“Music fans the fire of the heart,
and the flame arising from it
illuminates the soul.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan – Sufi Master
(Brought the Islamic Mystical Tradition
to the West and an accomplished musician.)
The use of sound and music for healing and transformation is a highly developed Sacred Science as passed on through the ancient mystery schools by Holy Masters of Sacred Sound. Within the teachings, sonic vibration is known to be the fundamental creative force in the universe for stimulating and building structures. The use of specific tones, frequencies, rhythms, and chants are extremely refined and specific.
Mythology, folklore, and stories, passed on in the oral tradition, weave the wonders of the healing powers of music. In the Bible, there are numerous references to the effects of sound.
Mystics, prophets, and philosophers throughout history have given the initial force to sound. In creation myths all over the world, sound is recognized as the source of all things. In the book of St. John there is the proclamation, “In the beginning was the word…” From the ancient Vedic scriptures there is the name Nada Brahma, meaning Sound, the Creator God. The Hopi legends speak of Spider Woman who sang the song of creation over inanimate forms on earth and brought them to life. The story of Isis tells of her breath inspiring life by the power of her spoken words.
Today we are experiencing a resurgence of information and a remembrance of the sacredness of sound and music, plus their application as therapeutic tools. While the ancient wisdom has been held sacred within some spiritual traditions throughout the global community – here in North America we have largely been separated from this. The sound connection has been forgotten due largely to this knowledge moving underground early on in our history and therefore losing its influence as part of our mainstream culture.
Richard Gerber, M.D. author of the book “Vibrational Medicine” states that “as scientists begin to understand the relationship between the vibrational patterns of sound and the structure of matter, they will tap into a whole new universe of ideas and applications of energy for healing and technology.”
The American ‘sleeping prophet’, Edgar Caye, and Rudolph Steiner, German philosopher and educator, both predicted that the sound of pure tone would be used for healing in future medicine. And that time has come!
People from all cultures and spiritual traditions throughout history have used prayer and meditation to access deep inner healing states. Now the coupling of ancient techniques with that of technology, the internal with the external, has provided a new arena of discovery and exploration for expanded states of consciousness through the use of sound.
An example of the way ancient wisdom has emerged to heal and uplift the consciousness of this planet is through pure crystal tone. The quartz crystal bowl is a blend of ancient and modern design. Inspired by the ancient Tibetan metal singing bowls, they are created from a natural substance of the earth – quartz crystal, which is at the heart of our modern communications field as applied to crystal transistors and computer chips.
The earliest crystal singing bowls derived their origin from technology developed by the space and semi-conductor industries as crucibles for force growing crystals. These early bowls were “discovered” sometime in the mid 1970s when people began adopting these crystal crucibles, reminiscent of the metallic Tibetan Singing Bowls. In the last two decades, the awareness of sound and vibration as a bonafide healing modality has grown exponentially throughout the world. During this time, vast numbers of people began consciously working with the crystalline sound of the bowls, integrating their frequencies into an ever-expanding array of healing techniques and practices. From alternative to allopathic medicine, crystal singing bowls began finding their way into a multitude of settings: working with people in hospices and nursing homes; and in churches, yoga studios, and meditation groups to help relieve the stress of everyday life and elevate our consciousness. Eventually, companies began manufacturing crystal singing bowls solely for their use in sound therapy environments.
The substance used for the development of the bowls is pure quarts crystal sand that is found in several places in the world. The sand is dropped into a mold of centrifugal force and at a particular moment of spin – a torch that is ignited to several thousand degrees centigrade creates an electrical arc that fuses the centre of the mold. The result is an integrated structure of the purest resonance, capable of sending out audible sound tested at great distances.
There are three kinds of bowls. One is opaque having a milk-like appearance, the second is clear looking similar to crystal glass, but with natural inclusions, and the third is a combination of both with a gem or mineral additive or coating that reflects a specific colour due to the nature of the extra substance. They vary in size by height, circumference, and thickness and their pitches are not determinable until they are removed from the mold. All the bowls are rich in harmonics and have a luminous radiance about them. They are scientifically tuned with current digital technology on the diatonic scale, which is familiar to Western musicians.
