BEYOND HEALING SOUNDS:
©2004 by Jonathan Goldman
When I wrote my book, HEALING SOUNDS: The Power of Harmonics, I had a three fold purpose: first, I wanted to bring awareness of the healing power of sound to the public. Second, I wanted to bring awareness of the concept of overtones (or harmonics) to the public. Third, I wanted to write a useful teaching vehicle that would teach about harmonics, sound and much more. I am grateful that these purpose have been achieved.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of HEALING SOUNDS is a formula I created in it: “Frequency + Intent = Healing”. In this formula, “Frequency” can be understood as the physical aspect of sound—the actual cycles per second that are created through sound. This is certainly one way that sound is measured, though of course there are many others. It is really a metaphor for sound in general. It was initially created years before when I was trying to correlate different systems of sound that resonated the etheric centers of the body known as the “chakras” (a sanskrit word meaning wheel) and found that different people were able to successfully use different sounds (including different mantras and different tones) to resonate the same chakra. In addition, different people were able to successfully use the same sounds (including mantras and tones) to resonate different chakras. This was also apparent for people (both scientists, spiritual teachers and others) using sound to resonate, balance and align the physical organs of the body.
The formula of “Frequency + Intent = Healing” came to me as an answer to how and why the above situation could occur. If “Frequency” was the actual sound being used, then “Intent” was the energy behind the sound. It seems that there are many different ways of testing “Intent” such as kinesiology (muscle testing), though it’s validity is still questionable in terms of hard scientific measurement. Yet, I am convinced that we will find in the future that “Intent” is an equal partner in relationship to the importance of “Frequency” with regard to the process of “Healing”. As “Frequency” is a metaphor, so are “Intent” and “Healing. “Intent” can also be perceived of as the feelings, visualizations, thoughts, emotions, prayers and whatever else you might think of that can be projected onto a sound that is created through our consciousness. It is the energy put into the frequency by the creator of the sound and the energy felt and experienced by the receiver of the sound.
“Healing” in this formula really means whatever effect the purveyor of the sound wishes to create—since this term was used in HEALING SOUNDS, I focused on “healing” in that book. But of course, the result of the sound (or “Frequency”) is, from my perspective, based upon the consciousness of the person creating the sound. Two other closely related formulae that reflect this are:
Vocalization + Visualization = Manifestation
Frequency + Feeling = Effect
Both of these formulas essential are slightly different ways of presenting “Frequency + Intent = Healing”. They basically reflect the same understanding.
Please note, incidentally, that there is scientists research attempting to validate intention. There have been scientific conferences dedicated to exploring intent, and some very interesting research with regard to it. Those of you skeptical of the concept of “intent” and its relationship to the effect of the sound being created may find in the near future that this energy is paramount in importance. And it explains why so many different people end up using some many different and varied frequencies with regard to healing, and yet a surprisingly large majority of them have some success with their sounds. I think it’s a lot more than merely the “Placebo Effect” (although this, of course is important and needs to be examined because it demonstrates the power of the mind to create our own little pharmacy of the body and produce effects even when we’re just ingesting sugar). Thus, “Frequency + Intent = Healing” provides an explanation for why seemingly non-scientific sounds such as chants or mantras or prayers, can have enormous healing effects. There’s a fair amount written on this formula and on the subject of intent in HEALING SOUNDS, but I just wanted to share this concept with all of you reading this since it relates to an important topic I’m about to approach.
As stated in the opening paragraph of this column, when I wrote HEALING SOUNDS , there were several purposes for my writing it. And gratefully, these purposes seem to have been achieved. The concept of healing with sound has definitely spread throughout the planet. And the manifestation of this column in this E journal is definitely an indication that awareness of vocal harmonics has occurred.
Recently, I was sitting in meditation, trying to grasp my next move in life. HEALING SOUNDS is now here. What was I to do next? I like to, if possible, bring in new or cutting edge concepts and ideas. There were enough people assisting with sound healing and harmonics—what next?
I suddenly became aware that my next move was quite simple and quite subtle. It was basically to continue to do the same thing, but merely to shift my emphasis on using sound from merely personal healing to that of planetary healing.
And that, my friends, is what the rest of this column is going to be focusing on—the importance of sound for planetary healing. Please note as well, that, if you want to find out more about the power of sound for personal healing, please see HEALING SOUNDS or any of a number of other excellent books, articles, etc. on the subject. And if you are interested in harmonics, overtone singing, hoomi or anything on this subject, my book or many other books and teachers are available from the website.
