Posts Tagged ‘crystal singing bowls’

Blogging for Bowls

May 14, 2012

Or should I say slogging? I just don’t have the breezy style of some of the bloggers I admire most. Although I noticed my favorite Mexican food blogger has been quiet a while. I have the feeling she must be writing her book finally.

My favorites also have the advantage of fabulous photos. Again, I mostly subscribe to food and travel bloggers. Maybe I should try subscribing to writing bloggers and then not feel so bad.

In any case, I’d taken a hiatus from blogging. No one was reading, I wasn’t playing, and to be honest, I was barely keeping my head above the waters of workaholism.

It’s the curse of free-lancing. You either have nothing to do, and so you sit and play Sudoku for hours, or spend several hours trawling the internet or thinking about cleaning the house while you trawl the internet or you’re working your butt off to meet deadlines and client requests.

So when do I have time to blog? It’s currently 10:44 pm on a Sunday evening. This is when I can blog.

Tomorrow as I scribble away for one of my clients know that I will be endeavoring to think up some clever way with great photos to catch your attention about singing bowls. Perhaps if I was in Provence in a field of lavender with my bowls and some fresh vegan dish dripping with tomato sauce, truffles and cheese, maybe then I’d get some notice.

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April 8, 2010

As I come around to being in this adventure with the singing bowls for almost a year, I have started the process of writing a book. Well, I started the writing process last year. Now, I’m in the process of producing the book.

I’ve learned about Book Proposals and how non-fiction books are devveloped and sold. I’m working with a published author in this process, June Cotner, and using Michael Larsen’s book How to Write a Book Proposal. Since I’ve written for a living for 30 years, I don’t expect the Muse to jump on my shoulder. Writing is mostly about writing. Putting words on paper or electronic screens, zapping ’em out, trying others, letting them roll around on the tongue and seeing whether they’re worthy of the taste. This venture though has offered me some of the most fun writing. I’ve been taking some risks, trying new things out. (I didn’t get to write much dialog, except for video scripts in most of my business stints.) I’m mixing poetic lines in and portraying actions, “blocking” the characters (who is often me) with gesture and movement.

Playing the bowls hasn’t been like that at all. I just sit and listen and play. Well, that happens with writing too, but there are no re-writes with the bowls, except when I’m recording.

Playing the bowls is magic. In Cincinnati this past weekend, we had a bunch of bowls to experiment with and we did. Sounds that shouldn’t have sounded right together did, and harmonics that should have worked didn’t. These bowls are truly alchemical. The gems and metals that are incorporated in them as well as their notes have amazingly multi-dimensional influences.

I say to people these are soooo different than the quartz bowls, and until you hear them you may not believe me. Once you do though, it’s another story. And their sounds and combinations are like the sounds when I hear the bell tones. Nowadays though, I seem to get more of the atmospheric cloud of sound and the high-altitude foggy right ear. Funniest thing. I know it means “Pay attention. Listen.” but I wish they would come up with something more pleasant than feeling like I’ve just gone up 77 stories in an elevator and my right ear hasn’t popped yet. Well, it does make me pay attention.

So that’s what’s happening in my world. April is a month of private engagements, rather than public ones. Seems to be a time of deepening for us all.

March 18, 2010

Sometimes I get a bit stunned by what has happened over the last nine months. A year ago, nobody could have told me I’d be playing singing bowls for a living. I would have said they were insane. Maybe I’m the crazy one. And I couldn’t be happier.

This time last year, I owned one Crystal Tone bowl — the lovely Grandmother in F#, all 7 petite inches of her. Sweet, sweet, sweet. I had four Tibetan bowls. I now have 12 Crystal Tone bowls, and over 20 Tibetans in all shapes and sizes (including the elusive Lotus, 7 rare stem bowls, the singular Mani, and a Bodhi).

When I met the gem crystal bowls by Crystal Tones, I finally found something that replicated the bell-like tones I heard from the Universe. I discern that it is because the gem crystal bowls, combine quartz with a gemstone such as ruby, emerald or diamond or a metal such as indium or iron, to produce the multi-dimensional harmonics that quartz bowls cannot. In the same way that the combination of various metals in the Tibetan bowls each produce both a single pitch and blend with the others for new harmonics, so do these gem crystal bowls.