Crystal bowl music is a vibrational therapy of pure tones. The crystal bowls transmit their sound waves into the atmosphere and into our bodies filling our energy field with vibrational radiance. The bowls have the properties of sound wave conversion into light, which has been referred to as ‘acousto-luminescence.’ The quartz crystal acts as a transmitter and magnifier of pure tone and the entire spectrum of colour, plus the qualities of soul when accompanied by pure vocals. The sounding of a crystal bowl is a wonderful tool for deep relaxation, clearing energy, harmonizing one’s environment, restructuring the tone of one’s voice, transcendental meditation and for supporting the creative process. These sonic fields provide an environment for harmonious resonance of individuals in meditation groups, creating a sanctuary that allows for the mind chatter to fade and for supporting the magic and clarity of present moment awareness.
The sound waves produced by the bowls have been reported to induce Alpha brainwave patterns and even deeper, depending on the frequency of the person playing the bowl. Alpha brainwaves are mid-range frequencies, encompassing that of 14 to 9 Hertz. This is associated with the state of deep relaxation and facilitates the day-dreaming mind, relaxed awareness and the most vivid, lucid imagery. Alpha also provides the bridge between the conscious mind of Beta brainwaves (38 to 15 Hz) and that of the subconscious and unconscious brainwave states of meditative Theta (8to 4Hz) and transcendental Delta (4 to 0.5 Hz). This allows you the heightened awareness for what is happening in your deepest dream and meditative states. Overall, this facilitates our access to the right side of the brain that houses the creative and intuitive centers.
When the playing of the bowls are accompanied by the timbre of a skilled human voice – additional frequencies of Theta and Delta are possible through the coupling of overtones via the relationship of a myriad of sine waves. This promotes the profundity of the spiritual connection in meditation and the accessing of deep healing with penetrating impact. If you sing along with the fundamental tone of a crystal bowl, you’re vocal chords begin to restructure in alignment with the pure tone, so you become a stronger instrument of tonal resonance for your own healing and transformation.
‘Structured water’ is a clear demonstration of the power of sound to organize matter. Filling a Singing Quartz Bowl halfway with water and playing its rim with a mallet organizes the substance. At first, the water begins to ripple, moving into surges of bubbles. Eventually, the bubbles begin to rise up off the surface of the water and out of the bowl, creating a symmetrical fountain of water!
The human body has a natural affinity to crystal, since it is compared of many crystalline substances. In the same way that structured water is rearranged into pattern – when the bowls are played on our body (which is comprised predominantly of water), the rhyme pattern of the water and the liquid crystalline substance of our organs and cells are reorganized. This sound provides a melody for the body to re-pattern itself in alignment with this harmonious frequency – calling upon its natural impulse to restore equilibrium and return to balance.
One example of an ‘energy attunement’ with the crystal bowls involves the playing of the chakra-tuned bowl directly on the energy centres of the body. Whether the balancing required is physical, emotional, mental , or spiritual, the crystal bowls are a powerful instrument for moving energy blockages, alleviating stress, relieving pain, and supporting the healing process for regeneration of the cells through the restoration of the original pattern.
I was introduced to the pure tones of the crystal bowls decades ago. To this day, I remember how these sounds transported me into the internal awareness of my body and then took me to a place of perfect peace. Today, I revel in the vibrations that are visceral as they dance on my skin. This sonic waves are tangible within the energy field that surrounds the body, penetrating to my bones and creating an internal sound massage. My ears were reawakened to hear the subtleties around me, the songs of nature, the harmonics in the hum of mechanical devices! My world became fuller – more melodic!
Through the application of the principles of the sound current, the singing crystal bowls are an inspiration for innovative techniques in the application of vibrational medicine, such as the subtle energies of Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, and Flower and Gem Essences, etc. A great deal can be said about these magnificent instruments of sound and they’re numerous applications. And I’m sure that much more shall be revealed as to the versatility of the crystal singing bowls.
Sound is a force of movement. When playing these crystal bowls, the state of mind and hearing of the individual is of prime importance. The quartz crystal singing bowls are gifts of the current of love asking that our intent be aligned with this frequency.
The tone of the bowls provides a luminous note upon which one can journey – surrendering to the current that provides the awareness that all is united. The choir of pure tone stimulates all the senses into a heightened register so that all life and all things can be experienced as colourful, aromatic and musical. This in turn allows for the natural opening of one’s heart to the harmony of all that is around and within. This transports one to the core of one’s soul.
An ancient Ren Teaching states that “Lifetime after lifetime, our soul identity is awakened through sound… once heard the sound calls our soul into the proper dimension and we begin to vibrate at the rate of our soul frequency.”
To truly know the magic of the Crystal Singing Bowls is to experience them for yourself. Invite these crystal tones to transport you through spheres of music, revealing that which you’ve known for eternity – the melody of your soul!
Written by Hualani
Reprinted from Human Spirit Magazine
July/August 1999 Issue