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The Purifying Nature Of Sound

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The Purifying Nature Of Sound

Anodea Judith Explains The Function Of The Throat Chakra And Shows You How To Find Your Power Song
Anodea Judith
Anodea Judith More by this author
Oct 14, 2016 at 03:45 AM

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

- Buddha

The element of the fifth chakra is sound, and this chakra relates to communication, listening, learning, creativity, and self-expression. When we communicate, we are vibrating our breath into words that have meaning, connecting our inner consciousness to the awareness of another with some bit of information.


Communication allows connection and makes it possible for consciousness to dissolve its boundaries and be shared by many.

The vibrations of sound have a subtle effect on matter and a profound effect on spirit.

Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist from the UK who writes and conducts entire symphonies, claims that she “hears” sound by feeling the vibrations through her body. She often plays barefoot to feel the vibrations coming up through the ground as she keeps in time with a whole orchestra. She has recorded several albums and is inspiring to hear in concert. She even sings!

The name of the throat chakra, Visuddha, means “purification.” Coherent sound that is harmonious and resonant has a purifying effect on matter. When sound is played so that it vibrates a flat metal disc with salt on it, the vibrations move the salt crystals into mandala-like patterns. Change the sound, and the shape of the mandala changes as well, but with any pure sound, it is always ordered and centred. So sound has an effect on our bodies as well, and new research is exploring the potential of sound waves to heal illnesses and restore vitality.

In a similar way, speaking our truth, while it might be messy in the short run, has a purifying effect on everything. Truth has a field we can resonate with – it’s something we can palpably feel. Even when the truth is difficult, it serves to liberate us in the long run. On the liberating current, moving up from the chakras, the truth will set us free.

People love to be around communication that resonates with them. That’s why crowds flock to hear speakers talking about things they believe in, why politicians can create whole movements with passionate speeches, and why the audience cheers when the band plays that classic hit that everyone knows best. Resonance brings harmony to all our subtle vibrations and helps us feel whole and connected.

And lastly, the idea of purification through the throat chakra states that we must purify ourselves in order to access the transcendent realms of the upper chakras. As energy moves through the chakras from gross to subtle, we refine our vibrations at each chakra. The throat chakra – the narrowest part of the body along the core – makes vibrations subtler and subtler, preparing the mind for the stillness that takes us into non-dual consciousness in the sixth and seventh chakras.


Tuning Your Instrument

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

- Galileo Galilei

You can think of your chakras as jewels along a luminescent string of energy running between heaven and Earth – the inner cord of your soul. When you stretch out that luminescent string, you are tuning it up, just as you would tune a guitar string by stretching it between two points. If it is adjusted to the proper tension, it makes a beautiful sound. If it is too loose or too tight, it won’t vibrate at its true frequency and the sound will be sharp or flat.

Life will most certainly pluck that string. And when it does, the string will vibrate with the impact. Under natural circumstances, that vibration will continue until the strength of the impact is cancelled out – usually a few moments. If the string is plucked harder, the sound will be louder and the vibration last longer. If it is plucked softly, the sound will be barely noticeable and the vibration last only a few seconds.

When life “plucks our string” with anything that has an impact on our soul, we naturally want to talk about it, cry about it, sing about it, or write poetry about it. If someone bumps into us on the street, we might say “Ow!” If an event at work impacts us during the day, we want to discharge its energy when we come home at night, perhaps by saying to a friend, “You’ll never guess what happened to me today!” or discharging passively by zoning out in another conversation, or television, or a book.

Recently, while travelling, I heard about an area of California near where I live being consumed by wildfires, including Harbin Hot Springs, a spiritual centre for the whole Bay Area and a place I had frequented for many years. I felt grief-stricken and noticed I needed to talk about it to anyone who would listen, even though I was far from home and no one around me was familiar with the area I was talking about. But just being able to talk about it helped me deal with the sense of loss and devastation.

The act of expressing what has impacted us is natural and normal. When we do so, it leaves us in a state of balance. However, it’s not always possible to express our truth. Sometimes we have no one to talk to. Sometimes, as is often the case with children, we are not believed or listened to. We might be ridiculed for what we are saying. If we’re at work, it might be inappropriate to share our feelings, and we have to lock down on that inner vibration that wants to come out.

Our whole body is an instrument that the Divine is constantly playing. Blocking its natural vibration deadens the life within us and blocks our throat chakra. When we can’t speak our truth, that vibration is stored in our body, and over time that body becomes dense, thick, or rigid – in a sense, “frozen.” Rigid tissue does not vibrate very easily, and we lose the resonance with our own being. Over time, the natural resonance of our subtle vibrations fall into dis-harmony, or dis-ease.


It takes considerable effort to keep an important vibrational impact from being expressed. It’s as if we have to post a sentry guard at the gateway of our throat chakra to keep what’s inside from coming out. Unfortunately, that sentry guard isn’t all that smart. It can’t sort out what is OK to express and what isn't. It checks everything that comes through, even our creativity, our natural self-expression, and the strength of our voice. Much like going through a security checkpoint at an airport, this slows everything down and makes it more difficult for us to communicate. It takes us out of resonance with the world around us.

The demon of this chakra is lies – the opposite of truth. Anytime we’re not fully telling our truth, we’re living a bit of a lie. And remember, we can lie with our words to others, but we can also lie to ourselves, lie with our actions, our body, or our facial expressions. As children, we might have been the receiver of lies, or been part of a family that was living a lie. This demon can take many forms, but its antidote is the same action that opens your throat chakra: to speak your truth, to listen to others when they speak their truth, and to live in harmony with greater truths. This will enhance your creativity and allow you to be more fully present in your conversations with others.

Exercise: Finding your power song

If you watch young children playing freely, you will see that they love to move and make noise at the same time. They might rock back and forth from one leg to another and hum, or repeat a phrase in a sing-song-like manner. Looking closely, you will notice there’s a strange kind of rhythm to it, and that the body and the sound are perfectly coordinated. In this exercise, you are invited to open to this playful freedom to find your power song.

  • Find a place where you can walk freely and make a noise without feeling ridiculous. Your living room is fine if it’s big enough to stride around in, otherwise find a place in the woods or on a beach where you can be alone. (Alternatively, you can do this exercise with others, so none of you feels silly.)
  • Begin walking and allowing random sounds to come out of your mouth that reflect the rhythm of your walking. Any sounds will do: rhythmic humming, nonsense words, even phrases if they come to mind, maybe sounds like “bo-eem-oh-wep, bo-eem-oh-wep” or “in di baba, in di baba, ooh, ooh.” Of course these are just examples, and you’ll have to find your own!
  • Once you loosen up and find a rhythm, begin to walk more purposefully and powerfully. Bring some energy into your legs and make each step deliberate, yet still allow yourself to move rhythmically and let the power flow through your whole body.
  • As your steps begin to express your power, allow your sounds to mirror this power. They may change from your original sounds. This should happen organically, without effort or the mind getting too involved. Let it arise spontaneously.
  • Continue walking powerfully until your sounds begin to find a groove and be repeated: this is your power song. Allow it to settle into something simple that you can remember and repeat when needed.
  • Once you have found your power song, slow down your steps but continue singing your power song and notice how it feels in both your throat and your third chakra.
  • Remember this sound. Perhaps even write it down. Next time you need a little extra power, mentally review your power song, or, even better, take a power walk and sing!




About Author
Anodea Judith
Anodea Judith, Ph.D., is a therapist and workshop leader who has written extensively on the use of the chakra system as a template for transformation. Her books include Eastern Body, Western Mind (Celestial Arts, 1996), Wheels of Life (Llewellyn, Continue reading