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HIMALAYAN SINGING BOWLS

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  • June 06, 2021 Gongs and singing bowls can change your life!
    Gongs and singing bowls can change your life!

    I was IGNITED!  What followed was the arrival into my life of several bronze, nickel/silver, and titanium gongs plus several Himalayan singing bowls. Just as the entry of the power of gongs into my life had been completely unexpected, so was the rapidly kindled passion for searching to solve the mysterious drawing power of Himalayan singing bowls. 

    Several of each of these transformative instruments came into my life just as a friend was dying with cancer. I played gongs and/or singing bowls for him every evening as his discomforting symptoms increased, and he found tremendous pain relief as well as emotional comfort in where these sounds would “take” him.  A friend of his was also entering into hospice care at that time, and she, too, asked to be played to. I left one 36” Air Cosmo gong in her home which her adult daughter enjoyed playing for her mother in my absence, and as they desired, I played Himalayan singing bowls for them as well as for friends and family visiting to say goodbye. The vibrations hanging in the air from these playing became a nearly luminous medium in which we all felt more deeply interconnected, making nearly palpably real that which transcends physicality, itself, and I would add - grants access to levels of awareness more subtle than the turbulent emotional seas that each was navigating through those times.  

  • May 26, 2021 Fields of application for singing bowls
    Fields of application for singing bowls

    If you think that Himalayan singing bowls (also known as Tibetan singing bowls) are taking over the niche of yoga and meditation practice – you are mistaken. It's amazing to observe how much attention the sound bowls get these days. A few years ago a dentist asked me to help finding him a good quality singing bowl for his office. One of my students is a practicing nurse and doula. She uses a few singing bowls to help her patients relax and overcome pain. Another student of mine is Theta healing practitioner, using singing bowls in every session with her clients. I also have students that lead sacred plant ceremonies with singing bowls. The list is long…

    Some time ago I heard that in one school in Germany, teachers play a certain game with kids. Before starting a class, the teacher strikes a singing bowl and asks kids to raise a hand when the sound is over. For kids, it feels like an interactive game. The teacher, though, gets the students’ attention after this sort of tuning and can proceed to teach a class getting greater involvement from kids. 

  • May 17, 2021 Healing Resonance and healing frequencies
    Healing Resonance and healing frequencies

    One of the most important aspects to understand, when working in the field of sound healing or just using sound for self benefits is; what is resonance. People talk about the healing vibrations and healing frequencies. There are many claims made in the sound wellness community about the specific sound frequencies that kill cancer cells and frequencies that heal and repair DNA. There are claims about 432Hz creating the resonance of healing of the planet Earth... Claims about 528Hz is a frequency of love that creates resonance of DNA and therefore, is a DNA repairing frequency... One of the most recent miraculous frequencies on the sound healing market is 111Hz. This frequency is claimed as a sacred frequency. You may also find it described as a holy frequency. Supposedly, all these superior frequencies are creating some sort of a resonance in an aura and eventually are leading to health improvement. 

    As a sound wellness practitioner that approaches such claims with a grain of salt, I asked many times other sound healers working with the healing frequencies, why do these frequencies create "healing resonance". Unfortunately, I discovered that there is a lack of understanding what resonance is in the first place.

  • May 11, 2021 The Benefits of Himalayan Singing Bowls
    The Benefits of Himalayan Singing Bowls

    Singing bowls could be brought to hospitals and rehabilitation centers. For more than four years now I've been bringing sound therapy to a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Manhattan. Although I introduced myself as a musician – and that's how I was hired – the management is calling my program “sound healing”. Most likely I would not have been hired if I called myself a sound healer. My agenda was to bring the art of conscious listening and meditation to the elders. I knew, however, that the sound healing modality had no support or even recognition from health professionals. You can call me an entertainer if you want, just let me do my thing!

    These interviews were taken in Rehabilitation Center & Nursing Home in Manhattan, NY with the kind permission of the interviewed patients. I share these videos with much love and gratitude to spread the word about the medicinal properties of sound and singing bowls in particular. 

