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Notes and Chakras? Spiritual fraud with the best intentions 2023

Notes and Chakras? Spiritual fraud with the best intentions 2023

Chakra sounds

There are many "authorities" in the sound healing community and some of them are misleading the subject by spreading unreliable teachings about the relationship between notes and chakras. 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 Himalayan singing bowls, a major part of the information I was absorbing seemed to be nonsense. One of my big doubts was related to the claimed resonance of chakras to the notes of the modern Western musical scale.

Healing chakras with sound

Many websites or physical stores that offer singing bowls for sale will tell you what chakra a particular singing bowl is supposedly good to work with. Even when you travel to India, Nepal or Tibet, you may be offered the chance to purchase a supposedly "attuned healing singing bowl set" that aligns with a chakra sounds chart. Want to know the real story of chakras?

When I interviewed elder healers in Nepal and spoke to a shaman of the Bon Po tradition, they weren't familiar with the concept of the Western musical scale or relating certain notes to chakras. Yet, if you are looking for a singing bowl, someone may say to you:

"Yes sir or madam, you tell me you are having difficulties with self-expression - here is a throat chakra singing bowl!"

"Do you have a broken heart? I have just the thing for you! The note F will work with your heart chakra!"

The "authentic" Tibetan sound healing teachers will share a technique based on the Western musical scale system (frequencies of the modern scale). Moreover, the placement of the bowls around the participant's body by this "authentic" technique is nothing but a combination of consonant Perfect Fifth intervals. Another so-called "Ayurvedic" system proposes a different relationship between chakra sounds and notes. This is similar to what musicians know as a chromatic scale. However, the majority of these "authentic" teachers don't even know how to build a sequence of Perfect Fifth intervals and don't seem concerned about the presence of twelve notes, not seven. Stay with me to see what I mean by that!

If we follow the sequence of Perfect Fifths, the example of singing bowl placement for healing chakras should be:

F2, C3, G3, D4, A4, E5, B5

The singing bowl with the note F2 (F of the second octave) is placed by the feet or first chakra. The singing bowl with the note C3 (C of the third octave, forming a Perfect Fifth interval with F2) is placed next to the second chakra. The note G3 singing bowl is the next Perfect Fifth and is placed by the solar plexus chakra. D4 goes next to the heart chakra, the singing bowl with note A4 comes by the throat chakra, E5 singing bowl by the third eye chakra, and finally a high pitched sound bowl with the note B5 aligns with the crown chakra.

As you can see, the Perfect Fifths sequence starts with the note F2 (in my experience, the most commonly found big antique Jambati bowls are F2 and G2) and goes all the way to the note B5. 

Singing bowls for healing chakras

Why does this system suggest starting with the note F2? Of course, there is no evidence of that in any ancient texts! The notes of the modern Western scale could not be mentioned in ancient teachings - that would be anachronistic and absurd!

Note F2 has a precise frequency which is 87.31Hz when A4 is tuned to 440Hz. For those who prefer the tuning of A4=432Hz, F2 has a value of 85.72Hz.

No matter how you look at this, having just a little doubt and common sense, it becomes clear that the ancient Tibetan tradition could not have been so specific about what frequency is assigned to the note "F." Therefore, there must be another explanation for the system described above.

Here is my insight on this issue: It is pretty rare to find an antique bowl with a lower note than F2, for example - E2 or lower. Also, if the count started with a higher note like G2 singing bowl for example, following the next six bowls with the interval of a Perfect Fifth would end up being too high - a note D in the sixth octave!

Conclusion: From the practical perspective, choosing the F2 bowl at the bottom of the sequence is just more accessible and requires less effort to put together. 

With all that being said, the teachers of “authentic” Tibetan sound healing in most cases will offer you quite a different chakra healing set of singing bowls. This set may include sound bowls with the following notes: F2, C3, G2, D2, A2, E2 or E3 and B2. As you can see, these notes are not forming a sequence of Perfect Fifths. Yes, the names and the string of notes is the same, but there is one nuance - the octaves are off (way off)! 

As someone who educates others and deals with the sale of singing bowls, here is what I have to say: Singing bowls that play the lower notes like F2 are big, heavy, and therefore more expensive and profitable to sell. Additionally, if you have adequate knowledge and some healthy skepticism, you may check the frequency of each singing bowl you are offered for sale and often find the frequencies are quite far from the exact pitch of the promoted note!

Yes, it may do the job, but please do not get caught with any unreliable system! And by the way, there is only five energy centers described in the ancient Tibetan medicine books!

What if all my chakras are blocked?

You may be starting to sense that I am skeptical about the authenticity of some of the methodologies being offered, and am coming across as negative. Please try to maintain your faith in humanity nonetheless, even as we review the second most common method for working with chakra sounds.

