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A Shattering, So Things Can Shine Anew




Nature, music, art, writing...When I look back at the first week of the new year, 2023, it occurs to me that these are my unflagging friends. I make time and space for walks and concerts, for creating sound baths and making art. I make time every morning to write in my journal, and meet weekly with my longtime writing group to ponder the meaning of a single word.


(From top left going clockwise: Sun hits the boathouse in Prospect Park on a morning walk; intuitive drawing with crayons after meditation; Rachelle Garniez for her Farewell Party '22 Edition Reprise at Pangea; Ourida at Barbes; Dezron Douglas on bass at Bar Bayeaux).


Last week, the word for our Mindful Writing group was "release." Sometimes, it seems, we must let go of one thing in order to open up to something new. In these first fresh days of the year, I purged closets and drawers, cleaning out rarely worn jewelry and clothing. And I also released the hold that certain ideas have on me, certain stories and tales I oft tell myself about who I am, about my fate, my reality. I've been told that some of these stories I tell, while entertaining, might be limiting, holding me back from what could be because of what I have grown over the decades to believe is.


"Openness is the sword that cuts ignorance, the root of suffering," says Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a teacher of the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet who inspired me greatly during my certificate program at the Open Center. He uses what is referred to as the Five Warrior symbols to eradicate limiting patterns, beginning with the syllable A (as in aah, like la:)


"Through the vibration of A, we become aware of and release whatever blocks us, and through the dissolution of the blocks, we are gradually opening, opening, opening, opening, opening, opening," Rinpoche writes in Tibetan Sound Healing.


In my Sacred Bloom sound baths, I have incorporated this opening A syllable, using the vibration of bowls, the kalimba or drums to push the resonance of this important sound. To be open to new ideas, to new possibilities, is the very first step in any positive change or healing that we are looking to do. In order to move into a new year with hope and faith, we must be open to the idea that we will be able to abide all that arrives.


As I was driving along the highway recently, these ideas of shedding the old and being open to the new taking center stage in my mind, I heard the sound of a rock hitting the windshield and saw the glass in front of me crack, and that crack begin to to spread, fast. I laughed. Sometimes the things that happen--even the bad things--align so well with your thought process that you cannot help but feel it was by design, a strange illuminating synchronicity. The shattering glass and the need to replace it, the difficulties that it presented but the knowledge that indeed new glass would be in place, presented a perfect metaphor for 2023. Things break and change, shatter sometimes out of our control, but they are inevitably replaced and restored, sometimes better than before sometimes not, but definitely different. That difference is what we must be open to, must embrace and abide.


Join me in January for a private or group sound bath to tune in to all the beautiful changes that 2023 will bring!



For babies and toddlers and their caregivers, we will be gathering on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 -- January 11, 18 and 25 -- for a Bewitching Hour Baby Jam! 420 12th St., $10 donation.


Wednesday, January 18th, at 7 pm, I will be doing a sound bath for adults at Tea Time Tactics, 1293 Prospect Ave. in Windsor Terrace. $25 ticket price, at the door.


Also, I will be starting a Tuesday morning sound bath series for adults on Tuesday, January 24th -- live at my home and on Zoom from 9 am-10 am. $15 per or $50 for five sessions!


Finally, Wednesday the 25th, I will be hosting the monthly evening session at my home at 7:30 pm. We will focus on Opening.


Email me at stephsthompson@gmail.com to book a private one-on-one or group session or RSVP to one of the planned group sessions!! I am happy to offer gift certificates so you can offer the gift of sound healing to friends and family.





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