ZEN Series: Sound Therapy

These issues have gained popularity much more in recent years. Some regard the ideas as alternative while others argue that these methods and practices have had life-changing effects; opening new doors. People’s approach to these matters is an aggregate of factors and proportional to personal experiences. In this three-part article series prepared for Sanayi313 PAPER, readers will find interviews with specialists on Breath, Sound and Flower therapy which took place during The Bodrum Edition Zen Weekend. In the first of the series we have sound therapist Rida Kıraşı.

Can Remiz Ergen: How would you define yourself independent from your profession, Rida?

Rida Kıraşı: Great question! One which I’m trying to find an answer to. For the last two months my answer to this question has been, ‘The person beyond all my conditionings.’ Actually, there is no clear definition of this. It’s neither feminine or masculine, nor does it have an age. I’m trying to keep this mindfulness inside my body. Being a sound therapist, I found myself defined with my profession yet this is a little about what we call spiritual ego. Right now, I’m in search of love: unconditionally, everyone, myself in all my different states. So, this is some sort of quest.

CRE: Zen has been a word used often during this event. What does zen mean to you?

RK: Zen is the emergence of simplicity and essence. To exist frugally and with yourself in the flow of life.

CRE: How does a person reach that state of existence?

RK: I think the key is to successfully merge the life within you and the life outside. Like watching the waves on the expanse of sea before us while also connecting with you during this interview. This allows me to navigate the course of life with myself. Of course, a person’s nervous system must be equipped to allow this.

CRE: Then can we say that there is no clear definition yet there is some kind of definition in itself?

RK: This is the major paradox in these matters. The same goes for consciousness. The more you try to define it the further you drift apart from it. That’s why we call it undefinable because you confine mindfulness to one place if you do define it. It’s the same for the word zen. Clear definitions can be dangerous. On the other hand, you’re the authority in defining yourself. Someone else can only act as a guide on this path.

CRE: You are a sound therapist. Can you tell me about your work? What does sound therapy entail?

RK: I tried out different meditation techniques before becoming a sound therapist. I went to ‘British Academy of Sound Therapy’ in the UK to learn the scientific side of the method. If I could summarise it in one sentence I’d say, ‘Brain waves define the life you live.’ Beta waves are between 13 and 30 hertz. Let’s say now you’re asking me questions but I also have to check the time. It’s very likely that you’re at beta brain waves level, which keep you at the limits.

A study was conducted on Buddhist monks to observe their brain waves during meditation. There were two conclusions. The amount of grey matter (brain cells related to emotional perception like seeing, hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision making and self-control) in the brain increases while brain waves fall from beta to alpha (8-12 Hz) and theta (4-8 Hz). Reducing brain waves allows the body to repair and rejuvenate itself.

In sound therapy, we use sound waves to relax the emotional, mental and spiritual structures in the body. Sound therapy reduces the brain waves to bring you to a calmer place. During the 45-minute session I choose frequencies and instruments that correspond to the awareness and problems you tell me about your body and direct sound waves as a therapy.

We can take a different approach to problems when the brain waves go down to alpha and theta. There is a quote by Einstein I love, ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.’

CRE: Please fill the blank: ‘Sound therapy can do ______?

RK: Sound therapy reduces the stress load on the brain. Science has shown that the body is able to overcome stress at lower brain frequencies. Sound therapy also makes us remember who we really are. And this is a whole different path. The gong sound used in therapy is similar to the sound we hear in the mother’s womb. Humans manipulate each other with the words they use. Your understanding of love is different than mine for example.

The vibrations created during sound therapy can offer a different perspective and solution to situations by means of communication without words. It provides a comprehensive healing. Sound therapy helps the body remember its own harmony.

CRE: How can people get in touch with you?

RK: I currently live in the woods in Kırklareli. I do online work, I occasionally organise retreats. More information at @soundalatherapy or ridakirasi.com.