This supposedly "Ayurvedic authentic" chakra sounds method offers placement of singing bowls corresponding to the chakras in an ascending sequence: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Notably, the octaves are not specified!

WHY?

When I first read about this system, I wondered how it was even possible that the note "C" of the second octave and the same note, but three-four octaves higher, yet would activate the root chakra? I am still wondering why people believe it! Really, chakra sounds?!

Can you use one singing bowl for all chakras?

The coloration of the sound - its character, intensity, direction, and the intention behind it - not just the chakra sounds and chakra tones, and chakra frequencies, will invoke certain mental, emotional, and physical reactions.

It is much more nuanced and complex than just working with musical notes to heal aspects and areas related to the chakras. Please understand this! Do not be misled by salespeople acting like teachers!

In the article “The pulse of a singing bowl”, you will learn that each sound partial of the singing bowl has more than one frequency! No one talks about it but that's how you hear the bowl emitting beats. These beats are the result of interference between two slightly different frequencies in each partial (fundamental tone and each overtone).

Even if one of these frequencies is hitting the exact numerical value of a particular note's frequency, the other is slightly higher or lower. You never get a pitch of the exact note! There is no such thing as a chakra sound singing bowl! Also, quite often the overtones of singing bowls are dominating in intensity over the fundamental tone. In this case, if you get a bowl with the fundamental note "C" and first overtone "G" which is playing louder than the fundamental, what chakra will you treat?

A set of singing bowls tuned closely together creates a rich cascade through beating and resonance. The CHORDS and HARMONICS encourage holistic recalibration.

An experienced practitioner develops INTUITIVE discernment around combining and playing the bowls for maximal benefit. Their learned sensitivity to energetic nuances allows for custom sound healing sequences.

Chakra and Musical Note Correspondence (conclusion)

In conclusion, while there may be some similarities between the chakra system and the modern Western musical scale, it is not appropriate to refer to the chakras as the notes of the musical scale. The two systems have different origins, purposes, dimensions, and effects, and belong to different domains and contexts.

  1. Different origins: The chakra system comes from Indian spiritual traditions, while the modern Western musical scale is a product of Western music theory.

  2. Different purposes: The chakra system aims to understand the subtle energy centers in the body, while the modern Western musical scale is used to organize sound in a pleasing and harmonious way.

  3. Different narratives of energy: The chakras are associated with prana, manas, buddhi  and ahamkara (vital energy, energy of the mind, the energy of the intellect and the energy of the ego), while the modern Western musical scale is based on a fixed system of mechanical vibrations manifested as sound frequencies.

  4. Different modes: The chakras are associated with different modes of consciousness, while the modern Western musical scale is associated with different musical modes.

  5. Different systems: The chakra system is a complex system of energy centers, while the modern Western musical scale is a relatively simple system of notes.

  6. Different interpretations: The chakra system has different interpretations in different spiritual traditions, while the modern Western musical scale is standardized.

  7. Different levels of abstraction: The chakra system deals with abstract concepts such as energy and consciousness, while the modern Western musical scale deals with concrete sounds and musical structures.

While there may be some overlap between chakras and music theory, they have different contexts and effects. It is misleading to directly link chakras to the Western musical scale. The chakras originate from a complex metaphysical system focused on spiritual development and consciousness. The Western scale developed centuries later, based on mathematical divisions of sound frequencies.

Understanding this nuance is key to harnessing the true potential of sound healing. Respecting the differences allows us to synthesize the wisdom of both systems. With reverence and intuition, we can discover how to work with sound as a transformational tool. There is still much to be learned in the world of psychoacoustics and sound healing. Questioning assumptions with an open yet discerning mind is the path forward.

As we shed misconceptions and seek truth, the possibilities expand. The wondrous potency of singing bowls comes not from dogma or simplification, but from mindful sound inquiry. Each subtle harmonic reveals new layers of meaning. Let us honor the journey ahead with patience and care. The gifts of insight will blossom in due time.

Please share this article if you found it interesting! I welcome your feedback in the comments. More information is available in my online singing bowl courses, where we dive deep into practice. With insight, technique and inner reflection, singing bowls can guide us to states of harmony. The path has many milestones, and your experiences will grow with dedicated exploration.

The Growth of Sound Healing

As interest in sound healing grows, so does the need for clarity. Seeking truth beyond profit motives and superficial explanations will elevate the practice. Progress requires questioning assumptions, testing methods and integrating insights.

Stay curious and open. Be wary of rigid dogma. Evaluate claims with discernment. Through knowledge and experience, your skills as a sound healer will blossom.

Trust in the process. Dedication and right effort bear fruits in due time. Do not lose hope when progress seems slow. The path meanders, but leads ultimately to wisdom.

