Welcome to another Healing Music newsletter! I am happy to be sending you my chapter entitled 'The Spirit of Shakuhachi' from the newly released book 'R*eve*olution - The Return of the Divine Feminine. Compiled by Denye Robbins the book has 40 contributors and is available on Amazon. Journey through the minds and lives of 40 global women leaders as they share their stories of passion, purpose, love and service in this revolutionary anthology. I hope you enjoy the story I wrote about my recording of the seven CD's in the Chakra series, 'The Spirit of Shakuhachi'. Thanks to my friend Janice Mawhinney for her help with the editing. Please enjoy my chapter and gift to you at the end of this newsletter.
If you will be in Toronto on April 12th please mark your calendar for the next Music Meditation. We have had sold out events this year so please reserve your spot early (416-322-3337 or firstname.lastname@example.org). I will also send out an events newsletter in March.
Healing Music Mantra App
I am also thrilled with how the work for the new Healing Music App is unfolding. The Mantra Music has been recorded at Kensington Sound, the beautiful video has been created by Chris Gartner and now we are in the process of creating the App. Here is the first person I sent the video to and her reaction:
Well, let me tell you, after pressing play, I almost fell out of my chair and my eyes were the size of plates, Dale's head whipped around and he had a look of surprise/joy and even our dog came to see what I was playing. :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT WAS SHEER AND TOTAL BLISS. My senses lifted and expanded as I felt in that moment the very same as we feel when loving eyes meet and your body fills bliss and nourishment from true love. It felt like my soul was being quenched and ascending.
- Jaine Newsham- www.re-newlife.com
Excerpt from “R*eve*olution - The Return of the Divine Feminine” The Spirit of Shakuhachi Debbie Danbrook
This is the story of how I reconnected with my angel group. Of course, they had always been there with me, but I am going to tell you how I came to remember them...
I am a Shakuhachi flute master. The Shakuhachi is an ancient Japanese bamboo flute that was originally played only by monks, as a type of Zen called “Suizen,” or blowing Zen. It has traditionally been played only by men, and I am the first woman to have mastered this instrument, which is very difficult to play. But that is another story. Here, I just want you to know that I play this powerful instrument that transmits energy through it, both the energy of the earth and the energy of the spiritual realm.
I had been playing this flute for many years following my return to Canada, after living and studying in Japan. I was playing the traditional pieces I had learned in Japan, but was also using the flute to accompany a lot of dance pieces. I could sense how the music of this flute would move and flow with the movement of the dancers, and I also wanted to explore what else I could do with my Shakuhachi. I recorded a few CDs, using many of the dance pieces I had composed, and I loved this experience. Still, I knew that I was searching for something different, something unknown, something deeper.
Then a bizarre thing began to happen with my sleeping. I had not been a good sleeper for most of my life, and I was often dragged into alternate dimensions during the night. Again, that is another story. But this was different—I could not stay asleep for more than two hours at a time. Weeks of this ordeal turned into months, and the time came when I looked in the mirror and had the strange sensation that I was disappearing. I couldn't recognize myself anymore.
I knew then that I was going through some kind of a spiritual journey. This realization came from the inner knowing that guides us at our deepest core. The sense of profound understanding led me to the choice not to go to my doctor to get sleeping pills. Instead, I knew that I had to stick with this. I was becoming physically weaker, doing less, just being forced to become more and more quiet.
Then one of my beloved cornish rex cats became seriously ill. He was just two years old, but something was gravely wrong. He went in for tests, then came back home, and we were waiting to find out the results. I was in that vulnerable altered state that an impending death can bring us to. I needed a break and decided to attend a gathering up the street at a friend’s home. I knew that I would be close enough that I could rush home if need be.
My friend invited me into the room with his altar, and while we were there one of his spiritual guides spoke to him about me. The spiritual guide asked him when I was going to get my solo CD recorded. I was surprised—I had in mind to do a solo CD of the Japanese traditional music I had studied, but it wasn’t something I was planning to do for several years. That was the reply I gave to the guide’s question, but I knew something didn’t feel right about my answer. I returned home, with something new to think about.
Several days later, the wee cat died peacefully. He’d had congenital heart disease and his little heart just stopped. It was a sad time but we were all soothed by listening to beautiful healing cello music—Eight String Religion, by David Darling. As I listened to that music nonstop over several days, it helped to open and sooth my grieving heart.
A few days later I happened to be in my studio. I was weak and exhausted, but I felt a need to try a bit of recording. With the first note that I played, the most astonishing and beautiful thing happened—I was bathed in a flowing, glowing light and the music poured through me like honey. I felt complete, perfect, divine and luminous. I could feel my angels and their divine love pouring through me into the music.
I continued to play my Shakuhachi for about fifteen minutes. It was pure bliss. Then, after a short rest, I played some more; then rested a bit, and played more. It happened naturally like this, again and again. This was the music that became that solo flute recording my guides had been waiting for me to do. This was the music of my heart and soul, the music of divine, unconditional love. It was not the solo CD I had been planning to do of traditional Shakuhachi music—music composed by the male monks in the past. Instead, it was the music that had been waiting inside for me to release it into this world.
