Singing and Sound Healing with Reiki! published article

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Shekhina cover of Reiki News Magazine, Winter 2016
I WALKED INTO MY ASTROLOGY READING thinking that it would be bringing me insights into the life I was living as an artist, but this time was different. My astrologer suggested that I seek out becoming a Reiki practitioner because I had healing hands. This came as a shock because I loved being an artist. She gave me a business card of a friend of hers who was a Reiki Master and teacher. I went to see her for a couple of Reiki sessions, and I was amazed at how I felt—like I had received a massage from the inside out. I felt calm and relaxed with a feeling of real happiness within my heart that I had never felt before. I asked her to sign me up for the next Reiki class she was teaching, and my career as a Reiki practitioner began.

For the next year, I practiced on all my friends and went through all the levels to become a Reiki Master Teacher. My life changed in so many ways. I let go of my particular lifestyle as an artist and began living my life in a more spiritual, healthy way. As one door closes another one opens. I began to become much more conscious of what I put into my body and how I took care of my- self. No more late nights out partying and having hangovers the next day! My diet improved. I realized that I needed to be grounded and present for the people I was giving Reiki to and that I also needed to be present to love myself and my body.

One way Reiki changed my life was by practicing Reiki on my- self every evening just before I went to sleep. This deep, self-loving practice helped me to honor myself and create a new feeling of self- esteem that I had never had before. I was putting special time aside for myself every night for fifteen to thirty minutes to appreciate and have gratitude for me. I noticed that if I had been in a bad mood and I did Reiki on myself, I could shift my mind to a calmer and more loving place. If I had had a disagreement with someone that day, doing Reiki on myself would help me to have compassion for myself and the other person and calm my emotions. If I had a place in my body that hurt, I would Reiki my belly until it eased and re- leased. I realized how in awe I was of Reiki to heal me and to change me into a more loving, calm and compassionate person.

I decided to find an office space and start my Reiki practice in San Francisco. I had doubts come up, but I remembered that this is Reiki. This is Universal Life Force Energy. This is good. I can do this. I let Reiki guide me forward one step at a time. I found that people sought me out for this loving, healing modality that sup- ports all people where they are and helps them to gently grow. I learned to trust myself in relationship to how Reiki supports me and to honor those who came to receive the healing energies of Reiki. My business began to grow, and I was supporting myself financially as a Reiki practitioner and by teaching Reiki classes to pass on this beautiful healing tradition.

As I grew in my Reiki practice, I had these moments in sessions where I felt that I wanted to sing or create healing sounds with the Reiki energies. This felt very scary and crazy at first, but I would gently hum sometimes. I decided to take a sound healing and singing class with Amber Field, a local sound healer. Her class helped me overcome my fears. We learned the spiritual songs that she taught, and I would have tears of joy running down my cheeks as I sang with twenty women and men in four-part harmonies. I practiced singing the songs in the shower, walking on the streets, while I cooked dinner—and soon I felt as if they were a part of me. I began singing to others in some of my Reiki sessions, with Reiki coming through my voice. I found that many people opened up and shed tears of sadness that needed to release or tears of happiness as they opened up more fully than ever before. Some people told me that the songs I sang helped them to feel calm and safe. I felt gratitude for all those who created these spiritual songs that I can now sing with Reiki coming through my voice and my hands together at the same time.

My curiosity about sound healing grew as I used it more and more. I discovered that sound healing uses the power of sound waves and vibrations to restore one’s mind, body and spirit to a sense of balance and harmony through the use of instruments and the human voice. The sound waves shift our brainwave frequencies from a beta state of normal awareness to an alpha state of re- laxation and meditation. The sound vibrations also bring balance to the subtle energies of the physical body. Sound healing has been in existence for centuries in many cultures, such as the Asian In- dian and Native American ones, with chants, singing, drumming and the sounds of other musical instruments.

I decided to try a modern sound healing tool and bought a chakra set of tuning forks. I learned that each tuning fork is a note of the scale that goes with each chakra to help all the chakras come into alignment. The notes that go with each chakra are: B – crown chakra, A – third eye chakra, G – throat chakra, F – heart chakra, E – solar plexus chakra, D – sacral chakra, C – root chakra.

