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Songbird Healing Center is two years old

Saturday, January 21st, 2012 | Posted by | 15 responses

Carol Hince, center, leads iRest (yoga Nidra), a guided meditation for her clients Cherin Willett, left, and Meredith Muench, right, at the Songbird Community Healing Center in Cotati, Jan. 19, 2012. (Crista Jeremiason)

From the outside, Cotati’s downtown Songbird Community Healing Center seems like an ordinary storefront. Inside, though, is an artfully designed space made for taking potentially extraordinary journeys into physical, mental and spiritual health.

“We see and teach how the world is changing and shifting,” says clinic director Jasmine Gold, “and we try to make a positive difference in the world and in our clients’ lives.”

As Songbird prepares for a free public celebration of its second anniversary, its practitioner list includes those with traditional Western training (certified physical therapy, licensed clinical social work, master’s degrees and a Ph.D.) and those educated alternatively (in yoga, Reiki, holistic nutrition, hypnotherapy, psychic and card reading, astrology and aroma, crystal, herb, oil and sound therapies). Some have a foot in each world.

“We work really well together,” says Gold, herself a Reiki master (energy healing), Toltec mentor and certified Four Agreements facilitator. “We offer mainstream alternative or complementary treatment and some stuff that’s really ‘out there.’

“We’re trying to reach out to those who haven’t heard that there are alternatives to going to the doctor, a variety of options at reasonable prices in a community setting.”

Like Kaiser, for example, the center offers low-priced weekly classes in Feldenkrais movement (for back pain) and sessions in guided meditation and gentle stretching.

Physical therapist Carol Hince is one of the center’s longest practitioners and often works with veterans in accepting “what is” and “freeing up energy for joy, abundance, and well-being.”

Among those who use the space for private practice is Jeffrey Edelheit. He works with Tibetan singing bowls, cymbals and gongs to facilitate intense Chakra meditation.

The center regularly offers monthly and one-time events and workshops, especially on weekends and outside regular appointment hours.

During the Hands of Gold Healing Clinic on second and fourth Tuesday evenings, “you might see two to three massage tables, energy healing, readings. We offer unconditional love, personal growth, emotional freedom,” says Gold.

Special speakers and film showings like last year’s “Farmageddon” (comparing family and corporate farming) attract members of the public interested in health and environmental issues as well as personal growth.

Also, says Gold, people sometimes need a very rational approach to information before embracing more intuitive activities.

“Our practitioners often donate services to attract clients to the center and to help build their client base,” notes Gold. The center also offers donation-based events, sliding fees and does its best to make sure no one in pain goes without some kind of assistance.

The center is partially underwritten by the Women’s School of Healing Arts & Sciences, and the building is owned and managed by Frogsong co-housing community, to which Gold belongs.

“I was involved over 10 years ago, before the land was even purchased,” says Gold. “I grew up in Berkeley, lived in the South Bay. Cotati is quieter and more relaxed. It has a nice balance, not too urban or too rural. I can step outside for a walk, visit the creek.

“Once I moved here, I realized something was missing in my life and began looking for a spiritual pathway. I spent three years studying under Toltec master don Miguel Ruiz. That gave me the confidence to do the healing, which I first did out of my living room.

“In 2010 this space had already been an art gallery and location for healing, but needed new direction. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to direct a community, so went on a retreat for six weeks that included a visit to the underground temple at Damanhur in Italy. I became really clear that I wanted to continue with Songbird.

“My aim is to create a community of practitioners, share information, create a healing space that is open to everybody. I want to see the difference it makes in people’s lives.”

8280 Old Redwood Hwy., 795-2398, www.songbirdcenter.org.

15 Comments for “Songbird Healing Center is two years old”

  1. Those interested in the subject & want to read more about practitioners, history and ethical principles, can find a useful Web site at – https://sites.google.com/site/thereikicenter/. You can also download the free e-book, http://www.mediafire.com/?c2wn9f2lrqomebr.

  2. Thanks for the great article! Here’s our complete schedule for the anniversary:
    11:00 AM Elizabeth Pirc on keyboard
    11:30 AM Kathleen McTeigue presentation & demo: “How Can Hypnosis Benefit You?”
    12:00 noon Carol Hince presentation: “iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation: What Makes it so Powerful?”
    12:30 Elizabeth Pirc on keyboard
    1:00 PM featured talk: Joan Wilcox: “The Heart: The Emperor of the Body”
    1:45 PM Sheridan Gold on drums
    2:30 PM Karen Atkins, singer/songwriter: http://www.vibrationproject.com
    3:30 PM Hamida Dides talk: “Healing Emotional Issues with Flower Essences”

  3. Article definitely piqued my interest…went to website–lots of positives there, i.e.”The Four Agreements.” It’s always wonderfully reassuring to hear about people and practitioners in the world who focus on healing our planet and its inhabitants (all life, not just human life).

