East Aurora, NY
After a long drive on Saturday night, and another short drive on Sunday morning, I arrived in the charming town of East Aurora, NY with about an hour to spare before the daylong Power of Healing Sound Workshop ~ and we were expecting a full house! The morning’s drive was beautiful. Along the highway were rolling hills dotted by wetlands, cattails and tall marsh reeds thickly lining the edges, and magnificent fields of wildflowers in every color imaginable ~ even Monet couldn’t have painted something this stunning! Farm fields were plentiful, and every few miles a faded, yet functional barn would appear. Truly a spectacular scene. As this was my first time travelling in western New York, I truly enjoyed taking in the land and sky!
My host was a dear sister I met in Peru in 2014. Barbara, her daughter, Helene, and I all met while going through the initiation into the Rites of the Munay Ki in the Sacred Valley, and she and I had stayed in touch since that time. In planning my tour, I reached out to her and was so thrilled when she agreed to host me for this daylong workshop ~ one of my favorite ones for sure ~ through her healing center, Crystal Bridge Healing. As time approached for the tour, I kept getting updates on more and more people registering for the workshop, as well as people who would join us for the evening’s Sound Medicine Journey, too. While the distance had seemed daunting at first, I was mostly excited to reconnect with Barbara, and imagine my surprise when I learned that the workshop was fully booked! As we were setting up for the day, I was even more surprised to hear how many more people would join us for the evening’s journey ~ so many that we’d need to use chairs and cushions instead of having everyone resting on the floor ~ amazing!
During the day, we explored all the ways that sound can be used for self healing, as well as in working with others in both one-on-one sessions and groups. We explored toning, chanting bija mantras, singing kirtan-style mantras together, and had some rich conversations about what it means to free your voice and liberate your creative flow. We also explored drumming as an entrance into trance states, and drummed together, such fun! And we closed the workshop with my favorite: the Sound Medicine Orchestra! Everyone had the opportunity to choose a drum, rattle, singing bowl, or gong, and we created a rich and exotic tapestry of sound ~ once it was steady and flowing, I joined in with the flute, and it was really, really beautiful!
In the evening, over 20 people filled the space for our Sound Medicine Journey! It was packed for sure, and the community was already well versed in journey space ~ there are so many healers, intuitives, and shamanic practitioners in this area, and that makes it so easy to slip into the space of deep listening. It was pure magic!! I truly cannot *wait* to come back to this community! In fact, I think about half the people in the workshop decided that I should move here pretty much immediately so that we could all continue to share such meaningful and fun practices together on a regular basis! I love it!
By the end of the day, I was so exhausted that I was feeling a bit delirious and couldn’t even fall asleep for a long time ~ after five days of getting far too little sleep, being on the road so much, and directing my energy externally far more than usual, I was in need of deep rest, and grateful for Barbara’s generous hospitality. The bed felt like the most comfortable bed I had ever slept on, and the cool evening breeze coming in the open window was a delight. Every day the gratitude grows bigger!