Stowe Holy place
I am the circle
The Four Winds
I am going to share a story of a special experience gifted by nature. The experience inspired the music I am going to share with you. Please read what I have written below before listening to the music. It is hopefully inspiring!
When I was 23 years old I had a particularly powerful ‘Grail experience’.
I was working as a ranger in a remote, rugged and beautiful part of Cornwall, England. This was a very special place for me. I lived on my own in a little bungalow near an old isolated farmhouse in the countryside. The name of the farm was Stowe Barton, ‘Stowe’ meaning ‘holy place’ in the Saxon language and the site used to be a monastery hundreds of years ago. The bungalow was located about twenty minutes walk away from two beautiful surfing beaches – through trees, valley and cliffs.
The weather here was very changeable being right on the Atlantic coast and the elements were raw.
My family has a history in nearby parts of the country and the nature and raw elements of this place feel like they are part of my blood and bones. Every day I felt grateful to wake up and live there.
After finishing some routine chores at home one day I remember feeling that I just had to get out into the elements. Drawn by mysterious excitement and desire to be out in the awe-inspiring nature, I kicked off my shoes and socks and vaulted the farm gates. Half running, half walking I made my way out to the cliffs.
The day was warm with only a gentle breeze and some clouds far out to sea; but the atmosphere was pregnant with expectation of something. I stopped to admire the view, then ran towards the top of the cliff overlooking the sea. Suddenly a burst of wind embraced me, coming out of nowhere. I stopped still for a moment in awe, my heart and arms wide open. I ran forward a few more paces and stopped as the wind came again, this time with some rain and cloud rushing in from the sea amidst beams of sunlight. It was a clear day before and now I stood experiencing the four elements all at once! I felt as if I had stepped out of time… I was one with the earth beneath my bare feet, the wind, rain and sun… everything in existence! I looked to other places in the world and was actually there in the moment of looking – wherever I wanted! (I sometimes question if this was my imagination now… at the very, very least that was the feeling happening). But I was also everywhere and nowhere. I felt an interconnection and ‘oneness’ with all creation; a loving, peaceful knowing that was all encompassing. I was the raindrops, the wind on my body, the earth beneath my feet and the sunbeams… coming down on myself… yet I wasn’t only there.
Remembering and trying to analyse/describe the peace and energy I felt in those moments is an impossible task. It is more than can be described by language and rational thought.
I remember trying to hold onto the experience as presence started to fade. I didn’t want to physically move in case I lost it, but I lost the full richness of experience the moment I started to think. However, it stayed with me to quite some degree for some time afterwards, at least two weeks at a very high intensity and then perhaps gradually less so over the following months. During this time, I felt like everything was possible, I was very inspired. The experience is something I still know and recognise today, even if it is not on the same level. The presence of it is with me to a degree.
In the following days I developed a practice that arose naturally. It involved going out into nature and being as aware as possible with all the senses – trying not to let anything escape my attention; being as conscious as possible of my own body, that of nature, the elements and animals and the interplay between them all. I was filled with inspired energy and joy of the present moment in this beautiful world. Several nights were spent in which I didn’t sleep, and time just seemed to pass, walking out in the woods with the badgers, foxes and owls… and on the cliffs with the full moon’s silvery glow to light the way… I remember lying looking up at the stars for hours on end in wonder, completely aware; seeing things I had never noticed before and sometimes wondering if I really was seeing them or if my mind was playing tricks on me…!
I often find myself in awe that nature offers a message which appears to be just for me… a glimpse into the divine.
The Music – a sacred journey
A decade after this experience, in just a few minutes of inspiration, I attempted to compose the vibration of this grail experience into guitar music to share with a class of people I was doing Steiner teaching with in New Zealand at that time (Feb 2011) – and they found it inspiring. The essence of the music was apparent, but I never finished composing it completely. I don’t know to what extent the music can really reflect the experience, but I am trying. The music has matured recently but is still progressing towards completeness – maybe it will never be totally complete and just change each time I play it! The thought of sharing it/performing it at a certain time helps drive me to move it towards completion… the recording here (see the link at the end of the article) is a version of what I have to date (start of Dec 2018). I haven’t played guitar consistently for years – but love it. Composing this song is something I love to do for myself because it helps me remember who ‘I am’ and connects me to life. It is an instrumental ‘power song’ to me. (A shaman sings a power song to reach a vibrational and emotional state of ecstasy/empowerment to heal etc…)
When I play the accompanying music, I tune my guitar to correspond to the ‘Solfeggio’ frequency of C-5 =528Hz. So instead of using A= 440Hz which is the standard concert pitch, I use A=444Hz which brings the frequencies I am playing into alignment with C-5 =528Hz. Beautiful geometric shapes are created from the vibration of this frequency. Research ‘cymatics’ and the ‘solfeggio frequency’ to understand more. Standard concert pitch which we usually tune our musical instruments to doesn’t create these beautiful geometric patterns – they are slightly distorted and dissonant. 528Hz has been called the ‘love frequency’ and the ‘Miracle’ tone. Some even claim it heals human DNA, cancer and reverses environmental pollution although there is not general scientific agreement about this currently. (There is a lot of information on the internet about this – if you are interested you could check out this for example). Apparently, John Lennon recorded ‘Imagine’ using this frequency. (The note C-5 = 528Hz features in the music I have composed as one of the notes and as a natural harmonic.)
‘If you wish to understand the Universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration’ – Nikola Tesla
Natural harmonics are used to try and convey spiritual overtones and transcendental experience – the sense of ‘otherness’.
