According to Goldman, his interest in using sound as a healing modality originated from his own experiences during live performances as a guitarist in the Boston punk scene in the late 1970s. While playing, he became aware of how sound could be made to affect listeners, determined, in part, by the intention of the musician, not just the physical act of playing an instrument, nor the emotional energy expressed by the musician while playing. Based on these experiences, Goldman began to research the science of sound and music psychology, directing his overall studies towards the use of sound as a healing force.
In 1982, he founded the Sound Healers Association (SHA) in Lexington, Massachusetts. SHA was a small, informal gathering of musicians, artists, scientists, teachers and authors, and anyone interested in sound healing. Meetings were held in his home once a month and typically included a guest speaker's presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session. Guest speakers included Steven Halpern, John Beaulieu, Randall McClellan and Dr. Peter Guy Manners. Subjects discussed at SHA meetings included the work of Hans Jenny; Resonance; Musica universalis; Harmonics and Entrainment.
During this time, Goldman worked on his master's degree program in Independent Study from Lesley University, researching the uses of sound and music for Healing, which became the main source of material for his first published works. He began recording his own music and he formed Spirit Music, one of the firstrecord labels dedicated to the therapeutic use of sound and music.The label has recorded and released music by Goldman, as well as Don Campbell, Sarah Benson, Sam McClellan, Laraaji, the Gyume Monks and more recently, Lama Tashi, among others.
Goldman's healing music and writing has been influenced by the early SHA meetings as well as mythology; psychology; multi-cultural music traditions; ancient religions; mathematics and speculative fiction. The theory that runs beneath all of his written and music works is:
- That everything in the universe is in a state of vibration. Everything is in motion and produces a sound or frequency. This includes the various parts of our body, organs, bones, tissue, etc.
- When we are in a state of "sound" health, everything in our bodies is vibrating in resonance or harmony with itself. When something is vibrating out of harmony, we call this "disease".
- Sound is an energy that can entrain or change the vibrational rate of objects. Therefore, if something is vibrating out of tune or harmony, it is possible to create the correct, natural "resonant" frequency of the out of tune object, project it to that out of tune portion and cause it to vibrate back to its normal, healthy state. This, in turn, can be summarized as: Frequency + Intent = Healing.
During his research, Goldman worked with the Gyume Monks, whose sacred chanting of ancient mantras is said to be encoded with healing properties and to be of great benefit to its listeners. Goldman met and became a student of the monks during their 1988 US Tour. During this time, Goldman recorded and produced a concert of the Gyume Monks' chanting, and he learned the art of deep voice chanting and the 'One Voice Chord' technique from the monks.
He later went on to meet the Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Rinchen Chugyal, then Chant Master for the Drepung Loseling Monastery. In 1995 Rinchen Chugyal ordained Goldman as a Chant Master, empowering him to teach Tibetan Chanting in the West. He also met the Venerable Ngawang Tashi Bapu (Lama Tashi), who succeeded Rinchen Chugyal as Chant Master. Lama Tashi recorded several sessions of Tibetan chanting with Goldman. His 'Tibetan Master Chants', recorded and produced by Goldman, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004.
Goldman's chanting has been featured on several recordings, notably the 1999 Grammy Award winning album by Kitaro, 'Thinking of You'; his own 'Chakra Chants' series; 'Chakra Dance', which was produced for the opening of a holistic dance club in New York City, and 'Medicine Buddha', made for the US teachings of HH Dalai Lama in 2001.
Goldman produces and hosts an annual 'Healing Sounds Intensive' course in Loveland, Colorado. He also hosts private clinics . He has lectured and taught internationally at major sound conferences and health expos, including National Music & Health Conference, Harvard University, Wesak Festival, American Association of Music Therapy Conference, Tufts University, Global Sound Conference and the University of Hawaii. He also is the presenter of a monthly online radio show on www.healthylife.net.
Goldman grew up in New Jersey, at a family-owned kosher hotel. His father, Irving B. Goldman was an otolaryngologist and plastic surgeon. Jonathan's wife, Andi Goldman, is a licensed therapist.