When I use these sound healing tools, I let the Reiki flow through my hands and then I use each tuning fork over each chakra, allow- ing the vibrations to flow into the chakra areas. I let the emanations of each note flow with Reiki so that people can find a very deep re- laxation with this combination of Reiki and tuning forks. I don’t use them in every session, but they really help when I feel called to use them to help open up stuck energy in a chakra with Reiki.
Client responses have been very positive. One client told me that when I used the tuning forks with Reiki over each chakra, she felt a peppermint-like cooling sensation. She said that she loved the combination because it seemed to replenish her energy and bring about a lightness of being. Another client that was very sensitive to the energy work liked the feeling of freedom that she experienced from the vibrations above her body, telling me that she felt uplifted by the use of the tuning forks and Reiki.

I was curious to learn even more, and so I attended an event at the Globe Institute for Sound Healing, also located in San Francisco. My mind was blown open when the facilitator, Institute owner David Gibson, asked us to make the sounds of LOVE. We couldn’t use words, but only sounds! How do I make the sounds of LOVE, I asked myself? When it came to my turn, I freaked out. Then, I closed my eyes, breathed and asked Reiki to move through my heart and my voice—and it did. I sang “AhhhhAmmm- mOooooooo” three times softly. I felt elated and opened my eyes. I could still feel the vibrations of the sounds inside my chest. “I did it!” I said to the group, and everyone smiled back at me.

David then brought out many white crystal bowls, some 12 inches to 24 inches and some even bigger in diameter. He used a suede stick to roll around the edges of the crystal bowls. Beautiful and profound sounds emanated from them. I felt the vibrations moving through my body, gently creating an inner hum. I felt a sense of warmth growing inside. I was hooked! I said to myself, “I gotta get some of these yummy bowls!”

I bought a twenty-one inch “F” heart chakra bowl and started playing it at home, exploring all the sounds that the crystal bowl created. I was amazed and would play the bowl for friends who came over to visit. One friend laid down on pillows next to me and the crystal bowl. I started to create the sounds, rolling the suede stick around the rim of the bowl and, to my surprise, I started singing sounds from my heart! They weren’t words, but sounds that organically arose from my heart chakra and came out as my sounds and song. I felt such joy as I authentically sang the notes from my core self that moved me. At the same time, I could feel tears falling down my cheeks. My friend enjoyed what was happening as I birthed my heart song. Afterwards he thanked me for a beautiful experience during which he had felt energy shifting to help him become more in touch with his deeper self.

I realized this was such a joyful and exuberant moment for both of us and that I wanted to do more! I decided to have a sound healing event and invited twenty people to come. I rented a yoga studio so that we would all have enough room. We sat in a circle on pillows and blankets. I had my crystal bowl before me, hugging it before we began as I felt gratitude for it and all the lovely souls who had come to the gathering. I invited everyone to explore and enjoy their own authentic voices by singing from their hearts. I started rolling the suede stick around the bowl and the room filled with the sound waves and vibrations. I raised my open left hand to everyone and asked the Reiki to flow through the room with the emanations of the crystal bowl.

I sang from my heart sounds that moved through me with Reiki. At one point during the evening, all of our voices created a harmonic song as one song. We weaved in and out of each other’s voices, interconnected to each other through sound vibrations and Reiki. Many people had releases and cried as they let pain go, some laughed in an ecstatic flow of energy and some found complete calmness within and had serene smiles on their faces.

I continue to have sound healing events with the Reiki flowing through my voice and hands and the crystal bowl, and many come to enjoy the opportunity to be in community in a healing environment with sisters and brothers on a healing path. I have learned how Reiki heals in infinite ways through my hands, my voice, the tuning forks and the crystal bowls. My personal Reiki practice continually grows. I am in awe of the powers of Reiki, and I am constantly coming to new understandings of its possibilities.

I am so grateful for this incredible healing modality.

Fall Equinox Sound Healing Sept. 20th SF

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Fall Equinox Sound Healing Sept. 20th SF

Celebrate Fall Equinox Sound Healing Ritual on Tuesday, September 20th 7:00-9:00. Fall Equinox is the day where we have equal hours of darkness to equal hours of light. We will explore Balance within ourselves, to see where more love and balance are wished. Where do you need more grounding with the Earth in your life? Where do you wish more flow of emotions with the Water Element? How can there be more passion in Fire Element? When do you need to sing and laugh with the Air Element?

