Mindful Muse is a series featuring amazing people who live life with authenticity and passion, and inspire others to lead more fulfilling lives as well! In this installment, we talk with sound healer Jessica Morris of Down to Earth Meditation.
WHAT DREW YOU TO SOUND HEALING?
When I lived in Boulder, Colorado, I went to this little Tibetan shop looking for a certain item. As soon as I stepped through the door, I was completely enraptured by the unearthly sounds of a singing bowl. It was the first time I heard such a sound and I immediately fell in love. The sound touched me deeply. I forgot what I was looking for and joined the shop owner, who was singing the bowl, on the floor in a sea of singing bowls. That began the beginning of my love affair with singing bowls and I bought my first one, a sweet A note.
HOW DID YOU LEARN TO DO SOUND HEALING? TELL US WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE TEACHERS?
I learned how to do sound therapy with one of the foremost bowl masters in the world, a joyful man from Nepal. He trained me in two different private intensives. Working with this teacher and witnessing how he works with the bowls felt like being in the presence of a master. This man has been an apprentice of the singing bowl tradition since he was a child, both in the craftsmanship of making the bowls, as well as playing them. He is a true healer. I consider myself to be a very good mid-wife of the bowls and was trained in an authentic way but am not myself a healer. However, I have been playing the bowls consistently for ten years and have an intuitive relationship with them.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
I help people get in touch with themselves both through the practice of meditation and with the singing bowls. My work is based out of my own practice which I am inspired to keep up with so I am trustworthy in what I offer. Basically, I get to share what I am most passionate about as my means of livelihood. It is a real blessing to be able to work this way.
WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING THING ABOUT PERFORMING SOUND HEALING?
On a practical level, spending a lot of time working on the floor as a tall person is physically challenging.
Another aspect that can be challenging is working in a culture that is accustomed to quick fixes. The bowls have incredible healing properties and one can be touched by the sound immediately which in itself is a benefit. It is a process to help people sensitize themselves to the culture of true health which takes time and can be subtle at points. I aim to build confidence in people by letting them know that every effort they make counts in the process of harmonizing themselves with their body and with their life.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE CHAKRAS AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO INCORPORATE THEM INTO YOUR WORK?
Working with the chakras is an essential part of sound therapy. The sounds and physical vibrations of the bowls help to break up areas that are stuck and create circulation in the body. Each bowl has a different musical sound that loosely coordinates with a specific chakra. I love helping people move out of stuck-ness and into a juicy flow.
WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL EXPECTATIONS CLIENTS HAVE OF SOUND HEALING BEFORE THEY TRY IT AND WHAT DO THEY EXPRESS AFTER THEY'VE TRIED IT?
Many people don’t know what to expect when they come for a sound therapy session, it is a pretty unique experience. People of course come to relax. I describe it is a cellular level massage with sound. After a session, people tend to report that they feel really relaxed, tensions were dissipated or a magical sense of being transported to another realm. The sounds have a spiritual quality and can help us connect to another realm than just the material one.
JUST FOR FUN, NAME 3 THINGS THAT BRING YOU JOY...
Wrestling with my puppy and then kissing her soft ears. My home-made morning latte with organic coffee, almond milk and raw honey. Physical labor like organizing garage sales or painting (time away from computers) - this creates balance for me.
WHAT DOES BALANCE MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DOES IT MANIFEST IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
Balance to me means being disciplined to follow a series of practices that helps me be more aware and relaxed.
Every morning it starts with prayer, meditation, drinking water, studying a text of wisdom and some form of exercise.
I do my best to do all or most of this before I engage in work so I can get the benefit of being before doing.
A simple but essential part of balance for me is just training myself to be aware of the body. If I am only running around in my thought and emotional patterns, I don't feel balanced. Meditation practice helps me to interrupt those patterns and restore a sense of well-ness by connecting directly to the present moment.
WHAT BRINGS YOU THE MOST JOY?
Spending time with my spiritual Teacher.
I am most excited that people will be touched by the sounds of the singing bowls. Sound can travel to the deepest part of us and literally touch our cells. Nothing else can reach us so deeply. I am glad to be able to help people receive some good vibes, relieve some stress and help harmonize themselves to their higher frequencies. I am also glad to give people a taste of meditation, a life-changing practice for me.
If you would like to try this incredibly healing technique, join us for our Mindful Mosaic® Women’s Retreat in Hudson Valley, NY this October. Jessica will be be leading the group in a sound healing session of Tibetan singing bowls, each with musical notes coordinating with the 7 chakras.