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Mindfulness Meditation, Serendipity, Simultaneous Sound Healing, and Brainwave Entrainment /Entertainment

By Steven Halpern, PhD

Most everyone believes that music is a powerful healing force. But what exactly does that mean? And can the right music help millions of us “self-orchestrate on the spectrum of consciousness” to “tune our human instrument” and support healing and optimal wellbeing… without even trying? I have always believed the answer is “yes.” That was a central theme of my 1977 book, Tuning the Human Instrument.

When I heard author and researcher Jean Houston encourage us to “self-orchestrate,” it triggered an immediate vision of the potential of music that could entrain the brains of millions of listeners simultaneously.

I it now possible that with the right music, we can entrain together and amplify our personal healing as well as planetary healing? Seems to me that It’s not only possible, it’s already happening!

Hearing Is Healing — Or Can Be

Over the past 44 years, I’ve received numerous testimonials (anecdotal evidence) that suggest that my best-known album, Chakra Suite, does that on a personal level. That was proven with research involving music and brainwave biofeedback and the human biofield (with Kirlian photography in 1973, 1977, and 1997). Dr. Valerie Hunt, UCLA Professor Emeritus and world renowned for her subtle energy field research, documented that Chakra Suite evoked the highest healing effects of any music she had tested.

Each time someone listens to this music — on CD, their personal playlist or on a streaming music platform like Spotify or Pandora — it adds to and amplifies the morphogenic field that has been created. Rupert Sheldrake’s research helped me to understand this phenomenon in 1980, after hearing him speak and interviewing him for my future book.

Here’s what’s different about today: When listeners all over the world tune in using their own playlist or CDs, they do so on their own schedule. In each individual, their “human instrument” is supported in tuning itself. Indeed, as scientist /inventor Itzhak Bentov pointed out in his classic Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness, the human body is a self-healing organism if we give it a chance. Getting into a deep state of relaxation and mindful awareness gives it that chance.

There are a number of ways to get into the appropriate and most effective state: yoga, meditation, Qigong, prayer, and specially composed music. (When it comes to evoking a healing response, all music is not created equal!)

In ancient Greece, participants at the mystical Rites of Eleusis experienced unity consciousness and the power of group mind, all attuned to the same ritual stimuli of sound, light, and entheogens. I flashed the other day that we are now living in a time where that experience is occurring without our being aware of it, courtesy of streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora.

Of course, on one level, the phenomenon of brainwave entrainment happens in most any concert or EDM event. The key is that concert-goers’ brains are typically not shifting into a deeply relaxed, meditative, healing alpha or theta state. 

Back in the time of Woodstock and the first global concerts like LIVE AID, millions of us around the world were entrained into alignment at the same time. But these were one-time events. I had a vision that took this concept into the 21st century. I didn’t foresee it would happen as it has, without any coordination from an organization like HeartMath or the Global Peace Initiative.

I perceive that an expansion of that paradigm is happening right under our noses, so to speak. The realization caught me by surprise the other day at my chiropractor’s office. Her sound system was tuned to my Pandora channel, unbeknownst to me. I recognized the third song right away: it was “First Chakra: Keynote C” from Chakra Suite, my most well-known and listened-to album.

As was verified using my proprietary chakra-measurement devices on loan from my mentor, Itzhak Bentov, these sequences of non-melodic, non-predictable notes and the luminous tones of the Fender Rhodes electric piano create a unique auditory and subtle energy field that results in a standing wave connecting heart and brain.

This in turn stimulates the brain in a harmonious manner so that it resonates at about 8 cycles per second (8 Hertz (Hz). It’s not a coincidence that this is the same fundamental harmonic of the Earth itself (the Schumann resonance).

Thus, we’re individually assisted in shifting into a state of higher coherence, attunement, and balance. From this state of peace, we radiate out vibrations of peace onto the planet. This is both a physical and metaphysical reality. 

As subtle energy researcher Dr. William Tiller wrote in 1976, “Every cell, atom, molecule, gland, muscle, and chakra in the body vibrate at a particular frequency. Each not only responds to incoming vibrations at that frequency (like a radio receiver), but also radiates (transmits) frequency out into the world (like a radio station).”

That principle holds true now that we’re in the digital age as well.

It’s no secret that most music (pop, rock, rap, classical, or jazz) is not composed with the intention of evoking that kind of response. Nor should it be. 

Our brains unconsciously follow the melody; we have been culturally conditioned to do so all our lives. However, this keeps us anticipating where the music is going, and this keeps us out of a mindful awareness of the present moment.

Relaxation only happens in the present moment, not in the future! As Eckart Tolle points out, this is the blessing and the power of “Now.”

Check out my “Scalus Interruptus Syndrome” video to experience the unconscious stress you never recognized in music before.

Here’s the main event: Since we typically don’t know when it will happen, we can’t plan for it. I would suggest it’s a “serendipitous celestine moment” (thank you, James Redfield). With the right music, streaming music platforms can unwittingly become stealth spiritual vehicles for personal and planetary attunement. 

I’m sure they never considered that, of course.

The intensity of the experience is typically not maximized, since most people are listening to the music as background ambience.

As with any music, the brainwave entrainment and heart-rate entrainment happens automatically. Imagine if more of us were tuned in and ready to take advantage of those opportunities, by setting the intention to do so in advance. We could instruct our genes and subconscious mind to take care of manifesting that potential.

The difference is in the specificity of the stimulus. As Bentov stated, our body/mind/spirit is genetically pre-programmed to experience oneness. The innate intelligence within each of us is ready at any moment.

Recent research by Dr. Bruce Lipton and Dr. Deepak Chopra confirms that we can communicate with our cells and DNA to instruct them to express for optimal wellbeing. Wouldn’t it be great if even 1% of listeners simultaneously shifted into a mindful state of inner peace?

This is no longer a hypothetical question. I believe it is already happening. And I believe the large and growing members of The Shift Network can band together (I call it our Cosmic Consciousness Band) to take advantage of this fact to take the healing to a higher octave.

Steven Halpern is a Grammy® award-nominated recording artist, composer, researcher, author, and pioneering sound healer. He is widely acknowledged as a founding father of New Age healing music. His CD, Chakra Suite, has been named “the most influential New Age healing album of all time.”

His groundbreaking biofeedback research in 1973 helped establish the scientific basis of sound and music's effect on the human biofield and our subtle energy anatomy via his classic album, Chakra Suite. 

Steven is a masterful musician who combines ancient sound-healing traditions with state-of-the-art sonic technology based on the intention of serving the highest good of his audience. As Marianne Williamson has said, "Steven Halpern's music has uplifted a generation of seekers. He has created a soundtrack for our evolutionary journey."

In his first two books, Tuning the Human Instrument (1977) and Sound Health (1985), he listed a number of conditions, according to music therapy organizations, that could be helped, including stress reduction, anxiety, learning, and digestion.

With the birth of the New Age healing music genre in the 1970s, the potential for far greater benefits have been proven, though largely not understood or simply ignored by mainstream journalists, as well as some sound-healer authors who should know better.

As Steven explains, our bodies are human instruments that are genetically programmed to tune themselves, if given a chance. Spending at least five minutes a day in a deeply relaxed state supports the innate intelligence of your cells and DNA to shift into a higher order of balance, coherence, and healing.

Click here to visit Steven’s website.

The Catalyst is produced by The Shift Network to feature inspiring stories and provide information to help shift consciousness and take practical action. To receive The Catalyst twice a month, sign up here.

This article appears in: 2019 Catalyst, Issue 17: Sound Healing Global Summit