Sarah Gregg - The Reiki Drum Technique

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

Ancestral Family TreeWell I hope you have eased into the New Year gently.  Here at Reiki Drum & Sacred Sound Inspirations it definitely has been a year of new beginnings.  All the global energetics have contributed to new energy for most of us, and a letting go of that which no longer serves us, some of which we should have perhaps let go of a long time ago, but eventually we have made the shift so that new opportunities can come in.

I hope you have found the last few blog posts of interest about some of the offerings we provide.  It is something I have been meaning to do for a while because it’s difficult to convey the qualities and benefit of a workshop without going into a little deeper explanation.  This week’s post is about a residential healing course I hold around the time of the Celtic New Year on an annual basis and the contents and syllabus have led to me creating a method of ancestral healing combined with sound and energy healing techniques which has been uniquely formulated and which I have called The Ancestral Resonance Process™.

The creation of this process resulted from a series of journeys and guidance I personally received over a twelve month period a few years ago.  I journey on a regular basis for personal guidance and self-healing and during one of my journeys for something quite unrelated I found myself face to face with two relatives who had passed several decades ago, but with whom I had strong and loving relationships, my Grandmother and Great Aunt on my mother’s side, both who had interests in natural and spiritual healing methods like myself.  They were very happy to see me and even more excited about introducing me to someone who had apparently been related to my maternal Grandfather.  Through dialogue with this person I discovered that due to her own life circumstances during the 1850s she had suffered soul loss and as a consequence had passed certain traits and emotional responses down my maternal family line.  Some of those emotional responses were affecting me negatively at the time and it was a revelation to discover where they had originated from.  I was able to offer the lady healing in the journey state and conduct a soul retrieval for her and as a consequence, this too has had a long lasting positive impact on my own emotional responses to certain triggers.

Over the next twelvAncestors Altare months I was faced with many instances when my own responses felt like they were ones I had inherited, and during many meditations, healing practices and journeys I met a wide range of ancestors, all who were both happy and grateful for the work I was undertaking which benefitted not only them and myself, but my entire family line.   It was really fascinating to work with fears I had had all of my life and find out why they were such a big deal for me.   I could see clearly why my parents had had certain emotional responses and thought processes, how they had been passed on to myself despite all of my intentions, and where they had originated from.  It was a surprise, but incredibly enlightening to see how different scenarios and life circumstances also were repeated through the bloodlines.  So a lot of healing took place for myself during those twelve months and at the end of the time I had put together a series of practices to heal ancestral wounds, but also to recognise, work with and embody the positive qualities that are passed down the family line.

Ancestral veneration is practised by most cultures throughout the world.  It is widely understood that by working with our own ancestral lineages we can heal many inherited attitudes, karmic tendencies, ancestral wounds and repeated family patterns, each of us being a product of our ancestors.  Research carried out by respected scientists and family psychologists have demonstrated that all of these inherited tendencies are transferred through space and time.  Because I work with sound as a healing modality and find it so effective as a transformational tool, I have created this workshop to combine modern healing methods with ancient sound healing techniques to effect a healing through the energetics which connect us with our ancestral lines, healing our ancestors and our ancestral wounds and in doing so, having a positive impact on our own healing and that of our families.  Through our own intention, these deep healing practices, initiations, ritual, ceremony, dance and sound, will effect long lasting shifts for our own healing journeys.

Ancestral InitiationThe Ancestral Resonance Process™ methodically and distinctly heals not only the original ancestral wound, but its influence on us at this current time.  As we effect a healing on our ancestors, we have an effect not only on ourselves but other members of our family.    During the workshop we work in partnership not only with our own ancestors but also with the Angelic and Elemental realms and Ascended Masters to effect a deep and long lasting healing, and we start the workshop with a beautiful initiation which allows us to channel powerful healing energies to assist us in the process.  The workshop allows you to gain further insight into your own characteristics and how they have been shaped by your family influences. One of the highlights of the workshop is an all-night vigil where each participant is encouraged to prepare some form of offering to their own ancestral line ranging from five minutes to an hour in length in the form of poetry, readings, stories, recitals, drumming, sound baths or similar.  This sacred act allows us to express our gratitude and reverence to our own ancestors as a community and the group energy lends itself to a powerful and moving experience.