Of course, once I met these bowls, the sounds changed again. They became like a cloud or aura around me that I could sense. It’s led me to believe that we are more like dolphins and bats than we recognize.

I also hear chords now, which are gorgeous. And just the other day, I received a single note that appeared as a 3-inch vertical line of gold about 8 inches from my head.

In addition to how the sounds that I hear are different than they were, so too the bowls are changing in their sounds. They become more profound with each playing. I am also grateful to my audiences whose numbers are growing. 60 people came to the Beachwood library two weeks ago. This past Sunday, I was the main “speaker” at a Unity service where 92 people attended, some from my invitation — “a full house” the minister told me.

In addition, I have had a Book Concept Analysis completed by June Cotner http://www.junecotner.com/, who has encouraged me to move forward with the project. (I can highly recommend her services.) So I am putting together a formal Book Proposal on how I came to play the singing bowls and the sounds I have heard all my life.

Nine months. That’s all it’s been. Nine months of starting from a seed to all this blossoming. And here it is Spring!

Hello world!

February 17, 2010

I started actively exploring sound 10 years ago, because I have heard musical sounds all my life with no identifiable external source. The first sounds were a high pitch “ee” sound, very linear in nature.  I wanted to create a relationship with these sounds, so I began to listen more and look for ways to communicate with them. As a result, the sounds have changed over time, in shape, size and even musical range. This journey has also led me to ancient Tibetan singing bowls, gem crystal alchemy bowls and tuning forks. The harmonics created by these bowls are extremely relaxing and certainly relieve the stress of everyday life. So I have been taking these harmonies out into the world and playing for people in nursing homes, spiritual retreat centers, yoga studios, hospice, public libraries, etc.

Feb 23

As I re-read Hazrat Inayat Khan’s work, I am impressed with so much of his expression about how utterly central music is to our lives. In Chapter 3, he writes, “Music as we know in our everyday language is only a miniature: that which our intelligence has grasped from that music or harmony of the whole universe which is working behind us. The music of the universe is the background of the little picture we call music. ”

He could have ended the paragraph there, but he extends this. He says, “Our sense of music, our attraction to music, shows that music is in the depth of our being. Music is behind the working of the whole universe. Music is not only life’s greatest object, but music is life itself.” 

In addition to Hazrat Inayat Khan’s book, I have been reading Russill Paul’s The Yoga of Sound. His book is a wonderful in-depth study of sound and practices that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to explore sound. As his subtitle states: “Tapping the Hidden Power of Music and Chant.”

Feb 17

I was very fortunate that Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927) is in my direct Sufi lineage. Inayat Khan was a famous musician in India and was directed by his teacher to take Sufism’s message of “love, harmony and beauty” to the West in 1910. He even came to Cleveland, OH in his travels. His grandson Pir Zia Inayat Khan is now part of my lineage. Hazrat Inayat Khan (Hazrat is an honorific title I use for this master) wrote a book I note on my web site called The Mysticism of Sound and Music. Here are a few passages to offer some of the wonderful wisdom available in that book.

Chapter 1 offers: “The beauty of music is that it is the source of creation and the means of absorbing it. ”

Later: “The true use of music is to become musical in one’s thoughts, words and actions. One should be able to give the harmony for which the soul yearns and longs every moment. All the tragedy in the world, in the individual, and in the multitude, comes from lack of harmony, and harmony is best given by producing it in one’s own life.” 

I am grateful that Hazrat Inayat Khan talks of how we can manifest harmony in our lives. Whether we are trained in music or not, music’s importance lies in its beauty and harmony and what these qualities offer. He speaks later in the book about how carefully we must use our voice and language and even our thoughts to truly be harmonious. The influence of vibration is profound.

Chapter 2 begins: “According to the esoteric standpoint, music is the beginning and end of the universe. All actions and movements made in the visible and invisible world are musical. That is: they are made up of vibrations pertaining to a certain plane of existence.”

