Sarah Gregg - The Reiki Drum Technique

Ancestors AltarA Sonic Journey of Connection and Celebration

SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2016

FROM 5 PM TO 10 PM

AT SHEERING VILLAGE HALL, THE STREET, SHEERING, ESSEX CM22 7LX

“To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love and die. The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrow, is always a measure of what has gone before. ” Alice Walker

Every year we hold some form of event to honour those who have gone before us.  In recent years we have run our sound healing residential The Ancestral Resonance Process, but this year we are marking the occasion with an evening of sacred sound.

This is always a moving and heart opening event, remembering our departed loved ones through the medium of sound and celebrating the Celtic New Year.  An evening of chanting, mantra, toning, drumming, drum journeying, and gong bath.

5:00 pm – Chants and Mantra – We open the event with sacred chants and mantra to honour this auspicious time.

6:00 pm – Toning – Through chakra toning we not only align, heal and balance ourselves, we reach altered and transcendental states of being, preparing us to receive messages from beyond.

7:00 pm – Reiki Drum Journey – Through the power of the drumbeat and Reiki energy we can transcend the veils which have thinned at this time of year.

8:00 pm – Gong Bath – Through the resonance of the Gongs, Himalayan and Crystal Bowls and many other instruments, we enter into a sonic space of relaxation where there is no separation between peoples or worlds, a place of unity, a place of connection, a place of bliss.

9:00 pm – Refreshments – We finish the evening with a chance to enjoy a cup of tea with like-minded, share our experiences from the evening and ground ourselves after the evening’s events.
Ancestral Family Tree
Doors open at 4:45 pm, Event ends at 10:00 pm. You are invited to bring a photo or other memento for our Ancestors Altar. If you have frame drums and rattles please bring with you. You will also need a yoga mat, blanket and cushion for comfort when sitting or lying down. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are £30 per person.

Email: info@reikidrum.co.uk to register your interest.

Chakras I am hugely excited to be facilitating an extraordinary event in September which involves a nine hour immersion in the art and practise of chakra toning, further details of which can be found towards the end of this article.  In several of the sound trainings I offer, as well as at a variety of community sound events I have facilitated in the past, chakra toning has been incorporated as a means of bringing balance and harmony into our own, or another person’s energy field.

There are various ways of working with sounds and the chakras, but this article is going to discuss the use of using vowel sounds which are considered sacred by many cultures and traditions throughout the world.  Sound healers recognise that the voice is probably our greatest musical instrument, and indeed a very powerful one, allowing for a deep resonance on a cellular level, and is an instrument which can be used by anyone, any time, and in any place.      In toning the sacred vowels, we are not chanting or singing words to a specific rhythm, we are creating sound by breathing in and then creating an extended vowel sound for as long as we are able, allowing the vibration to have an effect on both our physical body and also our subtle energy bodies.

ChakrasChakras are spirals of concentrated life force located in the subtle energy body starting from the base of spine and perineum and extending to the top of the head.  In Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel” through which universal energy flows in and out of a person.  These energy centres carry with them profound emotional and psychological associations, and on a spiritual level, each chakra is the site of a specific consciousness with its own specific set of values.  They represent a ladder of personal, psychological and spiritual growth.   There are seven major chakras and many secondary and tertiary ones.  If a chakra becomes blocked, congested or partially closed, this will have a profound impact on not only the physical body, but also the entire subtle energy body.   Initially this will manifest perhaps as mental or emotional disturbance, but if prolonged, physical disease will occur.  By using the vowel sounds for toning the chakras with intention, the flow of energy within the chakra is balanced and restored and our energy system resonates at a much healthier vibration.  Just a few minutes of chakra toning can make a huge difference, and it is interesting to compare how one feels before and after a 20 minute chakra toning practise, to see how profoundly it impacts us on a psychological and physical level.

It’s always good to get together in community to tone, as the more people toning, the more incredible the energy we generate through the power of sound.  When you have several people toning at one time, the room can sound like it holds some heavenly angelic choir, and the effects on the individuals within the group are amplified.  However, it is just as effective to tone on one’s own, and can add a very valuable tool to one’s own personal practise.