Awny and Josey will be offering Purifications with the Sound Bars for everyone that comes! Please be on time for this!

We will all craft our very own vision of the 4 Elements on stones washed by the ocean waves. I will be bringing stones from the Pescadero Beach for each person to draw Balance within your self connecting to the 4 Elements! Then we will have our Sound Healing opening up to these new insights and to empower ourselves. I will open Sacred Space and play the beautiful crystal bowl to sing our hearts songs together!

We will give gratitude for the harvest of the bounties the Mother Earth. Please RSVP asap to hold a spot.

Tell all your Sisters and Brothers and Please Forward! The cost is $20 This is a clean & sober event.

We will meet Tuesday, September 20th- 7:00 – 9:00 at  at 41A Parsons Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

I am also available for personal healing sessions to meet your Power Animal or Spirit Guides with guided Shamanic Journey to heal. Reiki sessions with sound healing energy bars for calming and balance are also available. Please email today.

Redwoods Speak to Me

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Redwoods Speak to Me

The Redwoods Speak to Me

© 2016 Shekhina von Recklinghausen Reiki & Shamanic Practitioner

The sun splashes light upon on the moist earth floor, laden with Redwood soft needles in Muir Woods on the California Coast. It smells fresh and fecund. It is very quiet with few people. I can hear my own breath flowing through my lungs releasing out into the low mists. I walk with great respect for these old Redwoods that grow only in Northern California and coastal Oregon. You will find them nowhere else in the world. I feel very blessed by this gift of being amongst them.

The Redwood Trees are magical for me. They are old wise sages that know the secrets of the Earth Herself. They stand as some of the oldest trees on the planet. These trees are ancient giants, the tallest living beings on the Earth, reaching heights of up to 360 feet. Redwoods and Sequioias are also known for their longevity from 1000 years, and sometimes more than 2000 years. I feel very fortunate to be with these ancient trees of this land. The Redwoods are community trees because they grow in a circle with one another. Their roots grow intertwined and they speak to one another this way like a family that they are. They support each other in their roots and live in harmony together.

The old Redwoods are the ancient ones that hold the stories of this land within their roots. They are great, great, great grandmothers who are patient with the little ones, us. They know all the peoples who have lived here throughout time. The Grandmother Trees wait until we listen and then she speaks. She tells of the changes in the Earth and all the earthquakes have been felt here on this land. She speaks of the peoples and tribes that have come and gone. She has seen many die for no reason and she witnesses our human choices and wonders why it is we are not more loving to one an other. The Redwoods are wise because their branches stretch up into the stars. They know of the cosmos mysteries and at the same time all our history below upon the Earth.

I walk along the path and a branch from one huge Tree brushes my arm, I am invited to touch its furry red bark. I feel humbled as I try and wrap my arms around its massive trunk that would take twelve people stretching around to complete the hug! My heart presses against this incredible ancient one. I can feel a presence within the tree itself. I can feel the spirit of this tree.  I sense the strength and power within it.

I decide to speak to it. “I ask you, giant Redwood, what is the secret of your happiness?” I hear the old wise Redwood answer me in my heart. It says, “My secret of happiness lies in the fact that I am always one with the Mother of us all. She embraces my roots so strongly that I never forget where I am or who I am. My love comes from the essence of the sun’s rays which I drink in through my branches. I stretch so very high in the sky to receive the sun’s love. My strength comes through my wide trunk, joining earth below and sun above. I am in the constant ecstasy of all of this energy flowing through my being!”

I ask, “Is this possible for me?” The Redwood tree says, “Yes,  Mother Earth loves you, too, very much and the sun shines loving golden rays upon your head every day.” I have such gratitude being reminded by this great tree how easy it is to feel that I am a part of  great Mother Earth. The Redwoods teach me to receive the love that is here every moment for all of us. I have adoration for the beauty and wisdom of the redwoods. I have great respect for them and I am in awe of them.

