By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Sound has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as recorded history. It is deeply rooted in the religious practices of ancient cultures and civilizations, and today we find scientific research confirming the wisdom of these ancient practices.
Anyone interested in the research should search the literature under psychoacoustic, the study of the perception of sound, including how we listen, our psychological responses, and the physiological impact of music and sound upon the human nervous system.
This phenomenon — scientific validation of ancient wisdom — represents the intersection of two of the eight sources from which the Unitarian Universalist “living tradition” draws its sustenance — wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life, and humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason. This brings us to this Sunday’s program offered by Rica Potenz, “The Healing Power of Sound,” and described by her as follows.
What is sound? Sound is primal — the primary energy from which all is created. According to Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan, sound is the original mystical experience of all creation, and is found in many religious and mystical philosophies. Its origins are found in many traditions and cultures throughout history. In the Bible, it is said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God”; and we also find that the Word is light, and that when that light dawned the whole creation manifested. Vedanta philosophy of the Hindus believe the same thing, only they call the Word OM. The Word or OM is the bridge between energy and material manifestation. Energy becomes sound, and sound transports us into material reality.
OM is also described in Buddhist scriptures as “The most powerful one. Its power alone can bring enlightenment.”
Sound is used by many cultures and wisdom traditions — ancient and current — for healing, changing consciousness, enlightenment, bringing awareness, connecting to the divine and connecting to each other.
The presentation will be an experiential one. Participants will have the opportunity to bathe in the vibrations of crystal and Tibetan bowls, and a symphonic gong, experiencing for themselves the effects of sound on body, mind and soul.
“What makes us feel drawn to music is that our whole being is music: Our mind and body, the nature in which we live, the nature which has made us, all that is beneath and around us, it is all music.” — Hazrat Inyat Khan.
Ours is a welcoming congregation; we invite everyone to share in our faith community. Leadership is by Pastor Dean Cerny on the third and fourth Sunday or by a lay leader on other Sundays. The Religious Exploration program for 2- to 9-year-olds continues on April 14 and 21. For more information, contact Anna Ramirez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn right onto Park Avenue and right again into Greenbriar Plaza, then turn left and continue around the complex until you see the Unitarian Universalist sign as it faces the mountains. Come in and join us. For further information about the Pagosa UU Fellowship, visit pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.
By Pauline Benetti