Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tibetan Sound Healing

Tibetan Sound Healing is a book-and-CD set by Tenzin Wangyal, Rimpoche, a prolific author on Tibetan practices. He is the founder of the Ligmincha Intitute of Tibetan Bon studies.

Tibetan Sound Healing, a book and CD (set) by Tenzin Wangyal, Rimpoche on how to use the five sacred syllables for healing.

Many cultures teach that certain sounds, words, or syllables have power, and that intoning them properly can heal. Tibetans learned much from teachers from India and from Mongolia and then experimented over centuries to develop their own healing practices with sound.

To Tibetans the practices that we consider esoteric, magical, or religious are simply technologies of the mind. Tibetan Buddhism and Bon beliefs are very pragmatic. They are teach us to control our own thoughts, feelings, bodies and minds.

To Tibetans, being healthy is important to allow us the freedom to develop the mind to higher levels of understanding, or enlightenment. Also, they believe that everyone should help others to be free from suffering. So healing is important to them.

Many (if not most) Tibetan practices, such as meditation, can be done by anyone who receives the proper teaching, whether or not you accept the ethnic elements of their beliefs. In other words, you don't have to be a Tibetan or believe in Buddhism or Bon for Tibetan sound healing to work for you.

The kind of Tibetan sound healing taught in this book is done by intoning certain sacred syllables. (It is not about music or musical instruments.) The author explains everything very clearly. Then he teaches how to pronounce each of the five syllables and provides a CD that shows you exactly how they should sound.

The book does not mention the harmonic toning or chanting done by Tibetan Buddhist monks. But if you listen carefully to the CD, you can hear a slight edge of harmonics when each one of the sacred syllables is properly intoned.

I was lucky enough to take teachings from Tenzin Wangyal in 1990, even before he moved to Houston to teach at Rice University, and then several more times while he lived here. He has since moved back to Virginia but comes to Houston at least once a year to teach.

I go to hear him speak whenever I can. Besides being an expert teacher, he is an amazing person, very pleasant, low key, and unassuming. He introduces himself simply as "Tenzin." He is not a monk and does not wear robes.

Rimpoche is a title, meaning Precious Jewel, that Tibetans use for a lama who is recognized by other lamas as being the reincarnation of one or more earlier lamas. Those who carry the title of Rimpoche are the real deal. It is not about what they have studied. They actually have the metaphysical abilities for which Tibetan lamas are justly famed. And they speak with authority on Tibetan beliefs and practices.

Tenzin Wangcyal was personally taught by the greatest living masters of Bon. He is famous as a teacher, a scholar, an author, and a reincarnated Tibetan lama of the Bon religion. He is a true practitioner of what he teaches.

With a list price of only $19.95, the "Tibetan Sound Healing" book-and-CD-set is an amazing value. You can buy it from Ligmincha Institute, from Snow Lion Publications or on Amazon.com (for about $13.50). I recommend it.

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