I don’t know that any comments I make do justice to this writing. He explores the esoteric aspects of this statement, and I will continue to provide some of these passages as thoughts to consider.

I started on these notes today, because I had opened the book to Chapter 17 – The Effect of Sound on the Physical Body and the statement: “Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance.”  Since I’ve been working with this sense of sonic aura, that statement leapt off the page. I do not see auras, but radiance is a form of energy we know from all living beings. I can feel the vibrant glow of living beings, even stones and crystals. Recently, I’ve been trying to tune into the feeling/vibration my arms, palms and dan tien achieve in certain Tai Chi/Qi Gong moves.  I have no doubt about feeling the chi, and the only way I can be doing so is through vibration. I am in awe that we live in a time when so many of us can link between the mastery of Tai Chi and Sufism for greater awareness.

Feb. 10

So, here’s a story. I’m playing at a hospice yesterday as a sort of interview, not long, a few minutes maybe. And this workman comes over to see what is making these sounds. He’s absolutely mesmerized. Then he tells me about how his brother would love this, his brother in a wheelchair and how he loves music. And I think all the stories we could never guess that people are traveling around with, right under their skin. We would treat people so much richer if we had even an inkling or could regard them in this way without the inkling.

My other observation is how my Tibetans love to play with the gem crystal bowls now. They pour their voices into them, literally like water and wait for it to rise out of the crystal bowl in a whole new way. And I am most enjoying the 5 stem bowls that love to play together. All sorts of combinations, and when I begin with them, they just want to go on and their resonance rises. They are making room for the 6th and the beautiful mending 7th. Ahhhh, the mending one. If you could see him, you would know why I love him so. Old, old, old and the work of an old monk or artisan. Thinner walled than the others I have and the shape elegant. Finely tapped all around the inside of the rim, and sanded clean, only to be mixed over the years by corrosion and patinas of all sorts. A small void occurs at the base where solder should have melded the joining, so now it rings sometimes when it should only hum. But each time I look or hold him, I couldn’t be happier or graced with a better bowl. I could describe each of my bowls in a similar way. They are such a relationship. The bowls have voices beyond the ones we hear.

Feb. 5

So for the past week since I posited this idea of the sonic body, which I doubt by the way is new, I have been listening and sensing.  Here’s what I’ve discovered so far. I seem to sense sound from my abdominal area — the dan tien, hara, around the solar plexus, but a bit below and above the navel. I am noticing a sense of pulse there, which is my pulse, but seems to radiate out from my body much stronger than I’ve noticed in the past. I’ll note here that I’ve been doing Tai Chi for the past 6-7 years and Qi Gong before that, so I have been aware of my dan tien for a while, but this sense of sound there as well as chi or perhaps as chi, is an interesting exploration. Of course the martial arts have worked with the power of sound for years. I may not be saying anything new here, but inviting you to explore this avenue. Since I initially had sounds come through my head, I thought I might find the transmitter or receiver there, and it may well be there. What this abdominal signal sense is telling me is that there may be more than one portal and this may simply be my strongest. In the same way some of our chakras have stronger senses than others, perhaps I am just experiencing sound the same way.  

Feb. 1

A great deal has been written about “light” in the metaphysical world and its connection with energy and its ability to inform us. Much valid information exists for that medium. Here, I would like to begin discussing the importance of sound in the arena of energy.  Many of us have read some of the writings of sound healers. Some of us have worked with chanting or toning or playing tuning forks or singing bowls. When we work with sound, we feel sound. We feel its physical manifestation, its incarnation into our world of being. To me this denotes a form of consciousness and a different experience from seeing light or image. Some people also feel light (warmth or presence), but often light is about seeing. So let’s go a step further and start considering that just as we have an auric body usually seen as light and colors that same body might be experienced as sound. What if we started focusing attention on the sonic body, and started to try to feel sound or use our own sonar the way dolphins and whales do?  I’ll leave you with that question and jump in with questions or comments if you like.

January 5, 2010

Jan. 24

I have decided to change content on this blog and provide articles on my thoughts about certain subjects, e.g. resonance, sonar, the possibility of a sonic aura, etc.  I intend to present the first article soon, and wanted to explain my absence from these pages. If you have topics you would like me to cover or if you have enjoyed the current format please let me know.  Thank you.

