Dec 2019 14

432 Hz

Posted In Blog,The world

“Go where your breath takes you.”

In a year where I have given in to where the universe has been nudging me, I found myself at a Sound Bath last night. Yah, I know. A what, Andrew? I don’t even know you anymore, man. Exactly. I had no idea what I was in for either.

Warning – I have no clue if this post is a review, confessional, or cosmic drippings. But to a Sound Bath, I went. I am all for baths, by the way. I’m bubble guy. But this was different.

So during a recent online discussion about dogs and their higher intelligence, I quipped “See you at the Sound Bath”, something I associate with granola and people who don’t use soap on their feet, and I realized I was mocking something I knew absolutely nothing about. A few years ago I did this with the World Naked Bike Ride and then found myself riding through Toronto on my bike, modest bits flopping about, with a herd of other naked humans. I am afraid of what I don’t understand. I am trying to go towards these things. So when I came across an event at a Yoga and Meditation space that was an evening of music and breathwork involving sound, I figured the universe was again telling me to go in the direction of my fears and curiosity.

So what is a Sound Bath? Well, after attending, I have to say I’m still not sure because I think every experience and attendee will experience them differently. It was a guided meditation experience where a group of us lay on yoga mats and were immersed in music and sound, some of which were in the magic zone of 432 Hz, which is thought to be the frequency of the universe, and promotes well-being and harmony. And hey, who doesn’t want that? Especially at this time of year.

So, on a yoga mat I laid. This alone is hard for me. I find it hard to relax and lie still. Gold stars for me just for fighting the urge to get up and flee. But it was dark, and I probably would have tripped over the other bodies arranged around me. No. No one was naked, people. Jeez.

For an hour and a half, I was guided by a soothing voice to go on a trip. And the ticket there, was to control my breaths and charge my body with oxygen. Rhythmic, almost tribal music set a pace and off we went. Circular, deep belly breaths in and out through the mouth. Occasionally an actual drum or crystal sound bowls played by a live musician emanated over us. I think I heard a tuning fork right around me at one time.

“Whatever you find, welcome it in. Know your breath can push you through it.”

The theme of the night was ‘Surrender’. Before the session, many attendees spoke of their intentions, what they wanted to surrender to, and I suppose my own hope was just to surrender to whatever the experience was.

The first 30 minutes or so was an effort. Have you ever laid down with a group of strangers, all breathing heavy, to music? It’s easy to just feel self-conscious. Am I doing this right? Does my breath smell? Is my belly rising enough like they said it should? Oh, do I have a giant belly? Is the instructor looking at my gut? Oh god, I hope I don’t get an erection. These are the strange wanderings of the mind.

But then I was gone. I won’t say where because it’s all a bit cosmic and confusing, but mainly because I don’t know. Old, familiar places I’ve never really been to. Spaces I’ve been to in dreams that don’t actually exist. States of mind. People, this was a mind fuck on a ‘Did I inhale something?’ level. A dream while still awake?

“Trust your body. It knows where it wants to go.”

After passing my one year of sobriety this week, I suppose in the darkness this is the phrase that resonated with me the most. Perhaps it’s an admission of the age I am at and fighting entropy and natural decay, but I’ve worked hard at removing the things I believe were clouding my body and spirit. Do you know how badly I’ve wanted a Bourbon for over a year? Enough to go to a Sound Bath on a Friday Night to replace that rush, that’s how much, everyone.

Yes, I’m trying different shit lately. I do not know where this journey is taking me. Do any of us? On a day when I received news that a friend’s daughter of just 25 had lost her life to cancer, I suppose I was just happy to be there. To be anywhere. To feel my back cramping up from lying on a mat for 90 minutes. To smell the essential oils that the person next to me had dabbed onto them before the session. To hear someone sobbing, deep sobs, during the session. And to come back and know that I’m still here. It’s not over. Every day is a chance to keep moving forward towards some idea of what life could be for myself and for all of us.

The energy of the holiday season can be overwhelming. The waning full moon. The approaching new year and people falsely believing it’s a new decade (there was no ‘year zero’, people) and world events. This is an intense time, everyone. Whether you think Sound Baths are a bunch of hooey or not, we’re all dealing with some major ‘being a human at this time in history’ shit right now.

Be gentle on yourself and others. Basically I’m saying don’t stab anyone with a fucking candy cane in the eye. We’re all gonna make it.

“You get back what you put out there.”

That. This year I learned I can at least surrender to that.