I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery. With an open heart and mind, we will unravel old myths and write new understandings. Shared sincerely, our knowledge ripples out for the betterment of all.


More information and comprehensive tutorials about this topic are offered in my online courses: "Singing Bowls For Beginners", and "Sound Healing Teacher Training".

この投稿へのコメント (16)

  • 1月 04, 2024

    Replying to:
    “When I first read about this system, I wondered how it was even possible that the note “C” of the second octave and the same note, but three-four octaves higher, yet would activate the root chakra? I am still wondering why people believe it! Really, chakra sounds?!"

    To be clear, I do not follow any traditional form of sound therapy in relation to “Chakras”. But I would like to provide insight on the thinking behind this specific system / technique you mention.

    These “C” note octaves correlate with each other because they all resonate with each other. A frequency of 128Hz (C3) will resonate with a frequency 256Hz (C4), 512Hz (C5), and so on, because an instrument with a given frequency 128Hz will resonate with the same frequency of itself or within the harmonics of itself. Harmonics are simply even multiples of a given frequency. That is why the octave of this particular note related to the “root chakra” would not matter, IF in fact the “root chakra” did “activate” with note “C”.

    There will always be confusion and conflicting information without science backed data. However that doesn’t mean that any one of these systems is invalid. The individual human is just that, individual. What works for one person may not work for another. Internal healing and balance rely on openness, belief, self-awareness and intention. Sound can be used to put us in place of mindfulness and reflect on our personal thoughts and actions without judgment or outside influence. Being in this meditative place allows for true acceptance and realization of things we would like to change about ourselves and how those changes will affect our well-being. When these internal imbalances have been identified, any frequency, music or activity that put in this place of calm will be beneficial for that specific “chakra” as your body / mind now know where to focus this attention.

    I personally do not refer to chakras as “chakras”. I refer to these areas of neurological tissue, specifically within the brain and spinal cord, as “Centers”. Each Center has its own individual glands, hormones, chemistry and plexus of neurons. With each Center having a "mind of its own” or “mini-mind” which create our whole “fundamental mind”.

    An example of this is a common occurrence wherein we watch a movie or have a fantasy that causes our reproductive system to become aroused. To emotionally ready you for sexual activity, your body secretes chemicals and hormones from those corresponding glands. Energy in that center is increasing and it is releasing a deliberate message through its own frequency. “The mind” in our reproductive area functions through the autonomic nervous system at the subconscious level. This “root center” stores a massive amount of energy. When in balance, you will find that creativity flows easily and you will be grounded in your identity.

    The body and subconscious work without conscious thought. Once you can properly identify internal imbalances, your mind and body will naturally begin to heal as long as you stay mindful of these changes. You should not have to force internal healing, balance or change. You just need to properly identify and stay mindful, which is not easy in today’s society.

    We all have to the power to heal ourselves. Any holistic sound practitioner is there to GUIDE with sound, not heal with sound. You still have to do the work. A good sound practitioner can adapt to their clients needs and may use many different tools / techniques.

    You got this!

    — Corey

  • 11月 14, 2023

    Hi Denny
    Thank you for your kind words and openness. My honest suggestion is, to start with listening with your heart and ignore all the labels such as seven metals and whatever chakra. Buy only when you feel the resonance with the entity of the bowl.
    Hope that helps.
    Guy

    — Guy Yair Beider

  • 11月 14, 2023

    Hi Guy,

    I am really enjoying your blog, stories, discoveries and the sharing of the research you have done. I am devouring your blog! :)

    Can you offer some advice on where to start when it comes to purchasing Tibetan bowls for sound healing.

    There is a part of me that is drawn to the simplicity of starting with “7 chakra” bowls and at the same time I can grasp the information you share in your blog post about this. Any pointers on where to begin with purchasing bowls would be helpful given the level of investment.

    With gratitude,
    Denny

    — Denny

  • 9月 29, 2023

    Thank you, Guy. This is so well communicated. You’ve given the truth respectfully. It is an uphill battle at times educating people about the myths and misinformation being perpetuated in the sound healing community. I’m so thankful I was corrected with the truth early on in my sound healing practice, after I too was wrongly taught by well-meaning teachers. They were parroting what they had been taught and accepted it as truth, just as I did. With gratitude for you and your work,

    Lana

    — Lana

  • 2月 27, 2023

    I read so much about 432Hz (or 440Hz) when researching which bowl (s) to purchase. The one ended up with can’t even reach 300Hz, let alone 432. I have no clue about what that might mean for my healing, but it’s become pretty confusing. I don’t have the time or desire to work with a “professional sound healer,” but trying to figure out which bowl or method works on my own is frustrating and discouraging.

