Consider, if you will, the phenomenon of sound.
One of our five major senses, and, along with sight, the one that best affords us the opportunity to take in data about the world from a bit of a distance (you can see and hear things from a ways off, but unless we’re talking about some very big stimuli, you most likely won’t feel them without being up close and personal, and unless you’re really exceptional –or you find yourself in circumstances that are — you’ll be hard-pressed to taste or smell things from, say, the next block). Sight, sure: when it functions properly, our vision can pick things out from miles away, and it’s an incredibly primary tool we use in navigating the physical world.
But then again, so is our sense of hearing. We rely hugely on sound.
Sound is tremendously functional: it warns us of danger, it enables us to communicate and to navigate, it informs us about our environment, we use it in the medical world (ultrasound!), and it even entertains us: imagine your favorite films or TV shows without their soundtracks! Even more to the point, imagine your music library without…music. You’d be left with a big empty box of nothing much at all:
But even in addition to all that sound does for us each and every moment of each and every day, it also has practical applications in the realms of the metaphysical. Sound facilitates processes such as meditation, trance, visualization, and shamanic-style journeying. Chanting is a widely hailed method of introducing sound into occult practices. Another good method: shamans the world over will make use of drumming techniques to help them along on their spirit-voyages…
If you’ve ever consulted someone for acupuncture or hypnotherapy, you probably experienced a soundtrack during the procedure — something like soft, soothing music, or maybe nature sounds (water is very popular here, including things like waves on the shore, babbling brooks, or fountains, but people also employ things like wind and/or wind-chimes, or the songs of birds or crickets)… Such sounds really help to transport us, and effectively clear the way for work of this nature to proceed.
There are two other instruments that produce sound which I think have fantastic positive value in metaphysical work. Both can help in setting the proper mood for things like meditation and trance, and both lend themselves terrifically well to energy healing modalities such as Reiki.
The first is the tuning fork. Yes, these are used in practical hands to simply help with — as their name implies — the tuning of instruments. But they also can have very noticeable effects when applied to energy centers, and they simply soothe when placed on or near sore spots in the body. A ringing tuning fork held near the ears or skull can be incredibly relaxing!
The other instrument I recommend without reservation for metaphysical exploits is the singing bowl. You may have seen these before: primary varieties are metal and crystal, and a singing bowl together with its specialized mallet used for playing or striking it vaguely resemble a mortar and pestle:
Singing bowls are absolutely outstanding aids for use in meditation and trance-work, and they really help to transport a person who’s receiving Reiki (I speak from experience — the sound is gorgeous, and held up close, the vibrations from them are tangible, and just feel like they’re rejuvenating whatever they touch!). Each bowl is very much an individual, too, with its own voice and its own personality. For example, the handmade Tibetan bowl that I own won’t sing as loudly as the two machine-cast bowls from India, but it makes the most beautiful sound when struck. The smaller of the two Indian bowls is the trickiest to get going of the three in my collection, but once it’s singing, it has the highest and often the loudest voice. And the middle-sized bowl, the larger of the two Indian ones, is the quickest to leap into song — it seems to really want to hold forth!
And finally, I also believe that sound is a fantastic cleanser. This can be seen in the purely physical world, such as when jewelers or dentists, for instance, will dunk something they’re working on into a sonic bath to shake it clean down to almost the molecular level, but the same concepts can be applied in the metaphysical realms. Try, for example, striking a tuning fork, a bell, a gong, or a singing bowl, and letting the pure vibrations cleanse a room the way you might otherwise use burning sage (bonus: the sound methods leave no lingering scents if that’s an issue). The bowls also have the added ability to accept small items into themselves for a good cleaning: new crystals, for example, seem to emerge happily scrubbed and alive after taking a ride inside an actively singing bowl.
Experimenting with sound: highly applauded!