Jan. 9

I sit for a long time and just play one bowl. It is deep and melodic. I listen for the layers of sound. One bowl is all you need. However, when combined with other bowls, the layers and combinations meld, so you don’t know where they’re coming from or where they will emerge to.  

Jan. 7

More stem bowls arrive, with two for sale. These are amazing with their sound. C, F, A – a melodic combination.  

Jan. 6 Epiphany

What’s important to me in this journey may not be important to you. I often try to make sense of the differences between people, yet I return to the sense of connection.  Epiphany, a time of great insights. This is the day in the Church calendar when the Magi found the Christ child and honored him. After this Jesus is no longer anonymous and change is imminent as the family flees to Egypt to save the child’s life. Dreams, astrologers, irate kings — great story. I am sorting through what and how to develop things this year. Another CD to plan, work in hospitals, teaching, more work with resonance.  

Jan. 5

Need to go play the bowls.

Jan. 4

I arrive home in a snowstorm. Not too surprising for Cleveland at this time of year. The bowls are glad to be home. 

Jan. 3

We had a drumming circle last night and I played one of the bowls, a nice deep one (Androgynous Indium, G#). Gene plays his Kyanite/Citrine/Indium B bowl and they make a nice complement. I am introduced to Song Pods, hand-held metal shells that you rotate to make beautiful chime sounds. You can find them at http://tinyurl.com/y8lzxwa . Today, I played for our other host and did the session with my friend Barb, who put stones all around this woman and on her, etc.  The woman had made an intention as we began the session as I usually suggest, and it came in strongly, very strongly at one point– literally pushing it into her body. One new sequence which uses 5 bowls varies itself incredibly in this session and plays a long time and is so rich, I don’t know what to make of it except that I keep on playing. At the end, there is a point where it feels like the end, yet I get the sense to continue. I don’t know where that comes from either, but all the bowls wanted to play and had not yet. So I continued. I mention this and Barb said she had felt the energies leave and I had stoppped and then continued. She hadn’t been sure what to make of that, but at least I had confirmed that a shift did occur. Perhaps our recipient wanted more (I usually do!) and that’s why the session continued; perhaps all the bowls wanted to play. Interesting. What I do know is that the work is powerful.These two days confirm the importance of  individual work as well as the group sessions.

Jan. 2

We arrive at the retreat center, which is a beautiful horse farm in Kentucky. As I set out the bowls, one woman picks them up and asks which bowls are for which chakras or how do you pick a bowls. I say “The bowl picks you.” Which is usually the case. She selects a beauty — a warm, rich bowl. We do sessions throughout the day being givers and recipients. I am a recipient for a woman who works with tuning forks and another who works with inaudible sound, like the dolphins’ sonar. I can feel the dolphin frequencies from her, and the tuning forks are cool, b/c they are so clearly “felt”. I later play for one of our hosts, who goes very deep. She cannot believe how wonderful it is. I know too the bowls are blessing their land. Later I play for the group as the lasagna gets slightly burnt by our inattention to it when everybody zones out. The concert ends with the master bowl from the Bon monks and Rose Quartz/White Gold Alchemy — this combination is both shamanic and sweet. People are always amazed by the bowls. I am amazed. I hope to be always amazed.

January 1, 2010

Who would have thought I’d really be here! 2010! I play for these people I’ve known 30 years. One comes up later and says the crystal bowls were too sharp for her, but she liked the Tibetan bowls. I’ve heard this a couple of times before. I know I get sensitive to certain frequencies. I’d like to know more about this. The 20 year olds come up and are very interested. They play them, I tell my story how I got into them.  I had wondered if the one with the rock ‘n roll bands would find them interesting. It seems he does somewhat, but the one who’s been a musician much of his life is quite intrigued. Now an animator, perhaps they will be a point of inspiration. Another who is a statistician, but whose mother is into alternative therapies, is also intrigued. Then I’m off to Cincinnati to meet friends and leave for Kentucky.