And the amazing effect that delighted me from the first night was—I could finally sleep! For night after delicious night, my sleep was long and deep, and so welcome.
A week or so later, though, the sleep started to slip away from me again. I felt panicked. I knew that I must do more of this kind of recording, and I sensed that I needed to find something different to play this time. I decided to do one set of music in the same way that I had the last, just playing and playing, letting my heart and my breath choose what notes would flow through me. When that recording was finished I went back into the studio, put on the headphones, and without having ever listened to what had been recorded, I played along with the music—a duet with myself, and with the music of my heart.
I was blessed with the same result. I felt perfect, whole, divine. And again, I slept and slept.
But then, history again repeated itself. A few weeks after this duet recording project was completed, my sleep started to elude me again. I asked myself: what could I do next? I decided that this time I would try recording with the music of both the Shakuhachi and my voice. I played the Shakuhachi parts first, and then added layer after layer of my voice. This worked beautifully. Once again, all was well.
Then I had a revelation—I was playing a recording for each of my chakras! The first solo one was my root chakra, grounding me. The next duet CD was a duet with my heart, opening my heart chakra. Then there was my throat chakra, with vocals and flute, finding my true voice.
In my mind I’d had the idea that I needed to do a recording with the traditional Zen pieces I had learned in Japan, but my heart knew what I really needed to do instead. I only had to follow my heart. And so, with this revelation, I continued this huge and totally unexpected recording project. If I had sat down before this process and decided to do seven CDs in a row, I would have thought I was crazy!
The next recording moved up to my sixth chakra, the third eye. This music was very light, ethereal, with lots of harmonics and high sounds.
Next I came to my second chakra. The music became a chanting album, but not with words. My voice sounds a lot like my flute. Rather than using words, I just allow the energy of the music to make whatever sound it wants through my voice.
I now had these chakras completed: red, orange, green, blue and purple. I knew the crown chakra would be a compilation from all of the music, so I just needed to complete the yellow chakra, the third one.
This is where the process halted and I got stuck. I had done each of the other CDs with a few days of recording, off and on. The editing took a few weeks, then I would rest, and soon the next CD would just flow naturally. So at about six months into the process I realized I was experiencing something very strange. My head hurt and something painful was going on—I could feel my cranial bones shifting or changing. I just endured it and tried to sleep and rest as much as I could.
When I felt up to it, I would go and play little bits for my yellow chakra CD. This last recording took almost three months to get through. I added Koto, a Japanese harp, with the Shakuhachi. This CD sounds very Japanese, and I have come to realize that with the pain and the shifting and the slow progress, I was working through many lifetimes of blocked energy from my past lives in Japan.
Nine months into the project, the crown chakra CD was finally completed—a compilation of pieces from each of the six other recordings—the “hits” from the series! Of course the timing was perfect, since it took nine months for me to give birth to the music of my soul. The Spirit of Shakuhachi chakra series was complete.
After this process, I felt reborn. My energy field was completely altered: it became bigger, brighter and stronger. The music I played was forever changed. Whenever I play now, I feel my angels all around me, and their divine love flows through my heart, through my flute, and into the hearts of listeners.
This process was a soul retrieval for me. I had to go far, far away from this world into another realm to find what I had forgotten. It was a remembering, a remembering of who I really am, as well as a remembering that my angels are always with me. Now I also understand how much my angels love Shakuhachi!
And so my journey continues. I have just finished recording my eighteenth CD, and guess what? I did this recording with David Darling—the cellist whose music had helped me so powerfully all those years ago, before I started The Spirit of Shakuhachi music!
I hope that this story will help you to remember that each and every moment, with each breath and with every heartbeat, our angels are always with us.
(About the author) Debbie Danbrook is a musician and healer, specializing in music for meditation and energy healing. She is a Master player of the Shakuhachi flute, an ancient Japanese instrument that was originally played by monks as a type of Zen, called “Suizen” or blowing Zen. Debbie is the first woman to have mastered this difficult instrument and weaves the Shakuhachi together with her voice in her ethereal music. She has released over 20 CDs of music through her company, Healing Music.
Debbie plays at healing events around the world. She has played for Japanese royalty; at EXPO 2005 in Japan; at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo; and also at the Daibutsu, the famous Buddha in Kamakura. Debbie offered a Music Meditation in Rwanda at The Genocide Memorial. She plays on tours throughout Ireland, including healing venues in Dublin and Galway. She has performed throughout North America at countless events, including the International Wellness Conference in Galveston, with Deepak Chopra and Don Miguel Ruiz.
Debbie has been featured in many articles and television programs, including a half hour documentary about her. She is also active in benefit work and has fundraised for Japan tsunami victims, Tibetans living in exile, and is also on the board of directors for a palliative care musicians association.