After my meditation, it became apparent to me that if there was one thing I needed to share in addition to my current repertoire of knowledge about harmonics and healing sounds, it was the importance of using sound to assist creating balance and peace on this planet—what we would call “Planetary Healing”.
Now, you might ask: why does the planet need healing? And the truth is, it probably doesn’t. The Earth is, for the moment at least, doing just fine. Sure there’s pollution and lots of other things that certainly may be an inconvenience to this planet, including the destruction of many species, global warming, etc, etc. etc. (since this is not a political nor an environmental column, it’s not my intention to state what may be obviously wrong out there—I’ve simply suggested a couple of areas that could use balance). Ultimately, however, I think that, Gaia, the Earth, (or whatever you term you want to use for this planet) will probably heal herself and survive. That is, if we humans make it past this period of our evolutionary development, which scientist Carl Sagan called our “technological adolescents”. We now are gloriously in a time of incredible technology, and with this technology we can manifest the extraordinary and the beneficial or we can manifest the opposite. It all depends upon our consciousness.
As previously stated, this is certainly not meant to be a political column, nor a religious one for the matter. Politics and religion do seem to have been inherently involved in almost every conflict one can think of. However, this is a column about sound and focuses particularly on the use of sound to influence and effect consciousness
It is my understanding that we can learn to use sound, not only for healing and balances ourselves individually, but also as a species in general. Since that meditational revelation I had regarding the importance of projecting planetary healing sounds, I have been involved in helping create events in which people on the planet would tone together while projecting a similar consciousness on to the sounds they are making. While I always take the opportunity to lead “planetary healing sounds” during my own Healing Sounds Seminars, most of these global planetary healing sound events have manifested through the help of cyberspace and the Internet.
The first major Internet Planetary Healing Sound event occurred one year ago—on February 14, 2003—a day we christened World Sound Healing Day. That event was initiated not only by me, but by many other people involved with sound healing—in particular, both Chris James and Tom Kenyon were extremely helpful in helping manifest the concept of World Sound Healing Day. In truth, this day was co-created by many thousands who put together groups to tone and project consciousness at a specific time. For World Sound Healing Day, we had people sound an “AH” at noon local time, as well as at 12 noon Eastern Time. I was facilitating a free Day of Toning in Boulder, Colorado where hundreds of people joined us throughout the day to sound forth, generating the energies of Light & Love through Sound. In addition, at around noon (Eastern Time) there was an Internet radio Webcast through World Puja (www.worldpuja.org) that featured myself, Grammy Award winning musician Kitaro and musician and scientist Dr. Jeff Thompson. Later that evening, there was another Internet radio Webcast through the Great Shift (www.greatshift.com) in Hawaii, occurring at noon time in Tokyo, so that people in the Australia and Asia could tone with us.
Since then, we have had several more events broadcast via the Internet—many of them occurring on either the Solstice or the Equinox. Some of you may have heard of Project Om, which occurred in conjunction with an astrological event called the Harmonic Concordance, where people throughout the planet sounded an “Om” at 8:13 PM New York Time.
The exact numbers of the people involved in these events is impossible to track—there may be only a few thousand computers that were tuned into the Internet Webcast that occurred during these times such as Project Om. But often, there are large groups of people listening and sounding along with these broadcasts. Sometimes there would be several hundred people in a church and sometimes there would be groups occurring away from electricity (and a computer), sounding together in the woods or on a beach. So, the numbers may actually be in the hundreds of thousands. And that apparently is enough to make a difference.
Recently, the GCP, a global consciousness tracking project initiated by Princeton University’s Roger Nelson showed that at the time of Project Om, there was a peak in the measurement of the instruments they use to measure planetary consciousness. Something was indeed occurring, though it is not scientifically correct to state a one to one correlation between the sounding of Project Om and the peak. Nevertheless, it was there and it certainly is an indication that people’s consciousness combined with sound may be a powerful tool for creating change on this planet.
I’m going to now going present some thoughts for you that you can either dismiss or accept. They are based upon my knowledge of some of the experiments that certain scientists have conducted recently as well as years of my own experience working with groups to project sound. There are also many articles by wellknown scientists, doctors and metaphysicians which validate these thoughts. I trust you will find them useful.
1). Prayer is beneficial. A very simple and yet enormously important concept, there are books written on this subject. Some pretty interesting research also exists as well to verify the importance of prayer. The skeptics of this research say it’s bad research. Those who have been helped by prayer don’t really care.
