. It is not a trait which is turned on and off. Of course, we all move in and out of our emotional bodies, but kindness and love should emanate from your being like a flower gives its scent. It is part of who you are, not something you try to be. Once this is established, you can begin the practice.
I also want to be clear, the practitioner holding space is in no way more advanced in practice, we are n. There is no evolution of spirituality, there is only a deeper connection to source and ease of kindness. I have no greater understanding of God than anyone else. The only difference in one’s spiritual journey is the solidity of one’s faith in understanding the unfolding of life. Be present, love more, and be kind to those whom are unkind to you.