    However, my enthusiasm was quickly deflated when I saw listed on their web page a re-occurring class with the topic of “crystal skulls.” My exposure to that topic has revealed the whole thing to be a scam and scientifically and otherwise de-bunked and thus left me feeling like there was an integrity issue with Songbird Center that would probably prevent me from going there.

  4. Hey, it sounds like a good place to hold a Republican rally. PHD in what? Tibetan singing bowls? A bunch of leftist waste of time. At what age did you get your PHD? 50? In 10 useless years, you can retire from being a professional student.
    How about a steak BBQ on Saturday?

    • Hey Press Democrat, I knew you left thinking radicals would not post my retort. Its either your opinon, or else you censor it. This has happened 3 times so far in your paper. My next post is to your editor. I never use profanty, just trying to balance your biased politics. I hope your new owners will weed out some of you lefties. I will certainly do my best. Do not try to silence my voice.Isn’t that what a Democrat would do? Stay tuned my campaign has only started.

  5. John, take a breath and silence your anger. There are people out here who have issues just like you but have learned to heal thyself first. BBQ at your own home, stop making fun of others.

  6. Hey John, have you read The Cotati Independent, I think you will like it.

  7. iREST looks like a blissful, soul-cleansing ritual. I perform an oddly similar one myself, every night between the hours of 11 to six. I believe it’s called iSNOOZE.

  8. Anne… why do I suspect you’re one of the Frogsong moonies? If you are, I have a simple question: How in the wide world of sports can you people rent a retail space to a legitimate business (Little New Yorker Pizza) and then have the gall to tell them they can’t sell pizza after 9 PM, when they are trying to earn a living in a freaking college town?

  9. Marie…

    Sorry if I’m not sweetness and light, but there is a lot more to Cotati than Kid’s Days and Accordion Festivals, nice as they may be. Cotati is a deeply dysfunctional town, whose main street is doomed to remain a hillbilly slum by a sorry bunch of utopian planners and progressive council members who think governments can actually plan economies. I am the first to praise when something is done right, but am also the first to criticize whenever I see how poorly this town has been managed. If you’d rather continue this conversation offline to avoid “discouraging” other posters, who must be terribly sensitive, I believe you have access to my email address.

  10. Greg,I am with you on this, This city will no doubt destroy itself with the administration that is in office right now.
    This little town could be a huge success if people would wake up & pay attention to what is really going on, the mismanagement, the arogance & the lack of knowledge that the city council displays is an embaresment to us all. Get your heads out of the sand people, becuase if you don’t you will be the first standing around wondering why you can’t afford to stay in your house or your buissness & continue to keep shelling out more of your hard earned money because their answer to evrything is to barrow money & raise taxes.

  11. Your facility looks so inviting.

  12. I just stopped back here and thought I’d address a few of the issues. Even though I doubt the original posters will see my reply, at least there will be clarity for anyone else who sees them.

    Anita, don Miguel Ruiz has recently co-authored The Fifth Agreement: Be Skeptical, but Learn to Listen. That is one of the things we strive to do at Songbird. I’m glad that you have have heard of the crystal skulls and reached a conclusion for yourself. Not everyone has. My desire with Songbird is to share information so that everyone can be informed enough to make their own decisions about healthcare and other non-mainstream issues like the crystal skulls. I am happy to host open-minded speakers on all sides of any issue. When I first heard of crystal skulls, a year ago, I thought it was a fascinating topic to learn more about. I never thought it would interest me beyond the one talk. After hearing it, I wanted to find out more. I read several of the books that are out, watched some of the documentaries, and spent time with some of the activated skulls. I don’t have a personal conclusion about whether any of the skulls are “ancient,” but I do know that I can feel their energy and others who are much more sensitive in this way than me are able to do work with them. In my healing work, I am now working with small modern crystal skulls that have been activated. The clients who experienced my work before and after agree that it is more powerful now. We do not have on-going classes. We had one talk a year ago and one talk recently.

    John, the PhD’s who teaches classes at Songbird is a licensed psychologist with a thriving private practice in Petaluma. Every service we have doesn’t work for everyone. That’s why we strive to create an environment where people can find what works for them instead of trying to fit everybody into one mold. For some, the Tibetan bowls work. For some, they don’t.

    Greg, The Little New Yorker knew before they even started negotiating a lease with FrogSong that they would need to close at 9pm. They made the choice to rent anyway, and I am grateful. FrogSong residents live above the restaurant. The way the sound carries, when restaurant patrons come and go, it sounds like they are in the resident’s living room. The closing hour is out of respect for them.

  13. Jasmine… I have visited Little New Yorker several times, and the owner, a very nice woman, told me she was completely blindsided by the mandated 9PM closing time. Regardless, it illustrates a larger point: the frequent incompatibilities inherent in “mixed-use urban infill.” It works for some, but does not work for many others. But for a variety of wrong reasons, city planners across America are pimping this lifestyle as the best possible way to create a “vibrant, sustainable future.”

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