December 31, 2009

Dec. 31

I get ready to go on adventures. I am taking the bowls to my annual New Year’s party and then on to Kentucky and a weekend with energy practitioners. I feel slightly sick, with a headache much of the day and what I want most to do is lie down and sleep (which is how I process information coming from other realms and emotional stuff too), but I can’t. Later, I will be reminded this was a “blue moon” and a partial eclipse (no wonder I was a bit overwhelmed with energy). At the New Year’s party, the daughter of a friend brings a man from Australia, whose father associates with aborigines. He talks about how they follow the song lines: they will be walking and stop and change direction abruptly. He has been out with them. I want to hear more, but other events intervene.  2009 has been a very good year for me. What will 2010 have in store? I see the bowls getting more well-known and traveling with the concerts. Another CD and perhaps some teaching.

Dec. 29

New sequences coming in. I can’t seem to memorize them tho. And the bowls are arranged in a new way since the Rose Quartz/White Gold Alchemy and Sunstone found places.  Yet this means I jump bowls and such at times. Perhaps they will have to change again. The Tibetans are finding their way into the pieces more and more. The stem Tibetans especially have created a magic. Earlier I mentioned they were creating portals when they are played together. Their roundness echoes within them and expands out. I have decided to order the last three from a vendor and see how they sell. They are pretty amazing. The Lotus bowls which were my most high-end bowls found homes, so people want to work with these beauties and discover their richness too.

Dec. 27

Some days the mornings are a blend of this reality and something else. I do not know what this other is, but it feels like another world or another version of this world. It is delicious and fluid. Dreamlike in ways and nothing at all. No hard edges, no confirmed ideas, perceptions. Trancelike I suppose. I often feel I have a foot in this world and one in another.  

Dec. 26

The sounds have been returning at times again. No particular reason it seems. I am delighted to hear them. Perhaps I need to make more time for them.

Dec. 24

My sister’s brother-in-law and I have a great conversation about the singing bowls and how everything we know is not between our ears. He’s never thought that he knew anything any other way. And I ask how can you know faith or trust or love? These are not things one thinks. These are not rational thoughts. These qualities are beyond thought, yet we know them. He asks me if I follow a religion. I talk of how I left Catholicism because I no longer needed or wanted an intermediary with my God, and I didn’t want to be part of a group that would not allow one of my gender to be a full participant. I continue to be a Sufi however. I talk about how Sufism is a tradition of the heart, it is not limited to a religion and is not, as some say, simply the mystic side of Islam. My brother-in-law’s brother is surprised that it has so many lineages (I can only name my Chisti lineage, Rumi and the whirling dervishes’ Medlevi, and the silent Naqshabandi), and how its  roots grow into Zoroasterianism and before.

Dec. 22

I am playing the bowls one at a time.  Just picking one up and playing to hear its voice. I get to see my friend Lucinda, who has all kinds of ideas of how I might integrate the bowls and music with healing work. The University of Florida is doing a lot in this area and she offers me new insights.

Dec. 21, Solstice

I feel like I have the flu all day. It is Solstice, and I can do nothing but sleep and dream. In some ways I feel Avatar is having some lingering effects. I play the bowls just to feel them.

Dec. 20

I go to see Avatar. I know this isn’t exactly about the bowls, yet I can tell they hear sounds too. Their way of life is so integrated and comprehensive. I get to see it wearing 3D glasses — way cool. It’s a wonderful blend of dream and reality.

Dec. 19

An incredibly successful Open House today, with lots of people coming to hear the bowls. Some are coming to buy bowls, some to try bowls out, which is so much fun. Many people from the Angel House show arrive. One woman buys 6 CDs. I’ve made over 160 CDs since August, and have sold or given away about 150 of them. We’ll make another in January. Some people come at the beginning of the show and more at the end. For the performance at 5 pm, I suggest we turn out the lights and everybody just listen. A little ambient light still came in the windows, and I know where all the bowls are anyway.  And I just played. Once again, I know when the bowls are done. There were no tuning forks in this concert, perhaps they will take on a new role rather than just bringing the faeries in and such. They are so joyous when they play. One woman comes late to the evening concert and isn’t sure of the house, b/c no lights are on, but she lets the sound of the bowls guide her and joins us.