    — Kimya

  • 2月 27, 2023

    Thank you for this article.
    I have been saying this for years!

    — Ava

  • 10月 03, 2022

    If I’m wanting to work with the 7 chakras, what bowls (frequencies/notes) would I need? Currently working with the third eye and was about to purchase a palm sized indigo colored third eye singing bowl. Then I found this article and am concerned. Thank you!!!

    — Ashley Anderson

  • 10月 03, 2022

    Hello and thank you for this article.

    So are you saying that the solar plexus chakra bowl I have is not proper? And the third eye one I have in my online cart is also not proper? Is it all just a marketing ploy? I sincerely hope for your reply.
    Thank you so much.
    Ashley

    — Ashley Anderson

  • 7月 29, 2022

    Hello. This was so interesting to read. I am a sound practitioner in Toronto, just finished my trauma certificate at Laurier and have been approaching my work from a nervous system regulation angle. I see it as a co- regulation session where I serve through the bowls to either up or down regulate to achieve greater embodiment and presence. So I’m curious to hear you talk about chakras, as they are not part of my language…. Just interesting 😊

    — Ruthann

  • 7月 29, 2022

    Very excellent commentary about the beautiful art and craft of sound healing and acoustic physiology. My own sense, and from personal experience, is that sound “healing” comes from creating an internally coherent energy and resonance field that helps anyone or anything become more relaxed, integrated and in tune with themselves, no matter what musical scale is used.

    — John Kline

  • 7月 19, 2022

    Thank you! :)

    — Forest

  • 5月 11, 2022

    Dear Rachel
    Thank you for your question. I don’t mind using frequencies that are lower or higher than the standard number of cycles per second prescribed to the specific note within the specs of a specific system (concert pitch). From my perspective and experience, all frequencies and music intervals matter. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to follow the far-fetched methods of using exact notes or frequencies to achieve better results with sound healing. Just follow the principals of music theory, physics of sound, psychoacoustics, physiology, psychology, and ethics.
    Hoping, my reply is helpful.

    — Guy Yair Beider

  • 5月 11, 2022

    Hi Guy,

    Thank you for your interesting article. I am hearing that a lot of the crystal bowls (“out there”) are not actually tuned to the purity of the notes claimed. I purchased crystal bowls that indicate each of them are slightly flat from the notes I wanted. That would be a flatted C, F, and B. Have you heard anything about the effects (ill or otherwise) on the body if one is using flatted tones of crystal bowls during meditations. Typically, the crystal bowl has been instrumental for shifting me into a good meditation space.

    — Rachel

  • 11月 09, 2021

    Thank you so much for this article!

    I’ve only just begun my shopping for tuned instruments for chakra balancing. Since I’m a yoga nerd AND a musician, seems like a great fit for me and my curiosities.

    Problem is, within minutes of browsing I was as perplexed as you are regarding the notes and the circle of fifths with respect to the chakras/frequencies.

    I will still be buying a set at some point, but not without some more digging into this very subject. My internet wanderings lead me to your piece and I’m glad to be reading it.

    Thanks again for your detailed assessment!

    — Abby

  • 10月 12, 2021

    Dear Adriana
    Firstly, I would love to thank you for choosing the path of service.
    I am very grateful for the insight you are sharing with such integrity and must say, that sound practitioners with accredited certificates are finally starting to express concerns about the “traditional” chakra-note approach. We are not alone in it :).
    I’d love to continue this conversation and therefore, will send you a personal email. Meanwhile, here is my offering to answer your question… Please follow the link below.
    Best regards.
    Guy Beider
    https://www.soundmedicineacademy.com/courses/sound-healing-teachers-training-online

    — Guy Yair Beider

  • 10月 11, 2021

    Hello Guy
    Thank you for this great article.
    It strike me the most the following statement:
    “It is much more complex than just working with the musical notes to heal the aspects and areas related to the chakras, please understand this! Do not be blindfolded by the salesman teachers!”
    And I thank you for sharing your knowledge and information. I am a sound healing practitioner and I have struggled with the rather simplistic approach of sound frequencies in the human being. I am yet myself learning and understanding more about the mystery of sound. I have been researching into courses on counselling that could support my current work with sound, as the understanding of healing is so vast and expansive, that sometimes I feel to lack tools to work with my clients. They want to learn and grow but only with the techniques I have learned I feel left short in practical tools that can be active and realistic and the person can work with, because it is not also about coming to be healed and then being fine.
    It is a whole active engagement required in their life’s. This is where I feel counselling comes hand in hand.
    With all this I am wondering if you have come across any person that dives and study deeper into a wholistic and real/practical approach to sound healing.
    Thank you for your time.
    Adriana

    — Adriana

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