Root ChakraWhen toning  sit comfortably with  your  spine as straight as possible so that the energy may flow as free as possible.    Toning on its own is powerful in its own right, but for those who practise Reiki, you can enhance the toning session by placing your hands on each chakra as you make the relevant vowel sound, channelling Reiki as you tone with the intention that Reiki and the vocal sounds you are making clear and balance that energy centre.   It can be good to  focus  on  the  element  or  colour  associated  with  the chakra as you tone.  As an example, when making the vowel sound for the root chakra, you could focus on the element of earth, intending that the root chakra is cleared and aligned and you are grounded and secure in your place on the Earth.  Alternatively as you tone, visualise the colour red, the colour associated with the root chakra, and feel vibration of this colour fill your energy field with vitality.    For those of you who   practise   Yantra  meditation, a  visualisation  and  concentration  technique which incorporates the use of symbols within the chakras, then you can tone and focus on the relevant symbol, in  the  case  of the root  chakra, a yellow square.     It is also possible to incorporate movement as you tone, making specific movements which are symbolic of  the chakra you are working on – walking around as you tone the vowel  sound  for  the  root chakra or circling the hips for the sacral chakra.   For those of you who work shamanically with Power Animals, as you tone each chakra ask an animal to present itself to you  for each different chakra  and see what unfolds.

The simplicity of this practice  is one of its advantages.    As you sit with your spine straight, relax your body, letting go of any tension, take a few deep breaths, then on the next out breath allow the vowel to be toned for as long as you are able without straining.  Take another breath and repeat.    Toning should be done gently and there is no need to worry about what pitch or note you are making, just see what comes, allowing your voice to dictate the sound.  Often when an energy centre needs a little more work than others, the sounds seem quite discordant to start with until the energy becomes clearer.  There is no wrong or right as is more often the case  when  we  do  work  of  this nature.  You do not have to be musical or have an excellent singing voice to do this practise or really benefit from its effects.  When toning on your own explore the depth of the sound, start gently but raise the volume if it feels appropriate, without straining.    However, when toning in a group, it’s always best to allow your voice  to  merge with those of the others toning with you.  If your voice stands outs  above  everyone else in terms of volume, then the harmony and oneness of the group experience is affected.

You can choose to work through each energy centre in sequence starting from the root and finishing at the crown or vice versa,  or you may spend your toning practise working intuitively with your own energy field, making the vowel sounds which are most important  for you at  the time.  As  you  tone  become aware of the effects of the sound on your physical body, your emotions, and your thinking.  Listen to the sounds you are making and be aware of the vibrations in different areas of your body.  As the toning  progresses,  focus  how  the energy is changing in that area.   I have found that 20  minutes  is a  good  time  period  for a daily personal practise, but you can do less or more.  When toning the chakras in sequence, it is good to have a small silence  at  the  end   of  each  chakra  vowel  toning segment to really  appreciate  the  work  you  have  done.    Tone for about 2-3 minutes per centre.  If you are working intuitively then just go with the flow of what feels right.    You may wish to start slowly and build up the time you spend toning.  In larger toning groups I have been part of, I  have taken part in toning periods of up to twelve hours, so  don’t worry  too  much  about  overdoing it!  At the end of your toning period give yourself a little time to ground yourself.

Many different traditions work with vowel toning in this way, and some of them differ in the vowel sounds they attribute to each chakra.  In the following table I have listed the vowel sounds and correspondences I personally use but should you wish to try other vowel sounds and correspondences according to other traditions, then please do.

