Inspiration. Without it nothing gets created. So we keep searching for a muse. Sometimes, mind gets insanely busy, making no space for inspiration, and we forget that the solution is to still ourselves and take time for peaceful contemplation. We get stuck in the repetition of our obsessive thinking, and somehow we create loops in time, finding ourselves living the same experience over and over, until the lesson is learnt. Breath brings us back to our senses, we remember to observe our sensations and honour how we feel, we recover the balance of our mind and find equanimity in the midst of change. Memory keeps a record of that which makes us react, and maybe that is why so many of us choose to loose it at some point or the other, because reactions are not always well advised by wisdom, but the body remembers, life after life. As life keeps happening to us moment by moment, even when we are unaware, either we create or we are created. Inspiration is needed.
When inspiration is gone, we always can count on Music to help us reconnect with ourselves. That is why it is healing, music connects us to ourselves, it lights up the whole brain; emotional, motor and creative areas.
A group of researchers discovered that playing music to premature babies reduce their pain and promotes healthy feeding habits, which helps them gain weight. Clinical directors and music therapists use instruments that mimic heartbeats and womb sounds, as well as their own voices, to comfort their newborns. Hospitals around the world use music as a way to ease patients’ pain, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, depression, and trauma. Military programs use Music to help veterans recover their sanity and health, lost in war. The book The Sound of Music details the effects of music and describes the results to the experiments conducted with plants, some music kills the plants, some music helps them grow. So much can be said about the healing benefits of music, people with neurological damage or affected with Parkinson disease can “recover a symmetric step and a sense of equilibrium.” The musical beats can serve as a step signal to the brain. Music can revert dementia, enhance hearing and prevents its loss; it helps a damage heart by reducing arterial pressure, and anxiety. It has been proven that to listen to songs that provoke a sensation of happiness, enhances blood circulation and helps vascular health. Music enhances physical workout, sooths teenager moods and influences behaviour. Music Therapy is a respected profession since 1950s. The musician is the hierophant of the mysteries of the Universe, raising human awareness through vibration and the healing power of tone.
Inspiration? It is simple to find, really. It comes right before
an exhale. *
A yoga practice is a holistic process. Traditionally, unless you are practicing Kirtan yoga, music is not used during yoga practice, as it can distract your attention and make you loose the balance of your mind. That being said, in a world like the one we live today, full of distractions and tons of subliminal information targeted to our consciousness, using Music during asana practice can be a great experience that helps us focus, provides motivation, and generally makes the whole effort more enjoyable. This is because the mind needs to focus its attention to achieve the state of yoga. For the mind to be able to focus its complete attention it must be free from negativity, craving and aversion. In a wholesome yoga practice, the practitioner follows a very clear path of morality in order to be able to concentrate the mind. A yogi vows to do nothing harmful, to speak truthfully (avoiding gossip, exaggeration and harmful speech), vows to avoid taking that which doesn’t belong to you, to have a sexual behaviour that harms no one (including the self), and to keep the mind clear by not intoxicating it with alcohol or drugs. By following this morality (Sila), the yogi can achieve the right type of concentration (Samma Samadhi) so the mind can be purified and have access to insight, making room for wisdom, insight in the true nature of reality (pañña). Since most of us are in the beginnings stages of our understanding of Yoga, our motivation to practice might come only from the health benefits of the physical practice of postures (asana), and we might choose to ignore the other 7 parts of the practice. Here, the right kind of Music can help.
Observe, if you pay no attention to your morality or your breath, your mind will behave like what is called a “monkey mind”, in a loop of repetitive thoughts about what others did to you, what you did to others, what you did in the past and what you plan to do in the future; a worried mind gives no room for the right kind of concentration to happen, and balance is lost; instead of healing the issues that bring you to your yoga practice, without concentration you are bound to create more negativity, and your practice will only suffer. So that is why Music helps. The right kind of music. A good tune will tune you to listen and observe your sensations. By listening to the right kind of music you can ease yourself into your breath, which is the recommended focus point for our attention – simply because your breath is connected to your mind, and there is nothing more present than the breath. The more attention you give to your breathing, the less thinking your mind does. The mind can’t focus and think at the same time. The smaller the focused area is, the stronger the focus of the mind is, and it can focus on your most subtle sensations. And that is what yoga practice goal is, to awaken your awareness at the subatomic level, at the deepest level of the mind. By observing your sensations from a yoga practice perspective, ignorance is not longer, negativity is eradicated, and you learn to understand that sensations only arise to pass away. This understanding helps you to not react, and to keep your mind balanced, peaceful, and equanimous in the midst of change. This is wisdom. As unwanted things happen, or wanted things do not happen, you learn to not react with craving or aversion, and be the master of your mind. Why attach to this and suffer if this is going to change? Why reject that and suffer if that is going to change? All is impermanent. Just observe patiently, aware, equanimous…and feel the music. *
It is not only a good idea, it is a natural law: everything in the Universe is vibration. “Vibration though sometimes subtle, it is real. Blessing our food – giving thanks – is also an important piece of healthy, balanced eating. Putting the intention of gratitude into the food we eat enhances its vibrational properties. Reciting a mantra is a way of connecting with and manipulating very specific subtle energies. Mantra is the pure essential energy of Sound, and Sound in its most essential and pure manifestation has infinite creative and healing potentiality.”
Tibetan Medicine, a natural herbal medical science mentions Mantra Healing as a method of treatment. Tibetan Medicine has two primary goals: 1. Prevention of Disease – through healthy diet and correct habits of lifestyle. 2. Treatment of Disease – when illness has manifested. In Traditional Tibetan Medicine, Treatment generally falls into Four basic categories: Therapeutic Diet, Modifications to lifestyle factors, Use of herbal Medicines, Application of External Therapies. Mantra Healing can be used separately as a treatment in its own right, or it can be combined with any of the four above-mentioned treatment modalities in order to enhance their effects. When used in conjunction with diet, Mantras can be used to empower foods for therapeutic purposes, or to detoxify contaminated foods. We are what we eat, consider what vibration it is that you want to eat today and sing a mantra while cooking. Season your food with some Ra Ma Da Sa for healing or Har Haray Haree for prosperity. According to Spirit Voyage publication, Yoga retreat chefs, Bir Singh and Sirgun Kaur of Austin, say they use Mangala Charan by Satkirin Kaur Khalsa “when energy gets low.” They say it picks them up as the chefs and “puts good energy in the food for the students to keep up.”
Baja Sur, is a unique and special land. We are home to a Dzogchen retreat center of Tibetan traditions and healing called Los Naranjos, where educational workshops, festivals and retreats, are offered to the practitioner. For more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org