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Transcript Interview Episode with Lisa Miller

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[00:00:16] Laurin: Welcome to Curiously Wise. I'm your host, Laurin Wittig. And I'm here with a friend of mine. I love to bring my friends on this podcast, Lisa Miller, who is a sound healer. So we're gonna talk a lot about what that is and how she does it, and all kinds of lovely ways you can bring it into your life.

So, first though, I wanna start and have Lisa introduce herself. She has got so many different things that she brings into her being these days. And so I'm gonna let her take the mic here.

[00:01:25] Lisa: Thank you, Laurin. It's such a pleasure to be here this morning. I'm Lisa. And in my current phase of life, I am a Yogi, a yoga teacher and a sound healing practitioner, and I've done many things in my life. I was a television producer for many years. I've always worked sort of in and around sound communicating somehow.

I worked in theater. I was an actress. I worked overseas in Asia for many years, making developmental documentaries and doing humanitarian work. I've worked in radio. I mean, there's a lot of stuff I have done, but basically to sum it up after I got back from Cambodia, I was very depressed.

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I had worked on a documentary about human trafficking for about a year and I, I was just in a very dark place. And. I started practicing yoga. I've practiced yoga since 1993. And while I was in Cambodia, I became a Vipasana meditator and it was wonderful. It was saving my life because I could just go to a temple, a pagoda at any time and sit down and meditate.

And I was doing that once or twice a day. But once I got back to the states, things were different here. And as you know, different places have different vibrations and different ways of you know, the energy is just different and it was so chaotic to me in the states that I couldn't get grounded.

I couldn't sit still. I was very restless. I had panic attacks, so I started practicing yoga because I'd seen a lot. I had a lot of trauma in my cells. So the yoga practice led to a teacher training. And I trained in Kundalini Yoga and this yoga is all about the nom and the nom is sound. The lineage comes from the Sikh tradition.

And the Sikhs they are a sect of people in the Punjab in Northern India. Originally, they were Hindu. They were the warrior class of Hindus. But then when the British came, they, you know, sort of separated people, you guys are Sikhs and you do this and you're Hindus and you're Muslims. But anyway, not to digress, but the Sikhs believe that like many other religious and indigenous backgrounds that everything is created by sound. In the beginning was the word and the word was God. So the Sikhs believe that just by chanting, the tip of the tongue makes different taps on different patterns on the upper pallet. And by touching those things on the upper pallet, it has an effect on us because we are electrical beings.

And when you affect the electrical current of the body or the biofield, which in yogic technology, we would call the ORIC field, the product body, the subtle body, but it's really, that field, which connects us to the unified field, to the source energy, the Earth's field, the cosmos.

So that is the iteration of one of the core foundations of the yoga that I studied and really any yoga is all mantra is very important.

And so when I started chanting mantras, because in our lineage, we got up every morning at 4:00 AM before the sun, you know, two hours before the sun rises, that is the Emirate Vela, the sweet spot.

When you can be closest to the higher vibrations of the universe. And it's easier for you to just be without the push and the pull of the mind. So we get up very early and we chant.

And when you chant, a lot of things happen, so many things happen, but one of the main things that happens is the vagus nerve is activated.

And as you know, the vagus nerve, it’s a bidirectional nerve that starts in the back of the brain and goes down into the gut. And it just really connects us with our intuitive powers and our nervous system. And when you get that Vaus nerve working in a bidirectional way, amazing things happen in the body, the body relaxes, the body opens.

So just by chanting for a few minutes. I mean, now I only chant for a few minutes and, it just, everything opens up. So that was my initial experience with sound as a Yogi and then I started playing the gong. And the gong is an amazing instrument because it contains all frequencies.

And what happens is that our body, our cells are all attuned to different frequencies. And sometimes we get off balance and they lose their frequency. Well, when the gong is played, the cells are like, oh, that's the frequency I need. And they're able to like soak up that frequency. So the gong can completely reset your nervous system in about seven minutes and seven minutes of relaxing listening to the gong. If it's played well,

[00:07:29] Laurin: I will add, Lisa plays it very well.

[00:07:31] Lisa: Oh, Thank you very much. I play it every day and it's a practice. If it's played very well, then it does wonders for the body. So that's kind of how I got into it. I was living in California. I was teaching yoga four or five times a week. And then I had to come to Williamsburg because my parents retired here.

And my mother got very ill a few years back and my father needed me to come and help with her. So all of a sudden I find myself living in my parents' house and they think I'm crazy of course. So I don't know anyone here but thank God for you, Laurin, and the Women's Circle, because that's how I met all my friends in Williamsburg, but I bought a gong.