2). The most powerful form of prayer involves not asking for something, but rather, being in a state of appreciation, as though that which you have prayed for has already occurred. In other words, rather than “Please help me!”, the words “Thank you for your help!” seems to be more effective. From a scientific/spiritual viewpoint, the first example, is using prayer to ask for something. It is coming from a consciousness of the lack of not having something and there is coming from a fear based consciousness. The second group of words, which involves “Thank you”, is coming from being in a state of appreciation, as though that which are you asking for has already occurred and is coming from a love based consciousness. This state of appreciation is similar to being in a heart felt state similar to love. Researchers at the Heart Math Institute, have show that this state of appreciation creates a coherent electro-magnetic resonance between the brain and the heart. The electro-magnetic field generated by the heart is 60 times greater than the electro-magnetic field of the brain. This means that prayers coming from the heart produce a greater electromagnetic response. From a spiritual level, this “Lost Mode of Prayer” as Greg Braden calls it in his book of the same title, seems to be indeed be a key to manifesting miracles.
And if, to paraphrase Isaac Asimov, any sufficient developed technology is indistinguishable from magic, then we may have a technology of prayer that is capable of making a difference.
3). Sound amplifies prayer. It is that simple. Sound amplifies prayer. If you’re reading this, you know, at least intuitively about the power of sound. There is something about the actual vocalization or sounding of a prayer that gives it energy and life. Perhaps it’s because, as the ancient mystics told us (and now our modern scientists have validated), everything is in a vibration. Everything is sound. And thus presenting prayers as audible sound to assists in the manifestation of prayer. Sound seems to amplify even greater the electro-magnetic field we previously described that is generated by being in appreciation (or as some say, an attitude of gratitude). The fact that audible sound through song and chant has been the major form of prayer in practically every tradition, is certainly a validation that people around the globe have know for a long time that sound is a key to enhancing prayer. Are angels listening to your sounds and taking them to God? I don’t know. But I do know that prayers, and particular mantras, vowel sounds and harmonics, when sounded aloud are much more effective. This is true, particularly for creating resonance on the physical plane. Nearly 20 years ago. in one of my first articles for, Kay Gardner, (an extraordinary pioneer in the field of music and medicine), perhaps harmonics are the key between what is called struck (or physical) sound and unstruck (or etheric) sound. Thus, perhaps sounds with specifically created harmonics may manifest on many different realms and thus have extraordinary power. Thus, for examine, while the word harmonic does not seem to exist in the Tibetan language, the overtones created from the Tibetan “Deep Voice” are said to be the result of the chanters resonance with the spiritual planes. Perhaps, harmonics hold some special power or resonance with regard to assisting prayer—particularly if they are creating with specific intention.
We are not, of course, talking specifically about the “Deep Voice” or hoomi (note to Steve: please use the preferred spelling of this) or any other techniques of creating vocal harmonics. If this were the case, then the best hoomi singers would be the most spiritual, and this does not seem to be the case. We are simply talking about the harmonics that are present in practically every sound created on this planet. Vowel sounds and single toned mantras seem to be replete with some of the most extraordinary overtones that exists and this might have some significance, in terms of the general population being able to tune together. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience being in a group of one hundred or one thousand people toning an “AH”, an “OM”, a “HU” or some other single syllable sound together at the same time, you know the extraordinary power that can be produced.
4). Sounding the same consciously created tone at the same time manifests a wave form that is more coherent, powerful and greater than a sound that is different and occurs at a different time. This is simple physic—if you want to resonant an object with sound, you generate the specific frequency (or a harmonically related frequency) that matches the resonant frequency of that object. If you’re with a number of people, and your are attempting to achieve the most effective sonic resonance (whether physical or metaphysical) all those sounding together should (if possible) all hit that same note (or a harmonically related note). If everyone is hitting different frequencies, the coherent waveform is effected it’ll lessen the result of the sound. In fact, some of the different frequencies may even cancel each other out.
Thus, if you have a group of people and the intention is create the most powerful wave form they can, it is best to have them all hit the same note if possible (or a really harmonically related interval such as an octave, or a fifth which will not interfere with the waveform pattern). If you have a group where half the group is sounding a tone such as “Ooo”, while the other half is singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in a completely disharmonious key, the result would lessen the power and the effect of the “Ooo” sound. It certainly might be an interesting sonic experience, but with regard to the energy manifested, the two sounds would diminish the effect and power of each of other.