Dec. 18

Had dinner with two friends tonight.  The three of us met because of poetry, and a love of language. A year ago, I never would have guessed I would be here with singing bowls (nor could they)! My world has compeltely changed with the addition of these beings who sing to me. We acknowledged the changes that have occurred for all of us in a relatively short time and vowed we would write a 1-year and 5-year plan projection about our lives.

I have decided to go to Mystik River Retreat Center in Kentucky in January to meet with other energy practitioners, along with my friends “The Crystal Guy” Jacksons and play the bowls. I get the feeling I’m not to worry about the weather. Everything will work out. This starts to expand the geographic range of the bowls. Feels very good, like way beyond this occurrence.

Dec. 17

Started reading Sounds of Healing by Mitchell Gaynor, MD. Turns out he learned of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s work with mysticism and sound and then worked with Inayat’s son, Pir Vilayat. I was surprised and delighted, since this is my Sufi lineage. And once when I was in great despair about my faith and my connection with Sufism a tone came in that I knew without a doubt was Hazrat Inayat’s tone. Even at the time, I didn’t know how I knew this new tone I’d never heard before was his, but there was no doubt in my heart or mind, so I hung on to my faith. Then one other time, and only once since, I heard his tone again. The circumstance was not a crisis, but his tone was a joy to me.

In Gaynor’s book there is a quote from Dr. Huston Smith, a world religions expert, I’ll place here: “For the object of the spiritual quest is precisely this: to experience life as replete with overtones that tell of a reality that can be sensed but not seen, sensed but not said, heard but not explicit.” The sense of the implicit vs. explicit and the immanence and transcendance of the tones are all matters to contemplate for writing.

Dec. 16

Had a great collaborative session with Harry Pepper of Common Ground last night mixing shamanic journeying with drum and crystal bowls. Group was very interested and felt the vibrations of both. New sequences with the bowls keep emerging. And I am feeling the opening of portals more with the work. I have had the chance to spend some time alone with the bowls again as some other activities slow with the approach of the holidays.  

Dec. 13

Both cat and man are bathed in pleasant
insignificance, their eyes fixed on birds and stars.

“Searchers” by Jim Harrison, from Saving Daylight. © Copper Canyon Press, 2006. 

I play for Angel House’s Holiday Open House last night. It was delightful. People were mesmerized by the bowls. A bit different venue as people were sitting and eating while I played, but it doesn’t really matter to me. I just let the bowls take me where they will. People ask me analytical questions of the bowls, and I of the supreme analytical mind have no such answers for them. It is the Universe’s joke on me that all of that goes away for me with the bowls. And it is the Universe’s gift to me. I suggest people just sit back and relax. I mention that resonance requires both absorption and reflection, and our very cells can do that for us.

 

Dec. 12

I find this quote on someone’s web site from the French Jesuit scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and offer it for your contemplation: “The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.” 

Dec. 11

I talk with Harry Pepper, a professional counselor and director at the Common Ground Center in Oberlin, today about the collaborative session we are going to do next week — shamanic journeying with the bowls and drumming. He has a great idea about talking of altered states of consciousness and why humans want to go there and ways we do so. Then we’ll introduce the drum and bowls. Then he will do a drumming journey and we’ll do some processing. Then do a bowl session and after that do a combination of bowls and the drum. Should be way cool.

At one point I was going to play for a gallery opening tonight, but called today and asked if it was okay to do it another time. The owner was fine with that. I have another playing time tomorrow, and wanted the time today to do the ordinary housekeeping of life. I’ve ordered two more bowls for selling, and still contemplating another Tibetan stemmed bowl. I really like the A and C I have in this form. They have amazing qualities alone and together. These shapes and forms have some incredible capacities.

A friend sends a link to Kryon, which is a channel I have heard before and respect. He speaks about the bowls! So if you like, try it:

Go to www.kryon.com.   

Click on Site favorites

Click on free MP3 downloads  (yes). A screen of choices will come up.