Because I no longer had access to the yoga studio with the gong that I used to play. So I bought this very small gong and I just decided I'm gonna play this gong every day. I'm just gonna give all my neurosis, my fear, my insecurities, my not knowing what I'm gonna do. I'm just gonna give it to the gong.

And it's made my life and my experience a lot better. It's transformed a very fraught situation to a much more stable and joyful situation.

[00:08:58] Laurin: Yeah, I have to say when I first met you, your energy was very chaotic. And over the years it's been probably what, four years, since you came here over those years, I have seen you get calmer and I would say filled with more grace. Just an ease and it's been lovely to experience with you cuz you have shared that healing work with me a number of times in the circle.

I'm really really pleased to hear the story. I've never heard your whole story about how you came to be a sound healing practitioner. And I, have to just Say that the first time I heard that you played the gong, I was like, I had no idea. And then you brought the gong to play for us at the Wise Women Circle once.

And it was magical. It was just magical. And I was like, okay, this is not the gong that I think of call to dinner kind of thing. so.

[00:09:51] Lisa: Yeah, because we think of the gong show, you know!

[00:09:54] Laurin: Yeah. Or you watch Downton Abby and they hit the gong when it's time to go upstairs and dress for dinner, you know!

[00:10:00] Lisa: right.

[00:10:01] Laurin: So I had a very different. I had never heard a gong played. I had heard it hit, but never played.

[00:10:09] Lisa: Well, there are many different uses for gongs. For example, in China, the gongs were used to alert people of various things like, yes, it's time to do this, or Hey, war is coming. So they would play the gong very loud. And that has a different energy.

That has an energy that alerts the nervous system that actually engages flight or fight like, okay, battle stations, we gotta defend our territory.

And then of course there are the Balinese gongs that are played in that lineage that have very beautiful with the Camelon music and different scales and they're set up to work harmonically with the other instruments

[00:10:53] Laurin: yeah. Mm-hmm.

[00:10:54] Lisa: Aand there's so many different instruments and sacred tools that we can use in sound healing. For example, I have some metal Tibetan bowls here. Well, actually they were made in Nepal. And the thing about these bowls is that metal is one of those things. And traditionally these bowls were made with seven different metals. Each metal representing a different planet.

Copper, gold, even silver, mercury. They don't make 'em with mercury anymore, and then every time they would forge it. When it was with a hammer, they would chant, they would put a chant.

[00:11:36] Laurin: Uhhuh

[00:11:37] Lisa: Into the making of the bowl. And, there's a very prolific sound healer named Jonathan Goldman, who came up with the equation. Sound plus intention equals healing.

So you know how powerful it is to say out loud your intention, but when you pair that with a beautiful sound, it really cuts through the sort of chaos of the field and just sort of helps place that intention very solidly.

[00:12:14] Laurin: Yeah, intention is one of those things that I have over the years as I've been on my journey to where I am now, I'm still on a long journey. But the power of intention, I did not understand at first, cuz it's like, yeah, I'm just saying words, but with practice and with curiosity, I have learned that they are super powerful.

It's almost like a magical incantation once you really accept that it is powerful. And, for me, I often will put my hands over my heart when I'm making an intention, just to help bring that heart energy into it. But, just you talking about them making these bowls and putting the intentions into them.

I could visualize that flowing into the bowl. And every time you play the bowl, it gets spread. And it's such a beautiful thing. And I immediately felt relaxed when you did that. it was like, oh yeah, I can get that. So one of the, I sometimes I I'll try to pull a nugget of wisdom out of these things for the listeners and one of the nuggets of wisdom I will bring out again and again,

I'm sure over the, course of this podcast series is that intentions are powerful and they're super easy and it's simply stating what you want out loud.

[00:13:27] Lisa: Yes, because we get so conditioned to stick to our habits. And everything is conditioned and we just get into these sleepwalking modes where we're not really even thinking about what we're doing. For example, we get in the car and we just are driving. Listening to whatever it happens to be on the radio.

And if they're talking about this war over here and this hearing over here, and the fact that inflation and, disease, and you better do that, you know, by the time you get to where you're going, you're just like on some level on some subconscious level you're really tweaked.

So it's all about remembering like, oh, I don't have to listen to this. Let me listen to some nice chanting music or let me listen to the classical music station. And the same thing. When I first got into this I have a little symbol. It's not, I didn't bring it with me, but, for the sake of explaining, let me just use this little bowl, but I, would keep this little chime around that I would hit.

And whenever I wanted to make an intention, like I'm going to have a joyful day. And then I could feel it.