With sound, you frequently have the phenomenon of 1 + 1 = 3. It seems that 2 or more people toning the same sound creates a synergistic power that transcends normal mathematics and creates an energy that is greater than the sum of the parts. Thus with regard to maximizing the power of prayer through sound, it seems that if possible, when working with a group, it is usually best to have everyone; create the same sound, focus on the same energy and then project it at the same time.
If you have the opportunity to work with a highly skilled group of singers who can hold a pitch as well as hitting specific harmonically related intervals, then working with creating these specific harmonically related ratios such as 2:3, 3:4, 5:8, etc, can actually enhance the amplification of the energy of the sound. However, when working with untrained singers in large group settings, simply matching the fundamental frequency is a huge accomplishment. Thus in such settings with untrained singers, having the group hit one specific tone is extremely important.
With regard to facilitating group sounding experiences, the questions is frequently asked; what is the best keynote (frequency or fundamental pitch) to utilize with a group? I must admit that I personally like to use “C” vibrating at 256 cycles per second. 256 Hz. is a frequency I have liked for quite a while and one which I use for a number of different recordings including “Chakra Chants” and “Ultimate Om”. It is not the “C” usually found on a piano (which is C, 261.5 Hz.). One of my reason’s for using this frequency is that the Earth’s ionosphere—the electro-magnetic field around the earth—is said to have a pulsating resonance called the Schumann Resonance, that is of approximately 8 cycles per second (Hz.). Since 256 Hz. is a harmonic of 8 Hz., it’s possible that by sounding at 256 Hz., we’re sounding at what could be a resonant frequency of the Earth. Many people also believe this frequency is the resonance of the “Root” or base chakra.
Please understand, 8 Hz. is only one of the possible resonances of the Earth, and to me it is more of a metaphor—a concept to impart to people (just as C at 256 Hz. is only one of many possible frequencies for the root chakra.). I know scientists who claim that 10 Hz. is the frequency of the planet (and thus they believe 440Hz. is the best resonant frequency to be sounded by a group.). And I know others who claim many varied and different frequencies to be that of Earth.
In truth, I believe you could probably use any frequency—particularly any pitch that people feel comfortable toning with. That’s one of my big “no no”s with regard to making sound. Do not strain your voice! It’s my belief that if someone is straining and therefore, potentially damaging their vocal cords, then what they’re producing can not be very therapeutic. Thus we always tell people to make a relaxed and gentle sound—choosing a note they feel comfortable with. If, we use a keynote (such as 256 Hz.) and it doesn’t work for some people, they can always choose an octave or a fifth, and one of those will be a note that works for them. If they can’t hit any of those, then that is fine too. Since intention is such an equally powerful part of the “Frequency + Intent = Healing”, if someone’s heart is in the right place with the sound, whatever sound they create is okay. With untrained groups, I encourage people to match the fundamental frequency if possible or a harmonically related interval such as an octave or fifth, if they can. But if there are a few people hitting very different notes, we let that occur as long as they aren’t straining themselves. Usually what happens is that through entrainment, these people may begin singing out of tune and then find themselves very much in tune because of the group sonic process.
With regard to projecting planetary healing sounds, the next question that is frequently asked is: what sound should we make? As I’ve suggested, simple, one syllable tones seem to be most effective. On my website (healingsounds.com) is a article on “Planetary Healing Sound”, which focuses on three short mantras, “OM”, “AH” and “HU” that are highly effective. Rather than repeat this material, I’ll merely summarize part of it.
As I like to use C 256 Hz., my favorite single syllable mantra is “AH”. This is an extremely powerful sound–particularly useful for generating compassion. Compassion is truly a key to transformation of consciousness on this planet. The “AH” sound is a sacred seed syllable—a sacred mantras in many Eastern traditions. It is also a vowel sound—a divinely inspired sound that is considered sacred in many different traditions including Hebrew Kabbalah.
The “AH” sound is found in most of the God and Goddess names on the planet (Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc.), as well as many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, Aum). As a seed syllable, the “AH” is universal and may be utilized differently in different traditions, depending upon its purpose. Most mystical traditions worldwide that work is the vowels sounds in relationship to the chakras find that the “AH” sound the sound of the heart chakra. This chakra, which is located in the center of the chest is the energy center associated with love and compassion. Indeed, when many people think about the energy of love, they express it as an “AH” sound. Many spiritual masters believe that the activation of this chakra is most helpful for achieving higher consciousness and enlightenment. Most agree that the energy of love and the heart is the primary, essential energy of the universe.