  • September 30, 2020 What is a Singing Bowl?
    What is a Singing Bowl?

    There are so many different speculations about the original purpose of singing bowls. And you may ask what is a Tibetan singing bowl used for? The majority of experts claim that they were used as utilitarian vessels for eating, drinking, and storing food. Also, bowls were, and still are, being used for collecting donations. However, the sound properties of singing bowls have been acknowledged for centuries. The variety of shapes of antique bowls indicates that acoustic properties were of primary importance.

    Himalayan singing bowls have been known to Westerners since the late '60s. They made their way to the US and Europe mostly with spiritual seekers that visited the residence of the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala and were exploring India.

    Some experts assume that singing bowls were brought to the Westerners with Tibetan refugees escaping Chinese communist occupation. There are a few reasons to doubt this assumption. 

    First of all, if you ever go to Tibet, you will notice that traveling with your 20lb (10kg) backpack at the altitude of 14700ft (4500 meters) isn't quite the same as hiking in the national park! Just imagine Tibetan monks carrying a load of singing bowls in their bags to AMERICA! Why would they do it?

    There is a more primary question to be asked:  What are the origins of "Tibetan" singing bowls?

  • September 30, 2020 Types of Himalayan singing bowls
    Types of Himalayan singing bowls

    The Jambati (rounded bottom) Himalayan singing bowl is one of the most common types of singing bowls. 

    This type of antique bowl usually appears to vary between 8.5” – 14” in diameter. The height could vary between 3” – 7”. 

    Jambati singing bowls can be made with a thick lip (rim) or with no significant difference between the thickness of the wall and the edge. A thick rim usually adds the presence of a high pitch to the fundamental tone. The bowl with a bright high pitch is often associated with female energy.

    Jambati without a thicker rim sound deeper and have a higher amount of distinguishable overtones. This type of bowl is often associated with male energy.

    The origins of Jambati singing bowls are India and Nepal. The oldest bowl of this kind that I came across was made in the 16th century, the youngest – from the 19th century.

  • September 25, 2020 Notes in music
    Notes in music

    Sounds can be molded into music. Music is an art of ordering tones in combination and relationship to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Much as one could consider music as an art, it is also a discipline of science. Any harmony that we can recognize in music has a mathematical foundation. 

    In music, notes are the building blocks, and each note has an assigned frequency (depending on the system of reference). There is a series of eight notes, each having its own name (except for the eighth note), creating an "octave". The eighth note has the same name as the first one and it is double the frequency of the first note. Each note of the next octave would be twice the frequency of the same note of the previous octave. 

    For example, the note "A" (name outside the US is "La") of the third octave is 220Hz. That means the frequency of the note A is 55Hz in the first octave, 110Hz in the second octave and 440Hz in the fourth octave.

  • September 25, 2020 Understanding what frequency is
    Understanding what frequency is A vibration that recurring at regular intervals has its own "frequency". So what is frequency? Frequency indicates how FREQUENT the cycle of motion is happening within a fixed unit of time. Vibration with no periodic activity has no frequency.

    In what units is frequency measured?
    The measuring units of frequency are Hertz (Hz). One Hertz equals one full cycle per second. For example, when a honey bee makes one full motion of its wings in one second, the frequency of this movement is 1Hz. If the same bee would swing its wings 230 times per second, that means it raised the frequency from 1Hz to 230Hz. Luckily for the bee, along with increasing the vibrations, it would also raise itself up in the air!
  • February 24, 2017 How to properly listen...
    How to properly listen...

    Becoming a master of your own mind is the common goal of all self-development practices. By observing your habits, by listening to your thoughts, by being true to yourself you take control of your life. Conscious listening is the key to well being.

    I will share with you two simple practices that helped me to become a conscious listener. I find them as a good tool in training the “inner observer” muscle, they also are an excellent aid to achieve tranquility. Practicing these simple techniques had taught me to become more present, to control the energy in my body, and even choose and control my thoughts and emotions.

    These exercises are NOT authentic Tibetan or Yogic practices, or maybe they are. I did not pick them up from any school or any teacher. The singing bowls taught me to practice these exercises!  

