Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs. It was they who led me from door to door, and with them have I felt about me, searching and touching my world. It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt; they showed me secret paths, they brought before my sight many a star on the horizon of my heart.
They guided me all the day long to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain, and, at last, to what palace gate have they brought me in these years of my fulfillment & disappearance ?
– Rabindranath Tagore
I love this message from the great Indian musician poet visionary Rabindranath Tagore. It encapsulates all that I love about the profound role vocal sound has played in my life, as a gateway into deep listening, and the deepest vibration of oneness within, sourced from silence.
Both science and spirituality agree that every particle of matter, every phenomenon we experience, is a form of resonance or vibration. The human voice is quite literally a mouthpiece of this truth; there is no form of expression more personal, more tied to our identities, than our voices.
As so often happens, science is now telling us what we’ve known all along. The science of epigenetics, which is now enthralling most of the life sciences, tells us about the non-genetic inheritance of past traumas. As I know from my Healing the Family and Ancestors work, the patterns caused by traumas and separations within families, pass down through many generations until those affected by them are finally able to dissolve them. This is something we can all do and the effect is nothing short of miraculous – all members of the family feel good – even if they weren’t at the workshop, and the patterns no longer have to continue on to our children or descendants. Instead of our continuing to wonder why we are doing things that bear no relation to our life as we knew it, magical events manifest from left field, transforming and bringing joy and blissful new reasons for being alive.
Below is an interview I did last week about the way I do family constellations, as magical sonorous shamanic sessions.
Hollyhock’s first ever workshop was Susan’s Singing for Everyone. She was the first person I heard claim that singing is our birthright, a radical notion that changed my life. To hear the lead singer for the Paul Winter Consort, an extraordinary singer with an unforgettable voice, declare that singing was for everyone, not just for the gifted few, seemed to me a most generous, inclusive and liberating statement. Having spent too many years wishing I had a different voice, “a good voice”, I began to accept my singing voice as it was, and to sing more. I came out of hiding, and discovered the immense pleasure of singing in community, letting go of the need to judge myself or others. And along that journey, I found my deepest calling in life.
As well as performing and recording, Susan has been teaching groundbreaking workshops on the power of song all over the world for 35 years. I am thrilled to be teaching with her this summer, and we are both full of excitement about what will come of our collaboration.
While my teaching has focused very much on the power of voices together, Susan takes us on a much more personal journey. She talks about singing as “the direct language of the soul … a way to enter the body and breath, contact who you are beyond thought, and from that place create a gift of beauty and truth to share with others.” She calls singing “a way to still the mind by deepening, slowing, and extending the breath.” and also… “an essential part of the human emotional digestive system”. We can’t wait to see what happens when we all do that individual work with our voices, and then bring them together in harmony to create something that only can be achieved by a group.
The Way of Song is for anyone who would like to:
Reclaim the joy of singing
Strengthen and expand the clarity and range of their voice
Explore the practical uses of singing as a tool for communication, as a practice in intimate creativity and emotional integration, and as a pathway to deep silence.
Learn to appreciate the sound of their own voice, develop confidence singing with others and experience the thrill of voices raised in harmony.
pend five days in paradise with Susan, me, and whoever else is moved to come for this experience.
Susan Osborn (left) is a singer, and teacher. Formerly with the Paul Winter Consort, her work has primarily been in Japan for the past 22 years.
Shivon Robinsong (right) is Hollyhock co-founder, and founder of the Gettin’ Higher Choir in Victoria BC.
Join Shivon and Susan for The Way of Song, Aug 4-9, 2013 at Hollyhock on Cortes Island.
We are told the world was created through sound….sound creates form. Jill demonstrates this with overtone chanting. The overtones introduce pattern into formless heaps of powder on a vibrating plate- the form of the sound itself. This video shows these cymatic patterns as they occur.
Pioneer of voice, family and ancestral healing, Jill is a former fellow of Kings College, London, Biophysics Department, General Editor of the Thames and Hudson Art and Imagination series, and author of The Mystic Spiral, Journey of the Soul. For more information on Jill Purce and her Healing Voice and Healing the Family and Ancestors workshops, visit www.healingvoice.com