Speaking to the soul…

I play Native American (or Indian) flutes. These are simply musical pipes made from a single branch of wood, hollowed out, with a few holes down the front and a small piece of wood tied over one of the holes to direct the breath. That’s all.

The ones I play are “grandfather” tuned. That is, they aren’t tuned to our musical scales, the ones we learned to sing in grade school – do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. Instead, the notes are tuned to the basic note of the piece of wood. That means that all of my dozen or so flutes sound different from any other flute and that’s what makes them so special.

Now, I have to admit, I don’t play “tunes” on them. For one thing, few known tunes work with the grandfather tuning of my flutes, and for another, I’m non-musical and have a hard time learning and remembering which notes go where. I play what is called “from the heart”. It’s as if I can hear the music in my head first and then my fingers just go to the note. Hard to explain, and for me, even harder to believe, but that’s what happens.

When I first found these flutes and discovered that I could play them, I had no idea of their power. Over the years, I’ve discovered that there is something in their sound that transcends our usual way of listening to music. There have been some studies conducted which show that the Native American flute triggers the right side of our brains. That’s where we go to pray, to meditate, to dream, to imagine, to connect with our inner selves.

When I play for others, and my usual audiences are either people in a palliative care setting, mentally challenged adults, or older folks in various levels of care homes, I find that the flute music reaches beyond cognitive abilities and touches the deepest part of the soul. The same thing happens when I play in a church service.

The room always grows quiet. There is a sense of deep listening. I feel the music reaching into the hearts of those around me. I know that it touches their souls. And I am the one who is blessed.

I suspect that in our lives, we are given opportunities to connect with people in the same way that I do with my flutes. Perhaps it is only in simple words, or a gentle touch, or even just a smile, any of which, when done with the love of the Creator, touches deep beyond the polite surface of our civilized society.


Come and join me on a website that is dedicated to women and their spiritual journeys. http://www.myquietspaces.org

You’ll also find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoreQuietSpaces/


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