Meditation & Health #26 Contents


Wisdom in the Voice


By Yu Ran & Nary Chea


Wang Chong, a Chinese philosopher who lived during the Eastern Han dynasty, stated the following in his book
Lun Heng: The simplest way of physiognomy is to judge a person by the look; the average way is to judge by the expression; and the best way is to judge by the voice.
This means that a brilliant physiognomist gathers information about the fate and luck of a person by listening to their voice.


The Sound of Fate

For thousands of years, a person’s voice has been considered a key indictor of fortune. The book Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon, under “Questions of Fundamental Nature,” includes this statement: When a string on an instrument is broken, the music produced is dull; when a person is very sick, the voice lacks clarity. The quality of the voice is an indicator of physical and emotional health.

Vocal Qualities

The human voice has many iterations. Certain vocal qualities are considered when assessing whether a voice is pleasant or grating.

Volume and Tone

Vocal volume should be appropriate to the situation. Clear and distinct voices which are bell-like, those which are firm and loud without being booming, or softer tones that are melodious and crisp –– all these are pleasant to the ears. People who possess such voices are said to also possess fates of great auspiciousness.

Those whose voices are overly loud and grating or too soft and weak may have difficult lives with poor luck and the inability to create wealth. A person with a wobbly voice usually does not hold an elevated position in society.

Someone who is small yet speaks with a strong, confident voice is said to have a promising future. On the contrary, a large person with a soft, weak voice may have limited prospects.


Having a clear, crisp, silvery voice signifies nobility, longevity and the potential to possess great wealth. Conversely, having a dull or gruff voice may mean facing more hardships in life.

People who have smooth, melodious voices and those with deep, vigorous voices are often blessed with wealth and status. Prosperity and nobility may be more difficult to achieve for people who speak hoarsely, harshly or shrilly.

Even Breaths

A peaceful mind generates logical, clear thinking and even breathing, which in turn help us speak in an orderly manner. A person with a disturbed mind has an uneven breathing pattern, becomes short of breath or their speech abruptly slows and then suddenly rumbles on again; their voice is usually unpleasant.

Resonance From the Diaphragm

The diaphragm, located about three fingers below the navel, is the source of the voice. In order to have a rich voice, the diaphragm must be engaged and the vocal chords relaxed. Breathing must be deep and even,with the chest fully open and the abdomencomfortable and unconstricted. Diaphragmaticbreathing, not chest breathing, is essential.

Health Through the Voice

A person’s health can be deduced from their voice. Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon identifies the five types of human vocal expression: exhalation, laughter, singing, crying, and groaning. Each corresponds to one of five organs: liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidneys.

Health conditions can be assessed based on the voice. For instance, a person with stagnant gas in the liver often emits a whooping sound; those who experience panic attacks or shortness of breath may have a tendency to talk too much and too quickly; people with deficiency in the spleen often speak in a low voice and do not have enough breath to sing; and those with weak lungs tend to cry uncontrollably. Our energy constitution lies in the kidneys. Thus, those who seem to always groan and moan when talking are low in energy and their kidneys may not be in optimum condition.

A person’s feelings are manifested in the sounds of the voice. Tone, rhythm and expression are influenced by emotions and attitudes, and thus a person’s character is obvious from his speech. As recorded in the great ancient historical work The Zuo Tradition, when Emperor Chu wanted to appoint Shang Chen as the crown prince, he sought the advice of Minister Zi Shang. The minister commented that Shang Chen had eyes like a wasp and sounded like a jackal, concluding that he was a cruel person wholly unsuited to the role of crown prince.

The voice of a noble person resonates from the diaphragm. It has a rich, calm and consistent tone. Such a person is typically healthy, energetic, upright, steady, and confident. They are capable of generating good fortune and making positive contributions to society.

The voice of a noble person resonates from the diaphragm. It has a rich, calm and consistent tone.

Good Voice Through Cultivation

Having an appealing voice is part of being an effective communicator. In order to convey your message in a clear and compelling fashion, work to cultivate a strong and pleasant voice.

Practice Energy Bagua

A lack of energy in the diaphragm is related to a lack of physical strength. Energy Bagua can quickly replenish vitality and energy. Visualizing sending qi or energy to the diaphragm can strengthen the body and help the voice to become powerful, steady and clear.

Meditate and Chant

A person’s character is rooted in the heart and is expressed through the voice. The key to changing the voice is changing the mindset. Meditation is a good way to cultivate oneself, as well as promote relaxation in body and mind. It helps to relieve stress and negative emotions, replacing them with peace and tranquility. The more calmness and clarity within, the more these are evident in the voice.
Chanting regularly helps the voice become more resonant and melodious. The compassion that comes from chanting is reflected in a compassionate manner of speaking.

The quality of one’s voice tells a story of physical and emotional health. As an expression of one’s inner qualities, it is an indicator of innate potential and fate. Pay attention to your voice. Think not just about your words, but about the clarity, tone and volume of their delivery. To speak with a beautiful voice, one must have a beautiful heart. Refrain from using crude words, scolding or yelling. Instead, be friendly, grateful, tolerant, and helpful. Let your compassion shine, and your voice will naturally draw people closer to you. A beautiful voice is the sound of a sweeter destiny.


Meditation & Health #26 Contents