Sounds of Meditation

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Natalie Matesic

Meditation may seem difficult to some, but a local instructor is determined to change that belief. Emilie Walker is a meditation and sound healing instructor and the founder of Full Bloom, a meditation and sound healing business located in Athens.

“Full Bloom” is a term that means a lot to Walker. She chose the name to symbolize the lotus flower, a symbol that represents human potential and consciousness; a flower that blooms in muddy waters.

“[When] we kind of settle things down and settle into that space of calm and quiet that is with us all the time, that’s when a blossoming of human consciousness can happen,” Walker says.

The use of meditation can guide the “‘full bloom”’ along. Walker offers private, guided sessions out of her clients’ homes or preferred area and specializes in both individual and group-oriented sessions.

Meditation came into Walker’s life when a friend introduced her to the practice in 2004. Walker had just moved to Athens from Bolivia and wanted to try something new. Throughout her journey of learning about meditation, she found different uses for the practice, utilizing its benefits for healing and internal wisdom.

“Originally, I was interested in it more [for] the mystical experiences, but as life went on, it became more helpful for everyday life,” Walker says. “As it became more of an everyday thing, I started to notice subtle shifts in the way that I responded to events in life and my interactions with family.”

Once Walker saw the benefits of the practice in her daily life, she started teaching classes in Athens. In 2004, she moved to India and lived with a meditation guru who taught her more about meditation and spiritual healing. She stayed there for nearly a decade.

After moving back to America, Walker trained with Jane Shallberg at the Arizona Sound and Music Therapy Institute in 2013. Shallberg, who is a certified music therapist, is trained in Himalayan chakra singing-bowl therapy and introduced Walker to sound healing.

Now, when Walker teaches sound healing, her sessions start with setting an intention. The sessions are performed with hand-hammered metal bowls that are struck and rubbed with a mallet to create a mesmerizing ringing sound. The vibrations and sounds created by the bowls can bring a client a sense of peace and serenity while decreasing stress and creating internal light.

Sound healing with Tibetan hand-hammered bowls is a ritual that started nearly 2,500 years ago at the time of the Buddha’s birth, Walker says.

There are different Tibetan bowls for each of the seven chakras. Chakras are focal points of energy in the body that affect spiritual and emotional being. Chakras can be balanced and opened to create space and awareness in the mind and body.

Walker says each Tibetan bowl correlates with a chakra. The sounds from the bowls work to relax an aspect of consciousness, open a chakra and put it in balance.

Walker believes sound healing is meant to be an immersive experience. During a typical sound healing session, she starts out with a goal that is repeated throughout the session as she goes through the seven chakras.

Walker’s future plans for Full Bloom and her meditation career include teaching courses for students at Ohio University and expanding her sound healing business. She hopes to have her own studio in the future and to reach people that are interested in learning more about meditation.

As a teacher, Walker aims to utilize her meditation skills to help other teachers. She relates to the struggles they experience on a daily basis such as stress, depression and feelings of inadequacy. She would love to extend her knowledge to assist other professionals.

In whatever setting meditation is practiced, Walker says it is important to welcome the experience.

“Have a self-compassionate approach to it. There is no perfect meditation,” she says. “Every meditation is different. Every experience is different.”