The song has a Celtic feel which I have chosen because Cornwall, where I had the experience, is very Celtic. A lot of 5th intervals are used in the music alongside the major scale. This gives a feeling of spaciousness – 5ths were a very common interval in music several hundred years ago and their use here creates a simple, less crowded feel that to me is more connected with nature. Modern day music generally uses musical intervals that are a lot closer together.
The song is written in an open C tuning in the Key of F major. F (Fah), I’ve been told, is the note of manifestation or creation energetically on this planet. Although there are a lot of other notes in this song the note F is at the centre. Meditation and healing music is often based around the sound of ‘fah’ and a Shaman’s power song is often based around it too. The note F is often intoned to activate the throat chakra in in a Shaman’s power song. So I had to compose the music in F major with the note F resonating throughout – it sounds right in this key too!
I wonder if, potentially, this story music might be used not only to inspire and give a feeling of connection, but to help the listener and participator manifest their ‘miracle’. The visual symbol for the universe made manifest is the square. So while listening to this music you could also choose to visualise the square included as a part of the picture of your intent. Use your higher willing – intuition. Use your higher knowing – imagination. Use your higher feeling – inspiration. It is important to naturally feel positive emotion and to have a clear loving intent that you truly desire to manifest – really feel and believe (TRUST) it has happened with an inspired open, loving, grateful, respectful and humble heart. There is no attachment to the outcome – just the feeling in the moment and the aligned interconnection with everything. This is an important part of how we can work to manifest healing and the life we want.
I have tried to draw together theory I have researched that can help make music sacred and powerfully healing with inspiration and awe of the experience itself. The result is a balance of these things that I hope can be used to help inspire meaningful change for people.
If you are open to playing with where this might lead, we could experiment with going further into a manifesting experience. I imagine most people will want to just listen to the music and not do this, but I include the following here as a possibility if you feel drawn. Before listening to the music spend a few moments getting into an aware and good state. Physically relaxing through the body and then using the Six Verses and Kai Xin (heart opening) verse used in Yuan Gong would be an ideal place to start. Or just go and be in nature with a gentle loving awareness and awe! A ‘good state’ is so important if you want to consciously create health and life as we all know. There can be a lot more depth to this than many people realise and so this is something that may need to be explained more and deepened. For now, do your best to be present and relaxed. Allow the breathing to fall into a calm, natural, relaxed, long slow, complete pattern. Put the hands in the ‘prayer position’ – hands in front of the heart, palms and fingers connected to each-other and facing up. Hands shouldn’t touch the body, but they shouldn’t be too far away from it either. The base of the thumb should be level with the heart chakra – the middle Dantian. Breath into the heart and feel. This is a very intuitive state and one in which the heart can communicate with the body and brain to diagnose. I use it before and after I do a healing. The open heart can also communicate with all of creation in the universe and so we can co-create (See ‘HeartMath’ research for scientific validation of the hearts electro-magnetic field). This is universally a very powerful position for manifestation in religions and cultures worldwide. In yoga this hand position is called ‘Anjali Mudra’ among other names and is often accompanied by saying ‘Namaste’ – the light/highest part of me honours the light/ highest part of you – or ‘I bow to you’ – ‘we are one’. In Qigong it is called ‘Heshi hands’ and is used frequently as a meditation form and resting place between movements because of the powerful and calming effect it has on the body and mind. The hands and the consciousness have a very close connection. You will find it difficult to put your hands in this position if you are having unhealthy emotional thoughts. It is not by chance that this position of manifestation is used in prayer. This position balances and nourishes Qi in the heart; it promotes Qi flow in the 3 Yin and 3 Yang channels in the arms and hands. If any of you are aware of Greg Braden and his work drawing together science and spirituality; he and Dr Darren Weissman talk about harmonising your heart and brain to create healing in exactly this way too. The frequency of this heart-brain coherence has been researched to be 0.1Hz by looking at measurements of people in meditation and prayer etc. (Interestingly, Braden says that whales and dolphins communicate at this frequency. Unfortunately, so do submarines, which of-course causes problems for whales and dolphins!).
The music has been written some years after the experience. When composing the music I tried to tune into and feel the experience to tell the story of it and find its vibration. That includes gradually losing the experience, in its completeness, when the mind tried to hold onto it. Hopefully some of the inspiration I experienced at that time can be felt by others and that will in turn inspire them too. I would love it if this inspires you and maybe even helps you with your own manifestation of healing, miracle creating and mastery!
Please know I am not claiming to be enlightened – I just want to share a ‘oneness’ experience that is meaningful to me with others and watch if or how it will expand and grow…
I love to sing but have purposely not included lyrics in this music because it feels best like that and is easily usable by others in meditation. (Perhaps, ultimately, I will include a chant about the experience of being connected using the manifesting note F at the end of the piece…?)
Names I am considering currently for the music include; Stowe – ‘Holy Place’, I Am, The circle or The Four Winds…
The music is still evolving and changes each time I play it as I strive to find expressions that are closer to the experience. It is still a bit ‘rough around the edges’ but I hope you enjoy it!
This version of the music was recorded on a relatively cheap steel stringed acoustic guitar, but it sounds nice. It would be interesting to hear what it sounds like on a decent nylon stringed classical guitar one day! I wonder if that would give a gentler feel that could work better for this piece.
Click here to listen:
I hope you enjoyed the story and will enjoy the music too! If you have any feedback or helpful suggestions, I would love to hear them. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
With love and bright Qi-eerful blessings,