[00:14:40] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:14:41] Lisa: And then that's the key to intentions is, when you make them is actually feeling into the future, feeling that feeling of how you want to feel of bringing that actuality to bear by matching your vibration to it. And I feel for me, the sound being able to do that with sound really helps me.

[00:15:12] Laurin: Yeah, and I just, had another thought about that because, you and I are very attuned to feeling our body's energy and the energies of things around us, but not everybody has figured out how to do that because it takes a lot of getting real quiet for me, at least meditation was a big factor in that, and now it's just normal to me.

But when you ring those bells or the bowls, or the gong, if you get really curious and quiet, you can actually feel that sound coming into you. yeah. And if somebody listening says, oh, I can never do that. Get curious, give it time, practice every day, maybe hit a little bell or something as you set an intention and then just close your eyes and feel for it.

Just let your body really tell you what's going on. And you will start to feel that after a while, maybe immediately, if you're like me and Lisa or just kind of born to it. But everybody can feel that vibration. It's like the fireworks going off. My favorite used to be the big booms cuz I could feel it in my chest and that was a sound wave really coming at you, but it can be much more subtle than that.

So I just wanted to throw that in.

[00:16:26] Lisa: Along those lines is, some of us feel too much, there are a lot of us down here at this point who are very empathic and very sensitive. I would put myself in that category and using these instruments helps me feel me because oftentimes I'm feeling something, it's just the way that I am.

Feel somebody else's depression. And I won't even know that it's someone I'm picking up something else and I'll be walking around feeling all this. For years my mother, bless her heart, she suffered with terrible depression. And for years I thought it was me. Now of course I suffer from my own depression, but we mix our mess with others.

And then we get so tangled up in it. We don't even know. And I do believe contrary to popular spiritual belief that we are all one. Yes, we are all one, but we are all on an individual journey and we must take responsibility for our individual journey and for trying to sort out what is my part in this?

What are my injuries that are being triggered by my mother or my partner or whatever? And for me, the sound really helps me do that. Because again, I can feel it. I can somatically feel it in my body and bringing the body into healing is a very important aspect.

[00:18:00] Laurin: So talk a little bit more about that, cuz that's something that I have a real passion about now because you and I have talked about it's so much easier to not be in our bodies to just kind of go out into what I call Lala land, cuz I always feel like it's LA LA LA LA. So talk a little bit about that if you would.

[00:18:16] Lisa: Well, when I first came back from Cambodia, I was completely shell shocked and I remember I was leaving my body so much and I wasn't remembering, for example, I would find myself driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

And I would be like, oh my God, what's happening? How did I get here? It was having big lapses and like I was saying before, I really feel like this is a planet of source connection and source disconnection. And so using sound and using mantra requires us to be present in our bodies as does yoga as does breath, work, Pranayama as does any practice, ecstatic dance.

I'm a big ecstatic dancer which is a form of dance where we just go with the music. There's no prescribed steps to learn. We just feel into the music and we allow our bodies to move however they want to move. And for me, that has been something that's always been very important. I could walk when I was six months old and I was a very frenetic kid.

And so being able to channel my energy in, I spent years in dance class. being able to channel my energy physically and have a physical discipline was something that was very important for learning how to hold my own energy for learning how to express myself in other ways.

So I think today, there's such extreme pressure on children and young people. And I feel like, I mean, every other kid has ADHD because just the input, the information overload is really crazy. And I feel like Tai Chi, karate, sports, soccer, all these things are great for kids to do because it helps them burn off the frenetic energy. It grounds them in their bodies.

And I also think sound healing is a great thing and I would love. I mean before the pandemic, I was working on a plan to try and get set some bowls, a basic set of bowls into various school systems.

[00:20:46] Laurin: Mm-hmm

[00:20:47] Lisa: I think every family should have a set of bowls.

[00:20:51] Laurin: Yeah, I have two in my house.

[00:20:54] Lisa: Yeah, you have that really amazing big crystal bowl.

[00:20:57] Laurin: Yeah. I don't remember to play it every day, but I will go and I'll play it. And it's so big that anybody could feel the vibrations off of it. And I just, I kind of like bathed in the vibrations, you know.

[00:21:10] Lisa: Well, the other thing I'll mention is that we all have our own special vibration that we can find just with our voices. That's a very powerful thing. And the ancients really knew how to do that. For example, the Egyptians built their temples and their pyramids in ways that really worked with the sound current and there's one sound healer, I'm forgetting his name, but he talks about lying down in a sarcophagus and toning and just by finding his right tone he healed himself.

