When one thinks of “Healing Music”, the one piece that immediately comes to mind is Mike Rowland’s, The Fairy Ring—composed circa 1982. The story behind Mike’s inspiration for this composition revolves around a little walk he took one day in the forest and suddenly encountered an ethereal melody that seemed to appear out of nowhere…a gentle, humble melody that permeated his being. Arriving back in his home, Mike recorded the music to the best of his recollection; he then distributed copies of the recording to his friends and later sold them in local stores. Soon afterwards, The Fairy Ring became the best-selling New Age composition of all time; I mention “New Age” because that was the category it sold under for many years, but since those early years in the 1980’s The Fairy Ring defies any one classification—indeed, it encompasses many musical genres—including meditation and classical. I believe that Mike Rowland was inspired that day in the forest by a Sacred Healing Muse, because although delightfully meditational in spirit, the music has been a source of healing for thousands of people over the years. I’ll always remember The Fairy Ring with a special fondness as I once loaned it to a married middle-aged couple I was counseling back in late 1988; they had just experienced a miscarriage and were completely devastated. Mike’s music offered them much needed solace and they were soon comforted by those magical, soothing and healing notes. The Fairy Ring is not a high-tech polished creation—in fact the strings appear at times to overwhelm Mike’s piano—I deduce that he used an early Kurzweil Synthesizer; but it doesn’t matter—the elegant simplicity of the melody seems to gently reach out and give you a loving, healing embrace. Truly this shows that the pure-stuff of Spirit doesn’t have to be a neatly packaged Madison Ave production. Personally, I never tire of The Fairy Ring—playing it over and over again induces an aura of healing, peace and wholeness.
Within Buddhism, the healing tradition of the Medicine Buddha comes to mind. Another archetype and manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Medicine Buddha is Blue in hue symbolizing healing. Meditating upon this soothing and compassionate presence, Unborn Light, like rain, completely permeates and purifies one from all mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual maladies while at the same time eradicating negative karma. What a healthy balance this healing archetype provides within Buddhist Spirituality; all too often one can get side-tracked and even fixated upon the intellect alone when contemplating the Way of the Buddha—incessantly playing mind games with oneself and others in an endless, and oftentimes, reckless game of who has the better dharma-fashion this week. When considering the mystical import of the Unborn Buddha Mind, for instance, one can fall into a habit of studying “IT” like It’s some kind of Objective Prize at the end of a scientific experiment—coldly and calculatively scrutinizing It, like It’s Pluto way out in the frozen depths of lonely and foreboding space. In reality, The Way of the Unborn is warm and gracefully Illuminating—never condemnatory nor feigning some pseudo-gnostic mumbo-jumbo, but rather always welcoming and encouraging and inspiring and, yes, healing one’s own spirit for the undivided and all-inclusive awakening moment of the Recollective Resolve that empowers one to acknowledge and own their Sacred Primordial Buddhahood—thereby welcoming others to awaken in like fashion.
Yes, healing is a necessary and ongoing ingredient on the Buddhist or any other spiritual journey. When self-engaged for too long one can become weakened and all-too susceptible to negative energies that can suck one dry like a vampire. When the healthy need arises for self-assessment and nurturing self-centering, the healing music of Mike Rowland will prove to be a worthy companion-piece to times of self-reflection and meditation. In honor of the 30th anniversary of The Fairy Ring, I felt inspired to create the following video; in gratitude to Mike for his continuing inspiration, it is also offered for All Healing Spirits everywhere.