If you've been to a yoga festival or even hiking in The Santa Cruz Mountains recently, chances are you've seen Danny Goldberg in his element. Between 3 gongs, surrounded by Tibetan singing bowls, bells, woodwinds, and other magical instruments - including one that looks like a tambourine but sounds like the ocean! - he is present, masterful, and otherworldly. I was lucky enough to walk by his booth recently at Wanderlust Festival Squaw Valley just as someone from his long list of clients forgot to show. After a 20 minute session, I felt transformed.
And so, in (excited!) anticipation of Danny's upcoming Sound Immersion at the SF Buddhist Center October 9th as well as several dates in and around the Bay, we caught up with Danny to find out more about his practice.
There is growing enthusiasm for Sound Healing. Can you tell us a bit about how it works?
The sound vibrations of singing bowls, gongs & chimes guide us into a deep meditation. The healing vibrations pass through our bodies, opening blockages & allowing our minds to quiet. A wide range of ancient world traditions from Confucianism to the Pythagoreans’ claimed that sound could not only "tune the soul" but affect our cosmological & social worlds as well. The physiological impact of sound on the body, emotions & cognition is apparent. Through the vibrations of these instruments we experience an inner calm & deep relaxation that enables us to journey within & center.
Many of your upcoming events incorporate Sound Healing with movement practices like Yoga, QiGong or even Yin Yoga, a deep yogic practice of going inward. How can the Sound Healing help to enhance the movement practice?
Integrating Sound Healing with movement practices can help to release tension, soothe the nervous system, and enliven the flow of prana/chi in the body. The sounds of the Gongs & Singing Bowls allow the body to relax; therefore deepening the yoga practice & meditation. In this space of relaxation we can fully listen, release, and surrender.
You also conduct a lot of sound healing in nature. It's been written about in books such as The Way of Energy that humans and trees exchange energy in a method similar to that of respiration; the energy we no longer need, similar to the air we exhale, feeds the trees and vice versa. Do you have special spots in nature that you feel resonate with various sounds in different ways? Are there sacred spots you find more powerfully complement the effects of sound healing?
Sharing the sacred sounds in nature can amplify the healing properties of sound. The ocean, the wind, the trees, the earth, the stones, the animals, the birds & the infinite sounds of nature all play a role in the experience. Some caves, trees or earth formations can create powerful containers & natural amphitheaters that will also enhance the potency of these healing sounds.
You conduct personal healings, where you vibrate various bowls and sounds that sit on a person's body. I've experienced this and found it to be very powerful! Do you play sounds intuitively when working with an individual or group, or do you work with a regimented series known to bring about certain effects, such as joy, clarity, peace?
I place Singing Bowls on the body intuitively. Specific sounds (notes) resonate with each of the chakras or energy centers in the body. As the Singing Bowls vibrate on the body stagnant energy is released. We all resonate with different tones & vibrations; when we harmonize, we heal.
Danny Goldberg's Sound Immersion Experience weaves the restorative vibrations of singing bowls, gongs & chimes to create a blanket of healing sounds. The sound provides a channel for release, opening & transformation; tuning our vibrational frequency. Danny performs solo & in collaboration with Yoga, Qigong, Breathwork & Meditation. Danny offers the Sound Immersion Experience for individual or group sessions at yoga studios, healing centers & events throughout the U.S.including: Globe Sound Healing Conference, Beloved, New Living Expo, Wanderlust, Phases of the Moon Festival, Breathe Yoga, Divinitree Yoga, Yoga Tree, Science & Nonduality Conference, Lightning in a Bottle, Lucidity, Symbiosis Gathering & countless other events. Danny has presented the Sound Immersion for UC Santa Cruz & Foothill College Music Program annually.
Photos: Courtesy of Danny Goldberg
Post written for SFYogaMag.com