What We Hear

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readMar 9


My spiritual sister and dear friend Ronda Del Boccio told me she recently finished a course on sound healing. Not that she needed it. Ronda has long used sound in her spiritual work in general and healing in particular. A number of musical tones help us to heal people or animals or things (think of all the people trying to heal the Earth). Ronda needed to do further sound healing practice sessions in order to complete an advanced training level.

When asked if my family was willing to be part of her practicum my answer was a resounding Yes! I am a strong believer that if someone is attempting to positively expand their spiritual scope, it’s my duty to lend a hand whenever I can.

Initially Ronda played a recording of the Solfeggio frequencies performed on a crystal bowl. She followed that up with playing various tones on her personal Tibetan singing bowl.

Both the Solfeggio frequencies and Tibetan singing bowls are ancient. Both techniques are known to help in physical and spiritual healing. The tones help slow heart rate and lower blood pressure. They can lead to a deeper level of meditation or in the case of people who don’t meditate but would like to, the tones assist us in calming our minds. They help us learn to relax. If someone is willing to sit quietly, listening only to the tones, relaxation can set in to the point where we can meditate.

Music honestly can calm the savage soul.

I am not someone who does well in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist religious services where the intent was to meditate. All of the loud banging and clanging of bells jars me. It’s unsettling. The same is true of guided meditations where sounds are played or people speak. While those practices don’t work for me, they work for others. That is a great thing.

Years of Western monastic style meditation leads me to yearn for silence. Whether it’s sitting with alone or with others. Some of my best meditation has been in groups after prayers, readings and song. That song, in the Western tradition, does not use the Solfeggio tones as they were once used in Western Christianity.

Should you look up Mozarabic (Iberian or Spanish) chant and Magyar (Hungarian) chant, you will find Western chant that used Solfeggio frequencies more like the tones used in sound healing. Mozarabic chant is very similar to that sung in Arab Orthodox churches. I’ve attended Arab Orthodox churches many times. Listening to their chant, I’ve heard it said by the Arab Orthodox, is like riding a camel. It rises and falls. It sways unevenly to our Western ears. Like the ancient chant of Hungary, the tones, tonalities and songs are strange to us. The composers of that music did not use what we now think of as Western timing or rhythms.

They are something entirely unto themselves.

Within Mozarabic and Magyar chant I have heard heaven singing.

Life is so much fun. When we are offered the opportunity to listen to a new old form of music, we can always ask Why not? Let’s do it! We don’t have to ask Do I have to? Unexpected miracles happen.

None of us has to, but it’s like the first time we taste a potato chip. Try it. It may become addictive. Without the salt and calories.

I like spiritual challenges like these. We think they force us to open up. To my mind, they more often lead us to remember where we have been in this life. We’ve been on roller coasters and swum in lakes or oceans. As a boy my favorite place to get wet was in a creek hidden in woods near my home. There I could take off my shoes and feel the cold water running over my feet.

There were sounds particular to that place. There were the sounds of the birds and squirrels. The wind in the trees. There was also the music of the water in the creek. It was unlike any of the other sounds in the woods. Nothing else in the world had that tone, that pitch.

It was the place where my feet stood in the silt and reached into the depths of the earth.

That was the music of the creek.

My experience with sound healing was that it was enormously relaxing. It relaxed a knot in my shoulders that heat, salves and exercises could not. It connected me with my Creator, my Higher Power. There was no call to prayer. It was the prayer. It relaxed me to the point that shortly after Ronda and I hung up the phone (did I mention we were a thousand miles away from each other?) I fell asleep. A deep, wonderful, meditative sleep.

Healing sound slowed my mind to the point where I had the privilege of going back to the source of my creation.

That is the point of our lives.



Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.