Good Vibrations

by Chris Koellhoffer, IHM, October 9, 2016

We drink it.  We bathe in it.  We wash dishes, clothing and so many other items in it.  We swim with delight in it on a humid summer day.  We fish in it from a dock or a boat.  We cook with it.  With all our everyday connections to water, might we also learn something from it?

Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist and author of The Hidden Messages in Water, believes there are many lessons water can teach us.  He discovered that, just as we human beings are affected by the thoughts, words, and feelings of others, so are molecules of water.  He notes that this makes sense, for from a physical perspective, the average human body is 70% water.  As fetuses, we are about 99% water.  When we are born, we are 90% water.  If rhythmswavewe reach adulthood, we will be 70% water.  And if we live to old age, we will still be at least 50% water.  He concluded that throughout our lives, we exist mostly as water.  Naturally curious, he began to conduct a series of scientific experiments with water.

Dr. Emoto was struck by the fact that no two snow crystals are alike and deduced that if he froze water and looked at the crystals, each one would appear totally unique.  Then began a long journey of trial and error as he tried to find a way to capture the frozen crystals and photograph them.  Eventually, he succeeded.

One day his research assistant wondered aloud what would happen if water were exposed to music.  What effect might the vibrations of music have on water?  So together they placed a bottle of water on a table between two speakers and exposed it to classical music, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Mozart’s 40th Symphony, Chopin’s Etude in E, as well as other types of music.  The water exposed to gentleness and beauty resulted in crystals that were well-formed, with distinct characteristics.  The water exposed to loud music with vulgar lyrics resulted in crystals that were fragmented and malformed.

The scientists then wondered what would happen if water were exposed to positive and negative words, since words are also vibrations.  They wrote phrases with positive connotations–“Thank you”, “I love you”, in a variety of languages–on pieces of paper wrapped around bottles of water with the words facing in towards the bottle.  At a later time, they also invited children to speak these words aloud to the water.  They did the same with negative words—“Fool!”  “You make me sick!”  In these experiments, water exposed to gentle, loving words resulted in beautiful, shapely crystals.  Water exposed to hateful, negative words produced crystals that were malformed and fragmented.

Dr. Emoto summarized the learnings from these experiments as illustrating the power ofblue-coast-copy words on both water and human consciousness.  Water, he believes, teaches us in a very clear way how we must live our lives.  It helps us to see ourselves and our universe differently.  “The vibration of good words has a positive effect on our world,” Dr. Emoto noted, “whereas the vibration from negative words has the power to destroy.”  One has only to enter a room full of strangers in conversation to notice that some people are vibrating in ways that feel joyful or content, whereas others may move through the room carrying and vibrating messages of sadness or anger.

There is so much more contained in The Hidden Messages of Water, and I invite you to explore its riches, especially as it relates to the healing power of love and gratitude.  The questions these experiments raise ultimately become, “How can I grow in awareness?  How can I positively impact the Earth? How do I wish to vibrate for the life of the world?”


At the end of the day, begin an Examen of sorts by entering into quiet prayer and reflection, and ask yourself,

Was I giving off good vibrations?
Was I a positive presence in anyone’s life today?
With what, with whom did I resonate?
How did I affect the quality of this day?

Offer a prayer of thanks for God’s presence with you.  Commit to vibrate the same loving presence to the people you meet.


Thank you for your prayerful support of two events I offered in the past two weeks: “Doorways to the Holy: Opening Together into the Heart of God”, a morning of presentation, reflection, and process for the IHM Sister-Associate Conference; and “Tenderly, in the Tangle of Our Minds,” a workshop on discernment for the Scranton Diocesan Congress.   

Please hold in your prayer an upcoming week of guided retreat I’m offering for the Sisters of St. Dominic, St. Catherine’s Infirmary, Caldwell, NJ.  My deep thanks for all your support!


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