Archive for October, 2010

Season of Transition

October 31, 2010

The leaves color and fall, and we gather the last tomatoes before the frost bites them first. Autumn reminds us, as clearly as spring does, that life changes. Three breaths can apply the shift of this season to our own well-being.  

When I begin a meditation concert these days, I ask the group to take three breaths with me before I begin. This practice centers each of us, unifies our breath, and creates some stillness for us all. Since spring, I’ve been focusing on the season in which the concert is performed.

This autumn, I have been noting that this is a season of transition. On the first breath, I suggest that we invite that shift into ourselves with an inhalation and then exhale that sense of welcomed change out into the world. I also recognize that this is a time of harvest — to breathe that sensibility in and then release that abundance back into the world. And for the third breath, I recall that with abundance is a sense of gratitude and to inhale that appreciation deeply and then send that thankfulness back out to the world.

Whether I am in a public library, a senior center or a church, I do this practice. The sense of calm that occurs after the last breath is palpable. I can feel the audience now waiting for the first sound of the first bowl. And when I begin all of our breath can be carried with the melodious tones of the bowls deep within us and out into the world.

This simple practice allows change to be integrated more comfortably. We rest and relax with the sounds and our breath. Resistance is diminished, because its role is unnecessary when ease is present.

New bowls, old bowls

October 21, 2010

The bowls always have something to teach us. The old ones’ sounds are so rich and multi-layered that they effect one’s frequency immediately. They convey the artisan’s touch who made them, and I believe the monk(s)’ sensibility who played them.

Buying old bowls is always a treat, because although I usually get to hear them before I purchase them I don’t always see them. And certainly I can’t hold them over the phone! Still I get a sense of the bowls quickly, and I know if they are not right for me or my clients. I work with some great vendors who know how particular I am for my customers, so we make sure everything is in harmony. Harmony isn’t hard when one focuses on the relationship more than the product. When the box arrives, I can’t wait to dive into those syrofoam shells and get my hands on the actual bowls!

Lately, I have been buying more recently made bowls, because they are less expensive. I had one vendor from whom I purchased a number of older manipuri bowls at very reasonable prices. Many people couldn’t play the smaller bowls, so I needed to find someone who had cup bowls or the deeper style of bowl. I did, and am pleased that I can now offer bowls under $60. In the mix of bowls I recently purchased I even found a couple of melodic sets — three or four bowls that sound wonderful together.  That was an unexpected treat!

Whether a bowl is old or new however, it will find its way to you. I have both in my own collection. So one is not inherently better than the other, each one fills a role. Just play some bowls and listen. A voice will sing to you.

Expo experience

October 13, 2010

In the past month or so, I’ve participated in three metaphysical expos as a vendor and presenter for the first time. Very exciting since I only started playing the singing bowls publicly a year ago in July. (Of course, I have worked with the Himalayan bowls for 11 years now, but it’s the gem crystal bowls that pushed me out the door.)

Some of these events I’ve been waiting for to occur for months. One happened by those wonderful synchronistic events that my life keeps displaying with the bowls. All of them held experiences I could never have anticipated.

The first event taught me to get there early. More options may be possible, when details are still being decided and work crews have not been unduly harassed. I was the only vendor to get an eight-foot table in addition to my six footer due to my arrival time and request. I also learned to let someone else do the job, if they are more suited to it than I am. If you see my beautiful glass case display, know that I did not assemble it and that I bless the ground of the one who did.

The second event taught me limits. I did not know that cars could be so weighted that you would ruin suspension systems with too many metal Himalayan bowls and even gem crystal bowls. When my partner looked at his car after I had packed it with everything I felt was needed, I learned that I could make choices and prioritize quickly. My other lesson was — Offer people a deal at an expo. They’ve paid money to get in, and they would like to know that you’ve considered that and are offering them something special in price.

At my most recent event, The Universal Light Expo in Columbus, OH, I paced my energy. Given we were there for 11 hours the first day and 8 hours the second day, I knew how important that is. I have worked this expo with The Crystal Guy from Cincinnati before, so I was aware of the need for food and water and to get out of the booth! What a fun time though. The energy at this Expo is terrific, and I highly recommend it, with 330 vendors, 150 workshops (many of them free) for $10 admission. Here, I just kept being surprised by people (usually in good ways) and enjoying so many different aspects of introducing singing bowls to people and bowls to people that I lost count of the ways.

Of course, the most important piece is to have fun. While I may forget it at times in the hectic quality of an event or the challenge an individual presents, mostly I remember. What a joy to play with wonderful beings.