I continue my walk through this forest of Redwoods until I come upon a tree where its insides have been burned away from a fire long ago. The Redwood’s insides are still charred black like a dark cave or womb inside the Redwood tree. I wonder if this Tree has been greatly wounded? I walk into the center of this burned out hearth and I feel a whoosh of energy flowing through me, through the tree and into the sky! This is the energy of Mother Earth and the heart of the tree moving from earth to sun above, this is the magical energy of  the Redwood Trees’ Love.

I have heard that the tree gnomes sometimes live inside these burned out hearths in the Redwoods and I would like to meet them.  I sit down at the center of the cave within the tree. I open my third eye, allowing me to see beyond the veils.  I call sweetly to them to come, “Hello Tree Gnomes, please come and play.” and wait patiently. I notice a flash of something out of the corner of my eye. I turn in that direction and don’t see anything, but three small cones fall onto my head out of nowhere! “Ahwwwoo!” I yell, even though it didn’t really hurt. I take this as a sign I have been acknowledged. I ask them to come and play with me and next I see a shiny object on the ground that I had not seen before. I pick it up and see that it is a single earring made out of cloisonné with the moon and stars embedded. “Wow, this is really pretty! Thank you.” I say out loud. I feel honored and take it as a present. I place this very special gift in my pocket and say “Thank you”.  I continue on my walk, knowing I will be back to this Redwood tree again to visit with the tree gnomes! These Redwoods are great teachers, revealing their secrets to all of us who wish to lovingly touch the red earthen colored bark, its furry textures soft and generous.

I continue my walk through the old grove to seek out fallen branches to use as ceremonial power sticks. I will be leading a group of woman learning the ways of shamanism that I teach.  I wish to present the redwood branches as the power sticks to create our connection to Spirit. I look amongst the branches on the ground, surrounding one old, big Redwood and I find the perfect ones.

I pick up the branches and walk up to the massive Redwood. I place my cheek upon its soft reddened bark and ask its permission to use these wonderful branches from its body. I whisper to the tree with my face pressed close, “I am leading women in the ways of shamanism and we wish to embody your powerful energy in the making of shamanic power sticks.  May we have permission to lovingly use the branches you have let go of ?” The Redwood answers in my heart as I look up, my head tilting back as far as it can go. I marvel at the height of this wondrous tree. I can see the sun shining though its top branches, streaming into my eyes. I feel the answer, “Yes child, this is a good opening for the women to see my strength in themselves. You may take a branch for each of the women, so they may carry my energies within them.” I wrap my arms around this Tree, trying to reach its wide berth, barely making it one fifth around. I hug this ancient one and thank it with love as my chest presses into its reddish body. “Thank you Oh Great One.” I say out loud.

This Redwood tree then tells me, “No one has ever in my many years ever touched me and spoke to me like you have done today. I am very happy and surprised to be seen and honored. This is a sign that times are changing and that the humankind is awakening. They are awakening to see that we are all alive as they are, and can be seen as equally as important as they are!” The Redwood tells me it has shared this sign of awakening happily with the other trees in its circle. It shares my love, blessings and gratitude with the other Redwood trees. I feel such reverence for these ancient Redwoods.

I hike the trail back through this magical, enchanted forest winding through the beautiful Muir Woods. I walk down to the sweet water wending its way through the base of the woods. I stop and take in the beauty of the trickling sounds of water over rocks and the crows cawing in the trees above. I decide to stop and give a song of gratitude to the waters and Redwoods and begin singing a Hindu prayer of Om Shanti. “Om” meaning “The sacred sound of the All That Is” and “Shanti” meaning “Peace.” I sing a soft melody with the sacred song creating a vibrating “Oooommmm Shaaaaaanti”.  I sing and chant till the crows caw with me and we sing together. I am connected to these amazing Redwoods with all my heart. I tell the redwoods that I love them and they continue to speak with me.

I invite you to open your heart when you are in the Redwood Forest next time you are there. Stop and press your heart to the red furry bark and let your cheek feel their softness touch your skin. Let your mind send loving thoughts and heartfelt gratitude. Open up and ask these sacred Ones your deepest longings and hear the answers. I promise if your heart is open, you will hear the wise and loving messages, given. I don’t think I could live anywhere else but here in the Bay Area because I need to be near the Redwood Trees and yes, I admit I am a California Tree Hugger!