Click on the one at the very bottom titled “Laguna Hills 2009”

Dec. 10

This morning I play for a group at a Retreat and Healing Center run by nuns. The group is particularly interested. Great questions. One woman is concerned tho about what her task is with the bowls and hearing the bowls. I tell her it is to relax and enjoy, nothing more. I do suggest she think of an intention for the focus for this session for herself, and she can just let the bowls do their magic. She is so sweet and so earnest. I tell the group that people have reported “results” from the bowl as long as two weeks afterwards.

I use some of the new sequences I’m exploring with this group. Later a woman who heard me only two months ago tells me I need to make another CD. She and her husband still listen to mine every night before they go to sleep, because it helps them so much. She says tho that after hearing me today, the playing has more depth and is richer. I need to make a new CD she says. (The CD was made July 28 and debuted in August.) Others too have noted how the sounds have changed and I would agree.

Later, someone asks me if I consider the bowls therapeutic. Again, I am stumped by this question. I say, “You know how we’ve moved beyond a ‘cure’ when we speak of someone’s ‘healing’? Well, I believe these bowls are beyond healing. They are moving into the sacred, communing with the Divine. Yes, that’s therapeutic and so much more.”  Someone else says, “I think an hour of the bowls would be more beneficial than an hour with a shrink.” Another person asks what it’s like to play for someone with a lot of negative energy. Again, I am stumped. I wouldn’t play unless someone requested me to play or I was already playing and they came up to listen. While I would notice the difference, I don’t feel affected by it. It’s like noticing something is blue or green when I’m with the bowls. Judgment seems to leave me, so there isn’t positive or negative energy. I have begun to wonder what it would be like to play in a prison or a detention center. I would hope it would be soothing to the residents. I think I just rec’d an insight about how the psychologist Fred in Hawaii that’s in Zero Limits healed the psychiatric patients by focusing on himself with their folders. Deena says to play the bowls to the you inside, there is no out there. I feel I am in-corporating/incarnating/embodying this more, which means it makes sense to me.

So after all this, last night I get to play for the Junior League of Cleveland at their cocktail hour for their holiday meeting. Some have remarked that the idea reminds them of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. I find this amusing and not offensive. I loved playing the bowls. I was simply the background music and only a couple of people spoke to me or took a card, but I could feel I was playing to my heart’s content, and so their hearts. What a beautiful contrast to earlier in the day and what a sweet way to close.

Dec. 9

It is springlike in temperature and the way it smells this morning. That is totally unbelievable for Cleveland, OH for December. I like miracles, so I’ll accept this one!

“According to the esoteric standpoint, music is the beginning and end of the universe. All actions and movements made in the visible and invisible world are musical.” Hazrat Inayat Khan, in The Mysticism of Sound and Music

Hazrat Inayat Khan was a Sufi mystic who lived from 1882-1927. He had been an acclaimed professional musician in India and then was instructed by his spiritual teacher to travel throughout Europe and the U.S. to bring the Sufi message of the heart to all.  His grandson Pir Zia is now head of the Sufi Order International here in the States and resides at The Abode in New Lebanon, New York.

Dec. 8

I am exploring some new sequences with the bowls. Fascinating.

Dec. 7

The plumber comes and can’t figure out the hot water tank issue, so it’s good for now. He tells me to watch for certain things and gives me a price on a new one. He sees the crystal bowls and asks about them, so I play a couple. He finds them interesting, mentions the water glasses people play. I can tell he’s fascinated. He’s an independent contractor, and he understands how we all find many things to do as part of our living, our way of life.

Dec. 6

I have to leave the jewelry show to play a concert. A friend helps out by taking over. The concert is a small group, and portals definitely open as I play. I play two times. In the second session, for the first time, one of the stem Tibetan bowls opens it. Usually a crystal bowl opens. However, all of the bowls were glad they were going to get a second time to play. I wasn’t sure I could play 40 minutes and another 50 minutes after that, but it all worked out. The one sequence that involves 5 bowls is evolving in ways that begin with 3 bowls moving to 2 or 3 others and then incorporates all 5 bowls of the sequence. I believe some other sequences are emerging too. Fascinating. When I return to pack up the jewelry shows and Tibetan bowls it turns out that someone has come by who is very interested in the Tibetan bowls and leaves a card. Who knows what will happen next!

