Soundhealing For Suicide Prevention Benefit Concert
On May 20th, nearly 1000 people attended a guided sound meditation at Grace Cathedral to benefit San Francisco Suicide Prevention, which answers more than 200 calls a day from those in need and have 6 core programs, which you can learn about here. As a professional event planner, I can confidently say it was the “hot ticket”. The line wrapped 3 blocks around Grace Cathedral as the crowd waited with wide eyes, yoga mats, and pillow cases ready to be slapped down on the cold floor of the cathedral. There were barricades and a curious traffic officer asked: “Are you doing yoga in there tonight?” I responded: “No, even better, we just lay down and nap!”
For those new to sound meditation, it's an experience of listening to ancient sounds to deepen the meditation practice. Listeners were bathed in the sounds of 38” Paiste gongs, crystal singing bowls, Tibetan bowls, Native American flutes, hang drums, ocean drums, frame drums, a slew of harps and chimes by a line up of stellar musicians; Guy Douglas, Gabriel Goldberg, Loriel Starr, Joelle Nanawa, Dana Dharma Devi DeLong, Emile Janse, Tahra Singh. Instead of tuning out, people came to tune in and seek community. “At SFSP, we believe in the importance of physical well-being, alongside emotional and psychological well-being,” said Meghan Freebeck, SFSP event director, “An evening dedicated to meditation will have a positive impact on our overall health, as well as foster a sense of community and awareness around suicide and mental health concerns.”
Guy Douglas, renowned healing practitioner and event organizer Simona Marie Asinovski reminded us that just as we have compassion for others, we can cultivate compassion for ourselves. While a seemingly effortless concept, the struggle of finding self-love, self-worth and self-acceptance is often at the root of depression. Compassion for oneself is a noble sounding quest, but I have found myself struggling with the actuality of forgiving or being kind to myself. It is often easier to be nice to others - admit it.
The journey started with soft Native American flute sounds dancing over our
heads. It felt like I was laying in a meadow somewhere, I could almost hear birds chirp and chime in. Harps and crystal singing bowls followed and the musicians crafted soundscapes for us and weaved the different instruments effortlessly together. Gabriel Goldberg started singing and often times, I wasn't sure if his voice was carrying the tune or an instrument was picking up the melody as it became indistinguishable. The gongs were show-stoppers. Dark and beautiful, ethereal and majestic, their sounds seemed to have been pulled from the insides of the earth.
The event organizers donated half of the proceeds to SFSP and were able to
raise $10,348 for this cause. As one participant mentioned on Facebook: “Now, THAT is