As co-founder of The Uplift Project, I get to experience all kinds of wellness methods from ancient techniques to the latest fitness trends. One of the most far out experiences was a sound meditation led by Alexandre Tannous. If you’ve never been to a sound meditation, it goes like this: you lay down and get super comfortable, put an eye mask on, and actively listen. Then the practitioner begins to play instruments such as Tibetan Bowls, gongs, crystal bowls and shruti box. The purpose of using these instruments is that it’s easier to hear and feel the harmonic overtones. Say what? Alexandre is unlike anyone I’ve ever met: totally fascinating and deeply knowledgeable.
Born and raised in Lebanon during a civil war, Alexandre found peace and a healthy distraction from reality through studying and playing music. This was when he first experienced the effects of sound, which became the basis for a life-long thesis. “Having experienced what sound can do in that context eventually made me investigate how sound can be used to preserve one’s sanity, to establish a meditative state, and for therapy and healing and revealing the self.”
After immigrating to New York in 1989 and attending graduate school at Columbia University, he began field work to understand the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound and their effects on consciousness through three different perspectives: the western scientific, shamanic societal beliefs and eastern philosophical. “I participated in various shamanic ceremonies because I realized that sound was an important part and wanted to know why. By having a direct experience, I gained insight into what sound was doing to my consciousness.”
“Sound is essential in shamanic ceremonies, and brings the self into a state of resonance, where healing and revealing lives. The real alignment between mind, body and heart. The universe started with the primordial Om in Hinduism, the concept of Akasha, the first sentence of the Gospel of John, the Big Bang–this is all about sound. Sound is it. Sound is the creator of this reality.”
This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Five.
xx Andrea Praet