This is St. Nicholas Day. In my own family, St. Nicholas would always leave a package for us on the front step — a family gift, like a board game (I think Monopoly showed up one year) or who could forget the Mickey Mouse rhythm band with tambourine and triangle. There would be a knock on the door and we would run down the stairs to find the package. Years later, I asked my Dad how he’d managed it. He said  he had to dive into the bushes one year, so after that he just knocked a broomstick on the basement ceiling and it worked just as well. I wish everyone a happy holiday season.

Dec. 5

Life gets more interesting. I am running out of cards as people come around to listen when I start to play the crystal bowls. Then when I stop I have to pull them with a tarp under a table to protect them. I see friends who are long-time writers who are interested and may help with some publicity of this. Several kids come by and I let them try their hand at it. Two girls who are the daughters of one of the artists I show how sound is a vibration and a wave. They think that is pretty cool. People wonder where the sound is coming from and gravitate toward it. Then we have what could have been a run-in with the bowls, and afterwards becomes a beautiful reconciliation. Amazing what happens. I feel great for all the work and what’s been happening. Usually these shows are draining, but not this time. I credit the Tai Chi, good eating and restful sleep. And I wonder how to credit the bowls. Cool.   

Dec. 4

The day is almost comical. After a day at the jewelry show, where I also play the crystal bowls and sell the Tibetans, I have to go pick up CDs of the singing bowls from my vendor on one side of town, to drive to the concert on the far end of the other side. More than 20 people have signed up! It’s a great group, many new faces. People want to purchase the Tibetan bowls I bring (which had self-selected themselves from those at the other show). Most people lay down with blankets and pillows and go deep. There is one young boy there, perhaps 11 or so, with his grandmother. He seems truly interested and connected. Playing was beautiful, very sensuous in movement, effortless. One section kept repeating a long time, and the bowls played loudly/strongly, more so than usual. Afterwards, people ask if we can make this a regular thing. I say “Yes!”

Dec. 3

I have been heads down getting ready for this jewelry show and loving the creation of new things. Then I get an email from someone who wants crystal bowls that are affordable. I would like to assist this person, and they offer me a paradox. The last thing these gem crystal bowls are is “affordable” unless you’re Oprah or Bill Gates, then they’re just pocket change. So there is an aspect associated with their purchase that is about faith or letting go and seeing what happens, what transpires and what is transformed. I can only speak of my own experience, but since I bought three bowls when I had no known income and then came home and knew I had to play them wherever whenever, the whole picture has changed. These gem crystal bowls are utter magic. I have witnessed hundreds of people’s repsonses to them and to the Tibetan bowls. No words suffice. Just say yes. And see what happens.

I get the lesson of finding dried water marks around the hot water tank. The plumber can come four days from now,which is as soon as I could do anything with the shows coming up. I believe everything will be fine for now. How interesting.

Dec. 1

I am putting stress on myself, getting ready for a jewelry show, accommodating other clients and knowing there are bowl concerts and sales to be done. I have to step back into that place of awareness, not fear or worry (which is simply a low-grade fever of fear).  However many necklaces and earrings I have made, that’s what’s made. Likewise, whatever I determine with the bowls is what is.

I have a conversation with a friend about how difficult it was a few years ago for me, many losses, many troubles and pain. It came down in the end to believing in a thread that connected me to God (or whatever one calls Source) and a belief (or perhaps only a hope) that God would have mercy and compassion for me, that I would not lose that thread and it would hold. I was pretty desperate in my feelings of loss, but I believed that much, and it was enough. It hardly seemed enough at the time. And all I could do was to ask that it be kept. My friend wonders if we all have to be taken to Ground Zero. I don’t know. I don’t even know if that was Ground Zero. But having moved through that crisis, I am glad to be on the other side. Perhaps it is a confirmation of what one is capable of. It does diminish some fear. I do not wish it for anyone. However, if you find yourself somewhere dark or you’re scared, believe there is mercy and compassion for all of us, for each of us. There is enough.