David Robert Jones, MS LPC

Healing Sound (22)

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15 minute writing timer. Ready. Set. Go.

There were few things more important in my recovery than the handpan and to say that I went down the handpan rabbit hole would be a gross understatement. 

I’ve chronicled that story before, though, and you can catch a wonderful version of it on The Handpan Podcast with Sylvain Paslier. That podcast episode is actually how I know a number of you!

Since late October of 2018, when the handpan physically entered our family’s life, I have experienced its soothing and healing frequencies and I have often shared them with others.

In the early days, I was still so deep in recovery that the handpan was a lifeline. I played all day sometimes and into the night. I played hours and hours a day at hospitals and in parks and in the streets and in surgery waiting rooms, and in front of our house, and at assisted living centers, and in rooms where people were passing on from their bodies. 

I was almost always playing the handpan and almost always thinking about it when I wasn’t.

Over time, I became attracted to different timbres and resonances and textures of handpans, each having a singular and peculiar effect on one or more areas of my physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual being. It often felt like the universe was conspiring to bring rare and storied pans into my sphere for me to use and take care of for awhile before they continue their journey.

Knowing almost nothing about music before the handpan, I used the steep learning curve as a way to be with my symptoms and to focus my attention on positive feedback loops of rhythm, melody, dynamics, music theory, musical storytelling, and mindful musicianship.

I loved participating in challenges, getting to know other players who posted their music and gave/received feedback, and growing in my abilities to play more and more effortlessly that I may share the stories of life more fluidly, creatively, and intuitively.

Fast forward to today, February 23, 2024, and I no longer need the handpan like I used to need the handpan. 

And that feels quite strange. 

In fact, just yesterday, I was looking at the sacred steel vessels and wondered, “Why are these here? What is the next part of the story? What did I get myself into with all of these? What am I going to do with them?”

It doesn’t feel right or authentic to try to make the handpan be what it once was in my life.

That just makes me tired thinking about it.

I don’t have the ambition to be a famous or renowned player. I don’t have the symptoms I used to have that drove me toward it.

What do I have?

I was wondering this and as I just sat with the uncertainty, the one passion that was the beginning passion re-emerged: these are healing vessels to be used to facilitate the awakening and healing and comforting and transporting of self and others.

A warm smile moved across my whole being as I felt the deep resonance with my heartfelt desire to be with others as they wake up to who they are, why they are here, and what they long to do with their lives while on this wondrous orb we call Earth.  

The handpan is just one of the tools.

This happened just yesterday. 

Last night, my son could not sleep and was feeling more and more stressed about not sleeping. He is performing 4 more times in his high school musical production of “Mean Girls” and he is not feeling well. By 3 a.m., he was in a tough place. We lay next to each other and I stroked his arm, breathed with him, gave him an eye mask, and then went around to the handpans asking which one was ready. 

The CFoulke Magic Voyager answered the call gently and quickly so I took it into his room and began playing in slow, hypnotizing sequences of 4 and then 3, the 3s giving a gentle swaying and rocking feel. Soon, his breath slowed and I could feel his whole body relax into deep and restful sleep.

I walked out of his room glowing, thankful, and once again so pleasantly surprised by the universe conspiring to speak to us and those we love in the times we need to hear it most.

Today, when I picked up my son from school, I asked him if the handpan helped him get to sleep.

“The handpan? Wait. You played the handpan last night?”

Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. 

My intention as I played was that the sound would invite him into that calm depth of the ocean of awareness where all is well, all is calm, and all is silent.

I disappeared as a player.

And the handpan played us to sweet sleep.


Ready to take the next step?

I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via social media or at [email protected].