Chakra Chart

There are numerous benefits to vowel toning.  As a meditation,  this  type  of  practise helps to relieve tension and stress from both the physical and energy body.  It is not uncommon for people to have deep transcendental inner experiences, visions, and altered states of consciousness.  Repressed emotions often come to the surface to be made conscious and let go of, resulting in  a  more  peaceful,  blissful state  of being.  Toning can both relax and energise due to its balancing  nature   on  the  mind  and  body  and the increase in  universal  life  force  energy.  It develops focus  and  concentration  and  a  greater  awareness of one’s own current state of health energetically.   On a physical level toning in this way allows for greater breath control and improved breathing with resultant greater oxygenation of the body and brain.  It is said to have a neurochemical effect on the body, releasing endorphins,   our   feel   good   chemicals,    hence contributing to our feeling of well being, boosting our immune system, and lowering blood pressure.   It rejuvenates at a cellular level, improves circulation, and can alleviate pain.  As mentioned earlier, when toning together in a group, there comes about a real sense of “oneness”, love and connection.

I have been fortunate to have been taught by some of the world’s foremost toning masters and my gratitude goes to Jim Albani, Jonathan Goldman, Jill Purce and Chris James all of who have shared their knowledge and practical experience.

Through my own personal practise, I have been inspired to host a very special event, “A Celebration of Voice – A Sacred Toning Immersion” –  an entire day of chakra toning to commemorate the Autumnal Equinox on Saturday 26th September 2015.  This will be a phenomenal experience. I myself have partaken in events similar to this before and they take the participants to a place that can’t be experienced in any other way.  It is also very difficult to put into words the space one reaches during the toning, but I can assure you it is like nothing else you will have experienced before and is truly transformational, moving, celestial and beautiful.

The ChakrasParticipants may arrive from 09:00 hours to settle in and we shall start the day at 09:30 am with a short introductory workshop into chakra  vowel  toning  for those who may not have done this before or need a reminder.  We will then all take part in a special opening ceremony where several of the participants will be invited in advance to play a special part in starting the event.  The day will be orchestrated in such a way, that there will be a large proportion of people toning constantly  once  we  start  the  toning  ceremony  in  the morning until we finish in the evening – a total  of nine  hours  consecutive toning. There  will  be  allocated  breaks for everyone during the day on an hourly basis when you can personally have a break from  the toning should you wish, but the group toning taking place in the main ceremonial area will be constant.

This is an alcohol and drug free event.  Participants will be asked to bring a vegetarian dish to share and we will finish the event with what will be an Equinox feast at around 19:30 when  the  toning  finishes, ending  the  day at  around 21:00 hours.  Participants  will  be encouraged  not  to  eat  during  the toning event unless they specifically want to or have specific medical requirements  which demand that they do (and provisions in terms of a dining area and break  out  room will be made for those  who fall into these categories if they need to bring their own lunch/snacks).  The  fasting experience adds to the potency of the experience, so it is recommended if participants  think they should need it to have breakfast before the day starts, as they will not  be  eating  again  until  we finish in the evening.  All  participants  will also be asked not to talk during the toning event in the main ceremonial area or  the  break  out areas as it is a special sacred and meditative  event   and   speaking   will   interrupt   the   “going inward”  which  all  will experience.  Our celebration feast at the end of the day is an opportunity to share the day’s experiences with friends as well  as ground from the high, expansive state that people  will  be in.  It  is  recommended  that  participants bring bottled water with them to drink during the day.

This event is going  to  be  a  highly memorable  experience for  anybody  who  would  like  to attend.  Participants won’t be expected to tone  for  the  entire  day of  nine  hours as  participants   will   be allocated  into  groups,  but there  will  be  a  large  proportion   of  attendees toning at any one time so  that  at  no  time  will the toning be stopped or interrupted.

To  cover  hall  hire and other expenses, the cost of the event is £40 for the entire day.  Booking in advance is essential.   Participants may arrive from 09:00 hours and we shall finish at 21:00 hours – a total of 12 hours. Booking Form

Toning The ChakrasOptimally, in terms of sounding and energy, the more people at this event the better, so please share this information with anyone who you feel would benefit from experiencing this very special opportunity to  expand  their  consciousness  as One.  A Celebration of Voice Sacred Toning Immersion for the Autumn Equinox Flyer & Information     In  terms  of  a vibrationary experience, the positive effect of a large number of us toning for this long period will have an effect on not only ourselves and the hall we are working in, but much further afield.   In terms of experiences in 2015,  this is going to be one of the best days of the year!

©  Sarah Gregg 2015

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