He had very difficult back problems and he couldn't walk and he just went and sat in, lied down in that sarcophagus and began toning in. I mean, you can just do it by mmmmm. You know, humming, and then you just slide up, then slide down and then you find a place that really works for you where you can really feel things opening and you just refine that and work with that tone. And anyway, he healed himself just by doing that. It's kind of a famous story. And if I can find the name…

[00:22:37] Laurin: yeah. If you find the, name, we can put it in the show notes.

[00:22:40] Lisa: I will. Okay.

[00:22:42] Laurin: I love show notes cuz we can throw all kinds of things in there.

[00:22:45] Lisa: Yes.

[00:22:45] Laurin: So for someone who doesn't have bowls or gongs and doesn't have maybe, musical background or whatever, how can we bring sound healing into our day to day lives? For those of us who are not practitioners of it.

[00:23:00] Lisa: The easiest way to bring sound healing into your life is to hum intentionally.

[00:23:06] Laurin: Okay.

[00:23:06] Lisa: There's a book about this written by the sound healer, Jonathan Goldman called The Humming Effect and he and his wife, Andy spent a number of years scientifically researching what humming does to the body. And you can listen to the book on audible, or you can buy the book and read it. And it's fantastic.

Because just five minutes of humming really can do amazing things for your body. And humming as well as sound healing, playing these instruments creates nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator. It opens up the blood vessels. It allows the blood and the Chi to flow. And then by also imagining that your breath you're breathing light, we start being able to activate ourselves on a little bit higher level.

That's a little more esoteric, but it's very simple to do just by imagining your hum is triggering your light body. And I talk about light as opposed to the chemical process of the hemoglobin oxygen exchange. You know, that's a chemical thing, but everything is really light.

[00:24:36] Laurin: Mm-hmm

[00:24:36] Lisa: And sound is light. And so a lot of times in my classes, I will tell students to inhale the light of the sound because you can feel it. And you can imagine it very easily. So even just by listening to something like you mentioned insight timer, or, some various tracks on Spotify up Tobet and bowls, or, something like that.

And you're breathing consciously. Inhaling light, imagining the sound as light will do wonderful things for us.

[00:25:20] Laurin: So this just flashed into my mind. I know that when my kids were young and I do have a son who was ADD and dyslexic. And so one of the things that was coming out then is that the classical music Mozart particularly was very good for helping children and people just relax their body, focus their minds.

And recently I was made aware that the Bach the Fugs actually kind of tune up your brain. And I've been listening to them a lot and realize that there's always at least two lines of music going that are not the same. You could play 'em separately.

You'd never know they go together, but they are. They create these amazing harmonies and, patterns I wanna call it. And I can feel it in my brain.

[00:26:14] Lisa: Yes, because it's activating the DNA because think about the spiral that the DNA goes on. And, there's a, I will mention, like I have these two tuning forks, C and G. The harmonics of C and G are really magical and trigger so many healing processes in the body. And that's a whole science of harmonics. And I don't even, we don't even need to go there because it's too complicated for this.

[00:26:45] Laurin: Another time, perhaps. So we've talked a little bit about how we can bring this into our lives. I love insight timer. I mention it quite often. It's a free app on any smartphone and the person that I listen to the most and I've mentioned him before, too. His name is Kenneth Soares, S O A R E S.

I believe it is. And he has on he does a lot of affirmations, which are like intentions. He's got a beautiful voice, but behind a lot of his, almost all of his recordings, he has this track of drumming and ohming. And I swear I love just to listen to him just for that, because it does, I, I know I've trained myself now for it to have an effect on me cuz I've listened to his stuff so much.

But even the first time I heard it, I, I felt kind of like things got organized. I wanna say.

[00:27:36] Lisa: That's exactly what they do. And as you know, with Shamans, that's how we start a Shamonic journey is with the drum and the drum, the frame drum in particular has a very rich history of ceremony, especially with women in the middle east. And by learning how to use the drum, all indigenous people use some kind of rhythm because it grounds us and it organizes us and it matches the heartbeat.

[00:28:08] Laurin: Right!

[00:28:09] Lisa: And even our heartbeats, our heartbeats are sound healing.

[00:28:14] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:28:15] Lisa: The heartbeat is very, very healing, and most people can't get quiet enough to hear their own heartbeat, but after practicing meditation for a while, you can do it.

[00:28:31] Laurin: Well, and that's of course that's the first sound healing we get when we're in the womb. Cuz we are constantly surrounded by our mother's heartbeat.

[00:28:40] Lisa: And that's why I say for me, sound healing is all about source connection. The sound instantly connects us to source.

[00:28:53] Laurin: Yeah. Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. I've learned a lot and that's part of why I do the podcast is cuz I get to learn from all these incredibly wise people. and so I hope that you've have found something to take away from it for our listeners. I'm sure you have.

