Cranial Explorations and Exercises
John Beaulieu, N.D., Ph.D.
Our cranium is the crown of creation. The Old Kings and Queens of Europe and the Orient placed special metals and jewels on their heads during a Holy Ritual. Over the centuries the special jewels and metals were made into rudimentary and eventually more sophisticated crowns. The people believed that Royal blood was special and different from theirs. They believed that Kings and Queens because of their blood could communicate directly with Spirit.
Each country had special ceremonies to prepare the King or Queen for Adoration. These ceremonies often times involved fasting and preparing their heads with special herbs and aromatic oils. When a King and Queen were crowned the metals and jewels in their crowns served as antennae to receive divine messages by which they were to govern. Ideally they were psychic channels or intermediaries between God and the Kingdom or Heaven and Earth.
To this day many cultures have special cranial massages, manipulations, etc. I went to a Vietnamese Barber shop which just opened in our neighborhood. Before they cut my hair they washed it in a special way. Than they did special movements of the hands in different directions over different parts of the cranium. I knew they did not learn this in an American Beauty School. Through broken English I understood the technique to be passed down from generation to generation in Vietnam. The lady who performed the technique kept pointing to a statue of the Buddha.
A friend from Mexico practices ancient Mayan massage. The technique involves a series of special hand movements over the cranium, not touching the body. He says that each movement is to clear pathways for better communication with the Spirit world. The moves were taught to him by a shaman. According to the shaman they were passed down for thousands of years.
The purpose of these explorations is to discover inner cranial regions and anatomical landmarks. The explorations are based on the premise that our cranium is like a crystal ball which when gazed into leads us to other planes along an energy continuum.
The Alchemists beginning with Paracelsus and his Seven Brain Stars have made connections between cranial anatomy, spirits, angels, heaven, and the five elements. These exercises are a direct way to tune into and explore cranial spaces using sound, color, and visualization, to open passageways into different levels of the energy continuum. The result is an expansion and enrichment our daily life as well as a greater understanding of the cranium for healing and well-being.
Inner Cranial Seeing
Read the requirements of the exercise than find a position, either sitting or lying down, where you are most comfortable. If you are sitting keep your spine straight. If you are lying down lie face up and use a pillow under your head and/or legs if you need additional support. Relax, close your eyes, and begin.
Imagine your cranium as a globe and with the use of your inner vision look inside. Imagine an anatomical area and/or space within your cranium. Allow your eyes to move and pinpoint an area. Like a child you can point your finger and say I want to go over there. Your eyes will focus automatically on the area. It does not have to have a name. Sometimes names limit rather than help. Once you experience the area, you can name it anything you want or look it up in an anatomy book.
You can use your knowledge of cranial anatomy like a road map to find areas within your cranium. For example you can visualize the stella turica or travel through the ventricles. Anatomical landmarks are a fun and a wonderful way to learn anatomy. Remember that we are using gross anatomy like a road map. We can read a road map and see slides and pictures of where we are going, however when we get there all our senses become involved and whatever prior images we have developed naturally dissolve into the experience of the moment.
When you found an area allow your body to feed back a sense of where you are at. Be aware of the feeling quality or felt sense of the area. Notice its density and texture, sound, or color. Become aware of any connections with other areas of your body or cranium. If your eyes shift or loose focus, bring them back to the original area. Create a name or sound which best represents your experience.
To accomplish the above ask yourself questions. For example: What color is this area? What sound is this area? What texture is this area? A color, sound, or texture may come automatically. If not relax and visualize until color, texture, or sound quality resonates with your felt sense of the area. If you are not sure wait and/or pretend. Remember that pre-tend is the gateway to in-tend.
Use additional questions to discover more about the area being explored. For example how bright is the color. Are there different shades. Are there areas of brightness and other areas of a darker quality. Is the color soft are harsh? Are there areas within the color that it is difficult for me to look? How much space does this color occupy. Can I refocus on an area within the color? Does the color seem to have layers?
Harmonic Cranial Soundings
Sit with your spine unsupported and erect. Your upper body should be free to move and your lower body well supported. Do not lie down or recline. Imagine the top of your cranium rising upwards to heaven and the lower part of your body solidly on the earth. Be secure, alert, grounded, and free to move.
Whenever I have trouble playing the piano one of the first areas I correct is my posture. One day I could not play a passage. Sophia said my body was not moving with the music because I was to confined by the piano bench. She placed a pillow on the floor and instructed me to kneel and play. To my surprise I played the passage effortlessly. I could feel my upper body moving with the sound.