Throughout the workshop we work with sound in many different ways; toning, chanting, singing, shruti, crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, sound baths, drumming, mantra and other instruments. Sound Healing PractisesThis powerful and deeply healing workshop is currently being run as a residential retreat at the time of the Celtic New Year when the veil between the worlds is thin and the work and communication we do with our ancestors is enhanced energetically.  I have chosen to return yet again to a beautiful retreat centre on the Suffolk Coast which I have used for the past few years because of its peace and tranquillity, its high vibrational energy and the way it holds the space so participants can go deep into the work.  As part of our workshop we do a magical coastal walk along this part of the Suffolk Coast, where we have the opportunity to do some earth chanting, sacred ceremony, visiting of ancient sites and enjoying the beautiful coast and countryside.

Have you ever considered some of the things which happen in your life may be due to energetics inherited from your ancestors? Do you feel you are repeating things within your own life which you know happened in the lives of your parents or other members of your family? Are you finding yourself stuck in certain repetitive behaviour patterns that despite working with many other forms of healing practises, you are not making headway with?  If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then consider joining us for what is not only a powerful and moving weekend, but also a beautiful and healing experience for those who attend.   The centre is small and places are restricted to twelve and places are now starting to fill for this year’s retreat which is taking place Friday October 30th to November 2nd, so please register your interest early should you wish to attend.  On registration you will be given some preparatory work to do in advance of the weekend in connection with your Ancestral lineage.   Synchronistically during the course of the time leading up to the retreat, as part of your soul growth you will start to become aware of the things you will need to concentrate on during the weekend that are ancestrally related.  Again, because our lives are multi-layered, it’s not uncommon for people to repeat the retreat with new things to consider every time they attend. October 2012 131

Here are some of the quotes from previous Ancestral Resonance Process™ residentials:

“My what an amazing retreat! Many thanks for all your loving hard work. I enjoyed Trish’s meals – tasty and filling. Arrived home feeling lighter in self and in spirit, having shed a lot of ancestral baggage, much more to process and integrate I am sure – It truly was a unique experience for me.”

“Thank you for a wonderful time in Dunwich. I feel lighter since I have come home. I have learned a lot about myself and my ancestors”.

“Thank you for such a wonderful weekend filled with so much light, love and sound. I woke this morning with a sense of accomplishment and calm and I am very grateful to you for providing the opportunity for so much deep healing. It is a lovely venue and I enjoyed everything offered. Please pass on my thanks to Trish for her truly delicious meals. It was a very special and memorable few days.”

“Many thanks again for all your hard work in organising the retreat – I found it very rewarding, and a lovely group of people. There is a magical atmosphere to the Phoenix Centre, especially in the big hall.”

“Personally I gained so much from the weekend in all directions. I feel things are changing for the better, so that is encouraging. I leave with a sense of calm and trust that all will be well as I have so many gifts from my ancestors to help me along the way and a stronger connection than I had before”.

Further information can be found in the retreats section of the Reiki Drum website and you can download a brochure here The Ancestral Resonance Process 2015 Honouring The Ancestors Retreat Brochure

© Sarah Gregg 2015

Forthcoming Highlighted Events

  • 5 February – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 February  – Reiki Two (Okuden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 21 & 22 February – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki  I & II Practitioner – Sawbridgeworth
  • 5 March –  Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 7 & 8 March – Reiki Drum Practitioner Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 13-15 March – Holy Fire Karuna Reiki Master Teacher Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 22nd March – Annual Spring Equinox Reiki Drum Share, Sheering, Essex 10:00-16:30 pm £20
  • 2 April – Monthly Reiki Share (no booking required) Sawbridgeworth Memorial Hall 7-10 pm £5
  • 11 & 12 April  – Reiki One (Shoden) – Sawbridgeworth
  • 18 & 19 April -Sacred Sound & Light Immersion Training – Sawbridgeworth
  • 7th June – Usui Reiki Kotodama Workshop – Sawbridgeworth
  • 13th-17th July – Annual Reiki Retreat, Glastonbury, Somerset
  • 30th October-2nd November – The Ancestral Resonance Process™, Dunwich, Suffolk
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