My husband, Dean Evenson, and I recently joined 35 sound healers for The Shift Network’s Sound Healing Global Summit. It was thrilling to be in the ‘virtual’ company of so many pioneers in this domain and we were inspired by the depth and breadth of information presented. We also came to realize the vast array of modalities in this new, but ancient field and that visionary retailers can benefit by providing products to enhance a meditative and sound healing experience for their customers. When people hear about these topics or want to use sound and music to enhance their meditation, they become curious. Your place can be where they come to learn more.
This holiday season is a perfect time to consider displaying related products in a cohesive way that invites participation by creating altars and quiet zones in the store. People will gravitate to them because they allow the customer to take a breath and relax into a moment of peace right there in the midst of their busy lives. Your store will probably be remembered as ‘that place where you can really relax’ and they will want to keep coming back and tell their friends about it. Most retailers are selling a product, but you can be known for providing an experience and that will make you stand out.
By dedicating a section or several areas of your shop to creating altars using all or some of the products listed below, you can offer a physical setting for your customers to experience the peace that comes from meditation and many of the sound healing practices. People are much more able to visualize the items in their own home if they can see them displayed in such a meaningful way.
Begin by selecting an appropriate space in your store that you can dedicate to creating an altar or meditation spot. Lay down a prayer rug and place one or several meditation pillows on it facing a small table that you will use to create an altar. Cover the table with a beautiful cloth or scarf. Place statuary and visual images for focalizing and centering. Lay out several tuning forks on the altar. Decide on your lighting to create a mood. Set out samples of incense or sprays to be sampled. One or several small metal singing bowls or crystal bowls can be placed appropriately.
Be creative. Have fun. Change the display frequently and add new items so your repeat customers will always be seeing something new to attract their attention. If you don’t have much space to create an area for sitting, consider a focused sound healing display on a countertop or table. Seeing the many items and tools together will help people to visualize such a place that they could put together in their own home or studio using products from your store. The only limit to what you can create is your imagination.
Elements to Create Sacred Sound Space
1. Prayer Rugs and Yoga Mats. Include a small rug or yoga mat on the floor. Modern or ethnic wool or cotton rugs are also an option and they often have beautiful designs, are attractive and inviting. Straw tatami mats could also be used.
2. Meditation Cushions. Pillows or cushions come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes you are offering the pillows and other times, to save space, you may offer just the pillowcases in your shop. Everyone needs nice pillows. And it’s ok to have a comfortable chair nearby too.
3. Sacred Statuary. Sculptures of Buddha, Jesus, Mary, St. Frances, Kokopelli, Krishna, Quan Yin, Saraswati or other spiritual beings can provide a visual focus for meditation. Whether large or small, these three dimensional personalities provide a sense of presence.
4. Singing Bowls & Bells. The sound made when using a wooden or padded mallet to strike a metal singing bowl or a crystal bowl creates a resonance that can take one into a meditative state. Small bells, gongs or tingsha cymbals can also be displayed.
5. Tuning Forks. Tuning forks used to be for musicians to set the pitch, but now they have been developed to support healing in many ways. These non-invasive devices can provide sound therapy that helps induce a state of deep relaxation and restore the body’s balance.
6. Flutes & Digeridoos. Native American style wooden flutes are usually in a pentatonic scale with only five notes versus the seven notes in a normal musical scale, so playing them is very easy even for non-musicians. A digeridoo is a bit more difficult to play but if one learns circular breathing, the sound created is amazing.
7. Drums & Rattles. Shamans from all cultures have used drums and rattles to assist in entering a trance state. Sometimes just shaking a rattle in a space or around a person can assist in clearing the energy. Rain sticks are another easy-to-use item to include.
8. Prayer Beads & Rosaries. Various religious and meditation practices use beads to ‘count’ their prayers or help them stay focused on a mantra. Eastern religions use a mala with strings of 108 beads. A rosary is usually 5 sets of 10 beads with 9 other beads. They can also be worn as necklaces or bracelets.
9. Chakras are very popular, and many companies make printed or cloth chakra wall hangings or posters. There are many beautiful chakra banners and charts available. Some focus on the mandalas while others add information about the chakras.
10. Wind Chimes. The gentle sound of chimes blown in the wind or touched when passing by can add to the ambiance of the space. Chimes are often included when one is using Feng Shui design to create a sense of flow.
11. Wall Hangings & Artwork. Having a visual focus is very important when one is setting up an alter or sacred space. Any sacred imagery can be used a visual focal point when one is attempting to clear their mind of the mundane and busyness of life. Saints, gurus, mandalas or images of nature work well.
12. Salt Lamps & Candles. Creating a calm ambiance with subdued lighting is important in preparing a meditative environment. Whether burning scented candles or using a Himalayan salt lamp with its soothing amber glow, the aim is to create a soft and subtle mood.
13. Incense & Sprays. Incense has long been used to create a transcendent state. Native Americans burn sage or sweet grass to clear the air. These days, there are many alternatives to burning such as scented sprays that don’t need a flame to utilize.
14. CDs & DVDs. We realize people often listen to streaming music these days, but many still want the physical CD in their library. Providing a simple playback system with headphones allows a customer to listen without interfering with what else might be happening in the store. DVDs of nature or sacred imagery are a way to change the energy in the home during the often-chaotic holidays.
15. Books & Magazines. There are many informative and inspiring books on the topics of sound healing and meditation so by providing selected material in your sacred corner, you will stimulate interest and further study. Display current magazine issues relevant to the theme. Of course, every shop won’t carry all these items, so you can improvise and put together your own altars to match the theme and feeling of your space. It’s all about making it personal and finding a way to create a peaceful place for your customers. We hope you enjoy the process of creating a ‘peace through music’ altar for your customers and in the busy days of the holiday season, please be sure to take a moment yourself to sit and enjoy the sanctuary you have put together.
PS If you feel inspired, we would love to see what you have created. You can post a photo of your sound healing altar on our Soundings of the Planet Facebook page and we’ll share it!