    First, let's explore what it means to be a conscious listener:

  • February 24, 2017 Singing bowl exercise Listen To Separated Tones
    Singing bowl exercise Listen To Separated Tones

    For this exercise, you will need a singing bowl that has at least two noticeable overtones (in addition to the fundamental tone) and a mallet with a medium firmness to strike the singing bowl (choose the mallet that will bring the lowest tone of the bowl along with at least two higher-pitched tones). I recommend choosing a hand hammered Himalayan singing bowl (also called Tibetan singing bowl) of a medium or large size. 

    • Bring the rim of the singing bowl to the level of your forehead approximately three to four inches away from your forehead. You can hold the bowl on your fingertips or on an open palm. Also, you could sit in front of the bowl that is rested on a surface aligned with your forehead.
    • Strike the singing bowl and listen to the polyphonic accord of all sounding tones simultaneously.
    • Highlight one tone. It could be any tone you want. Now become fully aware of this tone, isolate it from other singing bowl sounds. Focus on the tone you choose until it dissipates.
    • Repeat the exercise as many times as you want. After practicing this routine, choose another tone from the same singing bowl. Repeat the second routine also as many times as you wish. 
    • Finally, practice the same exercise with the third tone.
    • Please note: the more sustained is the singing bowl sound, the better chance you will have to concentrate and meditate without redirecting your focus on striking the bowl. 
  • February 24, 2017 Exercise with singing bowl "Listening with the body"
    Exercise with singing bowl "Listening with the body"

    For singing bowl exercises for personal harmony you will need a singing bowl with a relatively long-lasting sound (at least 40 - 50 seconds). The bowl should have a high, thin wall (Jambati) 8.5 - 11 inches in diameter. Preferably the rim (lip) should be thicker than the wall. This bowl should have a significantly low tone, with a relatively high-pitched overtone.

    For striking the bowl use a soft and relatively heavy mallet.

    This exercise should be practiced in a standing position.

    Hold the bowl in one hand aligned with your genitals, approximately two-three inches away from your body. Relax your muscles and simply observe your body. Strike the bowl and slowly raise it in parallel to your body. Do your best to keep the bowl centered. Follow the sonic vibrations along with the physical sensations with your inner listener. Raise the bowl until the level of its rim reaches approximately one inch above your eyebrows (third eye chakra area).

    This simple exercise connects you more with the knowledge that your body has. You will cleanse your body by absorbing the healing waves and over time you will learn to trust your body more. This exercise also makes you more aware of your surroundings.

  • February 24, 2017 How to choose a singing bowl?
    How to choose a singing bowl?

    Some people may purchase a singing bowl just because they like the sound and that's all, but if you are looking for the instrument for special practice, then you should determine first what you are willing to do with the bowl. Most of the singing bowls we sell are good for personal and group meditation practice and healing work, but not all the bowls are ideal for massaging, reflexology or space cleansing.

     If you want to chant along with the sound of a singing bowl, choose an instrument that will be easy to sing without straining your vocal cords, the one that will sing not too low and not too high. Massaging bowls (large and medium Jambaties with a thin wall) are usually low sounding and are not the best for leading group meditations. This is because you will need to strike the bowl pretty hard to introduce the sound that would be heard from a distance. On another hand, large Jambaties with a thick rim will sound much brighter. This type of bowl could be used for leading group meditations, along with smaller Tadobaties, Lingams, Manipuries, and Manis, which are also good for private healing work.

    If you want to highlight any ritual with the sound of a singing bowl, the main aspect to consider is the character of the sound. The same thing is good to consider when selecting a bowl to use for your own practice. For healing, I recommend you choose a bowl or a set of bowls based on a private case. As a sound healing practitioner, you'll need all kinds of characters of players in your team, meaning, go by the emotional associations evoked with the sound.  