I would encourage you to practice humming and maybe to go find some music that really, I wanna say resonates. Resonate is a word I use a lot because it is it's the frequency it's when you hit that with that humming. If you hit the right note, you'll feel it in your body. It'll feel good. It'll feel really, really good and right.

And that's what I call resonating. So just to add that in at the end. I'm gonna move on to my rapid-fire questions that I ask all my guests.

[00:29:34] Lisa: Right.

[00:29:34] Laurin: This is off the top of your head. You don't have to think hard about it. Okay. all right. So who is, or was the wisest person in your life?

[00:29:44] Lisa: Probably my mentor of photographer and journalist named Philip Tone Griffith. I made a film with him really super wise, wonderful man. And my teacher, Yogi Yaman Deepsing.

[00:29:58] Laurin: Is there like a, a nugget of wisdom that either of those sort of, that you carry with you?

[00:30:08] Lisa: Philip really taught me how to watch and to fit in to a scene when I'm photographing something, because I had many years where I worked as a photographer and a videographer.

And so when, especially in a place like Asia, where you stick out, you have to find a way to become invisible and you have to find a way to allow people to be comfortable so that they can be themselves and show you who they are.

And so he taught me a lot about that and he taught me a lot about how to find the soul in every person. And to bring that out. And there is beauty and magic in everything. And he was in Vietnam during the American war and he brought out so much humanity in his book, Vietnam Ink that the Americans band it.

[00:31:15] Laurin: Oh wow! I did not know that.

[00:31:16] Lisa: Because, it just showed the humanity of the Vietnamese people. And you know, at the time our government was really trying to paint them as the evil communists,

[00:31:27] Laurin: So the next one is, what's your favorite? I think I know the answer to this. What's your favorite self-care practice?

[00:31:34] Lisa: Well, actually my favorite self-care practice is just going out in nature. And praying. I go out every day and I pray to the directions. And sometimes if I'm really lost, I'll just go out and say help. I need something. And I'm always pleasantly surprised. Yesterday an Eagle came and flew above me.

So I really love being surprised that way, but of course, I have my sound healing practice that I do every day. And sometimes if I'm just really on edge, I'll sit down and play the gong for five or 10 minutes and get myself into a calmer state.

[00:32:16] Laurin: Yeah. And what lights you up when you're feeling down?

[00:32:20] Lisa: Probably ecstatic dance or, or a connection with my dog, making my dog happy,

[00:32:26] Laurin: Mm-hmm mm-hmm

[00:32:27] Lisa: just makes me really happy.

[00:32:30] Laurin: Dogs are great at that.

[00:32:30] Lisa: I love to dance. I love to move. Any way that I can move, it just lets go of all the pressure and all the worry. And so that's a really great and fun way to stay joyful.

[00:32:46] Laurin: And the last one, what's your favorite mantra or affirmation?

[00:32:50] Lisa: Probably EC on car

[00:32:53] Laurin: And that means,

[00:32:54] Lisa: EC on car means all is one.

[00:33:00] Laurin: mm

[00:33:01] Lisa: And because we are all source energy. We all come from the same ocean of energy.

[00:33:10] Laurin: Yes. Lovely. All right. Is there someplace we can find you online?

[00:33:16] Lisa: Well, you can find me @Siri_livetar at Instagram. I teach a class, I teach a couple classes at full circle, yoga and Pilates here in Williamsburg and starting in July, I will be teaching vibrational yin. Which is a wonderful way to come and get into these long stretches while you're being bathed in the sounds of the Tibetan bowls.

You'll really get a chance to breathe in the light as you are doing a nice long Asana practice.

[00:33:58] Laurin: So I wanna just thank everybody for joining Lisa and I today, as we have this really fabulous conversation about. Sound healing and the, power of sound in our lives. And I hope that you will come back next Tuesday for the next episode.

And we'll be seeing you then from my heart to yours. I wish you a beautiful day.

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If you enjoyed this episode, Please be sure to subscribe. So you don't miss future fabulous conversations. And if you had any ahas, please share them in a review on apple podcasts so we can continue to pay forward the unique wisdom we all have. If you want to know more about me or my intuitive energy healing practice Heartlight Wellness, please head over to my website.

Curiously Wise is a team effort. I am grateful for the skill and enthusiasm Arlene Membrot, our producer, and Sam Wittig, our audio engineer bring to this collaboration. Our music is Where The Light is by Lemon Music Studio.

I'm Laurin Wittig. Please join me again next week for another episode of Curiously Wise, eyes from my heart to yours, may your life be filled with love, light, joy, and of course, curiosity.

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