Many people believe that the “AH” sound is the primary sound that is created when we are born—the sound being birthed on the inhalation of the first breath. The “AH” sound is also the last sound we make, riding on the energy of our final exhalation. In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a co-meditation technique which uses the “AH” sound. Chanting “AH” together (or even simply by just breathing together) allows people to attune and resonate with each other. It seems that the heartbeat, respiration and brain waves of two people will entrain with each other through breathing or sounding “AH” together. This use of the “AH” sound may be particularly effective for those involved in hospice work. In this situation, the “AH” sound may once again be used as a sound of the heart chakra.
I often recommend the “AH” as a sound for people who want to work with short mantras in groups. The reason for this is that as has been discussed, “AH” is an extremely transformative sound. Yet, most people know of it only as a vowel sound, and thus it defies association with any spiritual denomination or description as a mantra. While other sounds such as “OM” might be rejected by certain audiences because they are recognized as Eastern mantras or coming from another spiritual traditions, the sounding of an “AH” is acceptable by everyone regardless of their background, culture or religion. Thus, you can get people from around the world, regardless of culture, religion or other belief system, to sound an “AH” without difficulty.
As we discussed much earlier, projecting the “AH” sound while feeling the energy of appreciation in the heart area seems to be an outstanding technique for using sound to generate the energy of compassion. Have people visualize this sound going from them and manifesting throughout the world. It’s that simple. If you want to use C 256 Hz. as the keynote for this exercise, that’s wonderful. If you want to choose another frequency, that’s also fine.
Remember, it’s “Frequency + Intent = Healing”, whether personal or planetary healing. And thus, if everyone toning simply works with the energy of appreciation while making a sound, you’ve already got half the formula accomplished.
I’d like to share another important aspect with regard to the importance of using sound for planetary healing—particularly since most of you will be reading this from a computer—probably off the Internet.
It is no secret that through this amazing neural net of cyberspace, the Internet has really allowed the “Global Mind” to manifest. This is one of the most extraordinary gifts of the Internet and one of its greatest challenges. From my perspective, as well as the perspective of many spiritual and shamanic traditions, it is necessary that we merge the energy of the mind with the heart in order to evolve to another level of consciousness. The heart represents the energy of love and compassion (and appreciation as we have discussed). This energy seems to give us the temperament to realize whether or not the use of certain technologies is appropriate and to overcome being in our technological adolescence. This lack of understanding of the proper use of technology has created some precarious conditions for the Earth, with people (and their technology) often acting without considering the ramifications of their actions. Many indigenous people do not take an action without perceiving how this will reflect for someone seven generations later. If only all of us on this planet could take this into consideration before we impulsively acted.
The Internet has the potential of being truly an amazing technological gift—assisting in uniting the minds of those whom it links together. The mind, on its own, however, is not necessarily wise enough to act with compassion. It needs the temperance of the heart to create balance. It is important, therefore, to somehow moderate the energy of the Global Mind of the Internet with the energy of the heart. Now, how in the world of cyberspace, can we do that? How can we manifest the Global Heart of the Internet? The answer is simple: through sound.
In Tibetan Buddhism, which employs a very sophisticated understanding of consciousness, humans are divided into three aspects, mind, body, and speech, with speech (or sound) being the interfacing element between the two. Through creating sound that manifests through cyberspace (the Global Mind) via Internet radio shows and any other cyberspace technology, we can use sound to activate the Global Heart of the planet. Sound manifesting over the Internet allows this linking of Global Mind and Global Heart through Global Sound.
Programs such as the World Puja on Feb. 14, 2004—the 2nd annual World Sound Healing Day, allow people throughout the planet to tone together at the same time while projecting the energy of peace and compassion. We cannot individually hear all of these voices throughout the planet toning together during these Webcasts, but we can certainly feel the combined collective consciousness at this time. Sounding along with a voice (or voices) heard over the Internet is enough to create the connection of the Global Heart. We have experienced this before in previous live Internet WebCasts and it is extremely powerful. Sometimes, as described before, the effect of these planetary healing sounds is visible through the GCP
In conclusion, I would like to suggest that all of you who are reading this column begin to take part in the various global meditations that are becoming so prevalent, particularly those on the Internet. And if possible, add your own sound to these meditations. When the opportunity arises to co-create a sonic Internet event, such as World Sound Healing Day or Project Om, please do your best to take part in these opportunities, and if possible, please share awareness of these events with others. Perhaps you can organize your own group of people who can sound together with others on the planet, creating planetary healing sounds that use our voices to connect our hearts and our minds together, in order to shift our consciousness. Remember, we can make a difference!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.