Next close your eyes. When we close our eyes our listening ability increases dramatically.
One day I was having trouble playing the beginning of a Braham’s intermezzo. Sophia said I should listen deeper. She said the eyes often times over rule our ears when we look at written music. She opened a drawer and pulled out a blindfold and told me to put it on and play. I played the passage and we both were amazed at how flowing and connected the music became. When I took off the blindfold and looked at the sheet music the notes became softer to my vision.
The first step in cranial soundings to learn and practice the art of overtone/harmonic singing. (Footnote: If you are not familiar with this type of singing I suggest you listen to some of the recordings in the Biosonics discography.) To make overtones, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and leave your mouth open. Choose a vowel and make a medium pitched humming sound. As you make the sound constantly adjust the shape of your mouth, cheeks and tongue. Pretend you have a rubber face. To learn this watch or remember how babies and children play with their face as they make new sounds. Experiment with different vowels.
Produce the sounds inside your mouth rather than your throat. Make the sounds nasal and direct them into the cranial globe. Vary the pitch and vowel and allow the sound to move freely within the cranial globe, like a sound echoing through the box of a guitar. Focus on a simple sound vowel sounds of long duration. To move the sound within the cranial globe let your mouth, jaw, and tongue work together to create different shapes. With experimentation you will be able to move with sonic freedom throughout your cranium.
Locate and “sound” specific areas within the cranium. To accomplish this, scan your cranium visually and locate an area that attracts or and feels right. Focus your eyes on the area and allow a color to emerge. Next allow your mouth to begin to shape itself to the color. As this begins to happen let your tongue move upwards and into a resonate position with the shape of your mouth. Choose a vowel sound that resonates with the color and shape of your mouth. Inhale and as the sound emerges allow make subtle changes until a resonance is set up with the area.
During the process you feel free to experiment with pitch, volume, and vowel inflexion until you arrive at the correct tone. Your mouth shapes may change and your tongue position will move. Let your face be free to take on many positions. Let your lower body be free to slightly rotate and your spine to take on different vertical directions. Normally this will happen automatically. Active intellectual involvement will create interference!
When the correct tuning happens you may feel “pulled into the sound”. Allow your self to “go into the sound”. Your personal explorations, discoveries and healing will take place from the space of being inside the sound. Your whole cranium will begin to vibrate. Imagine a violin in a large concert hall. You see the sound is coming from the violin yet you can hear it all over the hall. The same is true within your cranium. You may be focused on a specific area and at the same time you will hear the sound throughout your “cranial concert hall”.
Feel free to locate and meditate upon many specific areas within your cranium. Be like a child and explore. Do not press yourself into areas that seem to resist or areas you do not feel safe exploring. Be happy and have fun. After awhile you will become more aware and be able to move from area to area with more confidence and consciousness.
You may want to draw and/or write about your experiences. A journal helps to keep things in perspective and provides the groundwork for making important connections. All explorers keep a log or journal. In high school I used to go to the library to read the journals of Admiral William Byrd’s Antarctic expeditions and Lewis and Clark’s journals of their explorations of the Far West. These men kept journals to help give themselves and others who might follow, some sense of bearing in the unknown.
For your journal your note book may be loose leaf or bound. It should have blank white pages. If you are using a loose-leaf notebook, you have the freedom of inserting any appropriate type of page. You will also need a set of colored pens and possibly colored drawing pens. Just in case, you may want to keep scissors and glue handy.
Start your journal with directions on how to get to the space or spaces you’ve explored. For example, you may give an anatomical description or you may draw a picture of a cranium and lines depicting the area. Once you locate an give is a name, one that represents your personal experience.
You may want to let your hand spontaneously draw as you sound. Just place your drawing pen somewhere on a blank space and let your hand move as you sound. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your experience. Let the drawing be automatic. After exploring, be quietly with yourself. Continue to allow you hand to write or just move. Many times messages, insights, and memories will come forward.
This process is about connecting with your inner self. Something may come through which seems strange or silly. Later on, looking back at your journal may look back at your journal you that make sense of everything. Sometimes fine threads emerge during cranial explorations. One experience leads to another and another and than journaling helps you to see the connections. For example, you may begin with a cranial location. As you sound, an image emerges which you then record. You meditate upon and enter into the image. The feeling you experience leads to another image. When you enter into this new image, you suddenly realize it resonates with another feeling experienced while journaling another cranial area.
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