Since the beginning of recorded history, music has been a healing therapy for those seeking balance and a means to attain higher states of awareness. Breath, posture, musical phrasing and sacred chants assist in opening the consciousness. As a yoga teacher and Thai Yoga Therapist, I seek out new healing modalities, so when I heard of the Radiant Awakening Sound Journey, near my home in Los Angeles, I couldn’t resist attending.
Held at the Calabasas home of Carmen Joy, a certified Acharya Meditation Instructor,the atmosphere was warm and inviting. After traveling to India, Carmen immersed herself in the inner science of yoga and meditation, studying in the Himalayan Mountains and at South Indian Vedanta ashrams. Committed to yoga and meditation, Carmen has made it her mission to teach and to offer her home as a modern “sangha” (community) where people of all walks of life, can gather and share their collective gifts.
The afternoon began with the formation of a comfortable circle of fellow seekers. Led by Gabriel Braun, a gifted multi-instrumentalist and Bhakti yogi, known for his ability to weave meditative techniques and music together into a healing space. Gabriel sings and plays a number of instruments such as world flutes, didgeridoo, guitar, crystal bowls and Djembe and has been known to accompany yoga classes and kirtans. When asked about how he started on the path, Gabriel tells the story of hearing the sound of a flute during a yoga class which initiated his journey. Since that moment, he has gone through an array of experiences that gave him a deeper sense of connection to all life. Now he teaches Shamanic Breath work and workshops which offer healing sound and prayers.
Over the next two hours, Gabriel introduced us to the instruments and their healing vibrations. Not only was the vibration of each instrument penetrating, but the sound leads the listener on a powerful psychosocial journey.I found myself doing inner work; moving to the core of my being. Things came up or were dislodged; emotions, memories, fears, sorrow. But I felt safe—whatever came up was acceptable. Gabriel intuitively knew what we were experiencing and punctuated the deep moments of resonance with, “Let it go,” and “let the music lead you.” As Gabriel gently drew us through guided meditations of sound, breath and movement, he made a supported space for release. Gabriel’s skillful use of language and sound was captivating and soothing.
The group hummed, chanted, sang and internalized the hypnotic rhythms created by Gabriel. It was hard not to resist being lulled by the flute melodies that flowed through his masterful hands. I found myself moving inward, yet still a part of a collaborative groove that seemed to swell with our naked voices, so pure and guttural. Effortlessly, I found myself slipping into a blissful state—opening, arising, and celebrating. Now I understood what he meant by vibrational healing, it felt like coming home.
Somehow, the hypnotic experience was also grounding. I felt centered and connected to the group as a whole. When it ended, the feeling lingered. I was lighter and imbued with a deeper sense of understanding and awareness for the subtle powers of sound and vibration. I purchased two CDs produced by Gabriel, one created with a group of his fellow musicians, and one featuring his solo work and both proved to be just as magical as the live experience. I now have the music readily available to pop into my car CD player, as I make my journey down the 405 freeway onto another healing event, humming, chanting and singing along blissfully.
Gabriel Braun offers a unique type of body work referred to as “Radiant Awakening Bodywork” which integrates relaxation and deep circulatory massage, guided meditation, sound healing and prayerful invocations to create an openness in the physical body, and an inner awakening to one’s highest power and deepest truths. For more information, please contact Gabriel at: (310) 560-9838 or by e-mail at: RadiantAwakeningGabriel@gmail.com
Carmen Joy offers weekly meditations on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., along with her deliciously prepared vegan soup. How can one resist that combination? She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org for future special events and ongoing classes.
Until I write again, I wish you joy, love and deepest gratitude.