  • February 24, 2017 How to take care and clean a singing bowl
    How to take care and clean a singing bowl

    Even though Himalayan singing bowls are made of metal and look solid, please remember that they are very fragile! Some antique bowls have such a thin bottom that you can hear a clicking sound or even make a hole if you press it with a finger. Always put the bowl on something soft, such as a rubber shelf liner. If you put a bowl on a wooden surface, check that this surface is totally flat with no nails sticking out or any other firm particles. Always be gentle with your instrument. Don't strike too hard with the firm mallet and even if the mallet is soft, still consider that the wall could be very thin and your approach could be critical for the bowl.

      If you decide to clean the bowl, it's up to you which method to use, but please remember that using abrasive materials such as sandpaper can influence the sound of your bowl. The traditional method to clean bronze or brass made bowl is polishing it with a paste made of squeezed lemon with wooden ash. Make this mixture using approximately 50/50 lemon juice with pulp and ash, and polish the bowl using a soft cloth.
        Any polishing paste for cleaning jewelry will do the job. Make your preference for a copper polishing paste.

  • February 24, 2017 Old singing bowls vs new singing bowls
    Old singing bowls vs new singing bowls

    Some manufacturers still follow the old tradition by hand hammering singing bowls and in some cases, the results are pretty amazing. Other manufacturers produce singing bowls by pressing, casting and cutting on turning machines, but the work they do pales in comparison to the work of the alchemy masters of the past.

    The alloys used today are quite different from those used traditionally. Centuries ago singing bowls were made out of bronze with traces of other metals that the main two ingredients, copper and tin (approx 80/20) were contaminated with. Today singing bowls are mainly made of brass, which is a combination of copper and zinc. When you look at certain antique singing bowls, you can see the level of mastery and care they were hammered with. Some antique bowls have such a smooth wall, it's hard to believe that they were hammered at all. I am taking full responsibility by saying that contemporary bowls are made with much less care. Nonetheless, sales are flowing anyway! A very small percentage of practitioners are familiar with the good quality of singing bowls. In many cases, fresh sound workers are not trained at all to listen to the fine nuances distinguishing the real masterpiece from a junk singing bowl. Instead, they were taught to put a bowl with a certain note next to a corresponding chakra. I am also familiar with many teaching “masters” who don't possess good quality instruments and still make many sales after they have done teaching the class. 

  • February 24, 2017 Bronze and brass singing bowls versus crystal or glass singing bowls
    Bronze and brass singing bowls versus crystal or glass singing bowls

    The late '80s brought to the New Age community a very interesting instrument with angelic tone - crystal singing bowl.  

    Crystal singing bowls are called "Quartz Crucibles" and they originated in the solar industry.

    The crystal bowls are very popular these days and are a really good sounding instrument. Not many sound practitioners know how these bowls are being manufactured.

    High Purity Quartz powder (silica sand) is being melted by heating to 4000 degrees Celsius and formed in the shape of a bowl. During the manufacturing process of crystal singing bowls, most of the physical properties of the raw quartz (such as piezoelectricity) are being lost. 

    Since all glass manufacturing starts with silica sand, the more correct name for the crystal singing bowls is "glass singing bowls".

  • February 24, 2017 Notes and Chakras? Spiritual fraud with the best intentions.
    Notes and Chakras? Spiritual fraud with the best intentions.

    There are many "authorities" in sound healing community and some of them are misleading the subject by spreading unreliable teachings. I know that some of these teachers were misled themselves and they strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with the knowledge they teach. They have the best intentions, projecting so much love and care, but yet, if you choose to blindly follow the path they offer, will you discover the truth?  

    Unfortunately, there are also fake gurus and I will allow myself to say BE AWARE OF THE SPIRITUAL FRAUD!

    *The key is, no matter what story you tell, make the buyer the hero.

    Chris Brogan

    When I started my research on singing bowls, a major part of the information I was absorbing seemed to be nonsense. One of my big doubts was related to the resonance of chakras to the notes of the modern Western musical scale.

    Many websites or physical stores that offer singing bowls for sale, will tell you what chakra a particular bowl is good to work with. Even when you go to India, Nepal or Tibet you will be offered to purchase the "chakra attuned healing singing bowls".