The Tao of Voice

The Tao of Voice: An East-West Approach to Transforming the Singing and Speaking Voice 

Stephen Chen-Tao Cheng

This amazing little book shows how to work with the flow of qi (energy) in and around us, and demonstrates how this flow is connected to our breath and voice. A series of qi gong exercises bring our bodies into alignment, so this energy—and our vocal tones—may resonate freely. Recognizing a force beyond us is the byproduct of serious work with this practice, a first-step of awareness in depth psychology. Unlike many Eastern practices, Cheng’s way does not call for attempts at transcendence or “mind-emptying.” On the contrary, engaging these exercises, we are invited to connect our breath and body movements to what C.G. Jung called “active imagination.”

Zen Guitar

Zen Guitar

Philip Toshio Sudo

The Way of Zen Guitar can be applied to most any path: 1) Wear the White Belt, 2) Pick up Your Guitar, 3) Tune it, and 4) Play. Nothing in there about “practice” or even finding a “teacher.” Talk about some irrational reverse-psychology for the contemporary world! Exuding the paradoxical personality of a Zen kaon, this enchanting book backs up its methodology with wisdom from many masters, including cats like Edward van Halen, John Coltrane, Ringo Starr, Rick Danko, and Duke Ellington to name a few. Over and over, Zen Guitar returns us to the Tao, and the importance of our attention to it.

the music lesson

The Music Lesson: A Search for Spiritual Growth Through Music

Victor L. Wooten

This acclaimed masterpiece sits in the center of my resource library for a number of reasons. Viewed from the author’s perspective, we see how Wooten engages psyche like a depth psychologist. Because his quest is musical, I find reason to name him the world’s first, official “depth musicologist.” Though resistant, our protagonist doesn’t fight or run from characters who cross his path against his will. He invites them into dialogue, and in doing so gives himself a feeling function education. Wooten shows how creative engagement leads to psychological unfolding, and vice-versa. As a text, The Music Lesson inadvertently offers a working model of Jungian thought, and a bridge between the realms of music and depth psychology.

Deep Creativity

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit

Deborah Anne Quibell, PhD; Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD; and Dennis Patrick Slattery, PhD

Like The Music Lesson, by bassist Victor Wooten, Deep Creativity is a pathway between the worlds of psychology and the arts. Augmenting the work of the musician, psychologists build this part of the bridge. Written by three PhDs, at different stages of life, Deep Creativity’s, strength lies in its multi-generational awareness, and access to rich wisdom which comes alongside serious depth psychological study. In the forward, Thomas Moore makes a point to acknowledge the authors’ education and specialization. For any creative soul, questing for deeper understanding of depth psychology, this book, and the work of these authors, are portals to the source.

effortless mastery

Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within

Kenney Werner

Like the Tao of Voice, this book offers practical wisdom from the East, and blends it with the power of imagination. Master pianist Kenny Werner shows us how to relax into our deepest self, in order to build a “connection” between our heart and our instrument. Werner guides us through four different meditations, and I am often challenged by what he asks me to imagine. This resistance, and then dialogue which follows, resembles Wooten’s experience in The Music Lesson—what I have described above as a Jungian model of psyche. Susan Rowland, a scholar of Jung’s work, told me, “At some point the path of mastery gives way to something more reflective.” Paradoxically, Werner demonstrates how in true mastery we are most reflective.