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Tibetan Sound Healing

by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

      Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, the founder of the Ligmincha Institute in Virginia, is a teacher of the Bön Buddhism tradition and the author of five books. In his latest, Tibetan Sound Healing, he offers Western seekers access to the secrets he learned as a student in Tibet. But the word "secrets" may tinge what he presents as some sort of mystical, supernatural, or arrogant training that can help us solve all of our problems, such as "the secrets of weight loss" or "the secrets of happiness," as if by merely discovering these methods, we can somehow grasp THE ANSWER. That would diminish what Rinpoche is presenting.

In reality, he does offer us valuable and practical insights into how we can help ourselves. Like any truth, his wisdom is succinct. In 91 pages, he lays out a method for us to begin to understand our outer behaviors and perceptions, our inner experiences, and our secret motivations. Through what he calls the Five Warrior Syllables, a tone for each of five chakras or energy centers in the body, he leads us to the Four Immeasurables (love, compassion, joy, and equanimity). After an introduction that explains the background of this method, he devotes a chapter to each warrior syllable. Accompanying the book is a CD Rinpoche has prepared to help us make the correct sounds that correspond to each chakra.

His explanations are easy to understand, though you may wish to reread them over and over for deeper meaning. Rinpoche, however, would rather his students spend more time working on singing the warrior syllables and less time discussing the ideas. He feels that practice will lead us more quickly to our own enlightenment than years of discussion. I found that concept refreshing, because we Westerners usually do spend too much time intellectualizing our spiritual practice instead of doing it. Rinpoche teaches that once we discover our secret motivations, we will understand our inner perceptions, and then we can begin to share the Four Immeasurables with others.

Rinpoche recommends the reader take each warrior syllable at a time in the beginning. Read the first chapter, ponder it, and see how it applies to your life, then listen to the track on the CD that corresponds to the warrior syllable. Each track has a meditation on a single warrior syllable. The final track is a complete meditation on all five warrior syllables. He also includes tsa lung exercises to open up our breathing and suggests these be done before singing the syllables each time.

What I found most helpful is Rinpoche’s suggestion to begin where we are. If we are in pain, feel frustrated, have treated someone badly, or have just lost our joy, start there. Then consider what antidote (love for hate, compassion or self-centeredness, etc.) would correct that feeling or behavior. Use this antidote to focus meditation on the warrior syllables and their corresponding chakras. Then, don’t leave the enlightenment you have learned on the floor where you sat. Move into the world and manifest the antidote you found.

Tibetan Sound Healing is an excellent tool to begin to work through the blocks in our spiritual lives and in our connection with others. Highly recommended.

The Book

Sounds True
January 2007
Hardcover with CD
ISBN10: 1591794277
ISBN13: 978-1591794271
Self-help - Inspiration, spiritual
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!, Relaxation Techniques for Children, Relaxation Techniques for Adults; Co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book. Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook, Get Rich on Love, and Sacred Breath (a sound recording of relaxation meditations).
© 2006