Sound bath sessions offer healing to participants and benefit local mental wellness nonprofits
Mountain Town Music partners with Wild Women Tribe for immersive programs
Brian Richards and Renee Huang know the healing power of music and community gatherings.
Richards is the community conductor of musical affairs of Mountain Town Music, the local nonprofit that presents concerts throughout Summit County, and Huang is the founder of Wild Women Tribe, a business that connects entrepreneurial women through mindful and wellness retreats and experiences.
With the stresses of the world in mind, the two decided to put their heads together a few months ago and come up with a series of sound bath meditation sessions that will feature an array of healers who utilize crystal and Tibetan bowls, tuning forks, chakra healing and energy clearing meditation and breathwork.
Richards and Huang met for coffee and talked about the impact COVID-19 has had on the community over the past two years.
“We got to talking about the role of music, sound and collective community healing, and I really felt like that was something that was wanting to be called forward,” Huang said. “I think Brian and I have the mindset that ideas that have momentum bubble up effortlessly, so we thought we would try this and see if there are venues who want to host us.”
Before meeting with Huang, Richards had his own visions of where he wanted to take Mountain Town Music as an organization that can promote wellness.
“I’m constantly thinking about the evolution of Mountain Town Music, and what we mean to our community,” he said. “Coming out of COVID, people mentioned to me how much they missed live music, and I started to ask them what it was they missed the most.”
Many people told Richards that they missed hanging out with friends, being outside and being with their community.
“So I got to thinking how Mountain Town Music is really a community connector,” he said. “We bring people together by utilizing music. Live music and gathering with our friends and family is just as important to our wellness as eating properly, meditating or getting outside and exercising.”
With that in mind, Richards didn’t need to adjust too much to position Mountain Town Music as a wellness organization.
“This wasn’t a drastic change, because I believe what we inherently do is wellness,” he said. “As we’ve been groping (our way) through the winter, I put a lot of thought into what we could do to educate the community about music, sound and vibration.”
Richards, who has experienced some personal tragedies over the past two years, began participating in his own spiritual journey, which included sound baths, ecstatic dance that utilizes music in a healing manner.
“I’ve been trying to immerse myself in what sound is, and what vibration is,” he said. “As beings, we’re energy, and music and sound are vibrations, which can be used to allow us to heal.” Sound frequencies can also slow down brain waves to a deeply restorative state, which activates the body’s system of self-healing, he said.
Richards has participated in three sound baths since Christmastime, and he said they were all different experiences.
“What’s cool about the sound baths is that you’re in a meditative state,” he said “You’re sitting or lying down, completely in the moment, and you’re allowing the sound vibrations to open, clear and balance their chakras and release stuck energy.”
Richards also wants to educate the community about what a sound bath is.
“This isn’t a concert,” he said. “It’s an experience. Healers use traditional instruments that have been used for hundreds of years for the healing process. It’s fascinating to feel the vibration, and when you succumb to the vibration, you can feel it throughout your whole body.”
Each sound bath experience offered by Mountain Town Music and Wild Women Tribe is open to all — men, women and children, said Huang.
“People should bring yoga mats and find their own little space in the room,” she said. “Depending on the healer, we will move to the centering of the theme of the season, and then wrap up with a discussion about the theme.”
Comfort is the key to an effective experience, Richards said.
“People can bring pillows and blankets,” he said. “I would encourage you to bring more than you think you’ll need, because the more comfortable you are the more you will become one with the space.”
The sessions, which kicked off with one at the Kimball Art Center last week, will take place at different venues in Summit County, according to Huang.
“We reached out to our networks, and spread them out as far and wide as we can,” she said.
In addition, all registration proceeds will benefit local wellness nonprofits, including Peace House, Communities that Care and the Cole Project, according to Richards.
“We’re always working with other nonprofits, programming music for their events, but this gives us an opportunity to help us with the mental wellness area,” he said. “Mental health and wellness is so important and I think we’re become more aware of that because of the experience we have lived through. So we want to support these organizations who have, in turn, supported our community.”
For information, schedule and registration about sound bath sessions presented by Mountain Town Music and Wild Women Tribe, visit mountaintownmusic.eventbrite.com.
• A Healing Experience with Michael Porfili
6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 28, at Kiln, 1090 Center Drive. Michael Porfilio is a master sound healer, producer, musician, teacher and DJ. His passion for music allows him to consciously and intentionally lead people through a spiritual sound experience. The session will benefit Peace House, the anti-domestic violence nonprofit.
• A Sound Bath Meditation with Becky May
4 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, at FulFILLed, 6699 N. Landmark Drive.
Salt Lake City resident Caralee Burton is a holistic lifestyle coach, personal trainer and meditation guide with more than 20 years of experience in the field of wellness. Her unique approach to movement and meditation provides clients with their own personal practices to navigate the world around them, as well as their internal landscape, with more strength, creativity, and peace. The session will benefit Communities that Care, a nonprofit that aims to improve the lives of youth and families by fostering a culture of health through prevention.
• A Healing Experience with Brooke Bishop
4 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, at Shamanic Twist Wellness Center, 228 W. 200 S. in Kamas.
Bishop is a practitioner of shamanic energy healing, reiki and sound healing. She is also a yoga instructor, and splits her time between the Shamanic Twist Wellness Center in Kamas and a private location in Millcreek. Bishop specializes in helping people release trauma, stress, anxiety, limiting beliefs and looping patterns through these quantum energetics. The session will benefit the Cole Project, a nonprofit, which uses music to help people work through grief.
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