SACRED SOUNDS

 

 

QUARTZ CRYSTAL SINGING BOWLS

 

 

 

 

     For thousands of years, musicians all over the world have known the technique of producing a very clear, pure prolonged tone by running a moist fingertip around the rim of a glass, or rubbing a wood cylinder around the rim of a much larger metal or glass bowl. The technologies of making metal "singing" bowls developed to very high sophistication among bronze and brass workers in Tibet and Japan, where Buddhist artists understood well the meditation-inducing properties of sound.

This ancient linkage between sound medicine and the glassmaker's art continues in "quartz crystal singing bowls" that are still made and used today according to the same sound principles that were well-understood even before Pythagoras reportedly healed hundreds of people by playing glass bowls and bells with the "missing tone" that each body needed.

     The bowls shown here are made of powdered quartz crystal, finished in clear or "frosted" outer surfaces. They are used now increasingly in holistic healing circles and meditation communities, and simply by people who love the exalted states of relaxation, elation and meditation that the bowls can bring, depending on how they are combined with other instruments and voices. Several experiments, my own included, have shown that dolphins and whales can be very responsive to crystal bowl sounds, by themselves or in combination with didjeridoos and/or voices.

This page has two main parts: Special Singing Bowl Tips and Ceremonies, and Want to Try your own Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls?

Special Singing Bowl Tips and Ceremonies

Singing bowls of quartz crystal and metal can be used at any gathering or ceremony, whenever clear, pure, sustained tones are needed to anchor and enhance chanting, toning and music, or to induce meditative states. Here are a few tips for altering and combining bowl sounds for a greater variety of sounds:

Just Add Water

The easiest way to change the tone of your bowl is just to add water. Curiously, even though we naturally assume that putting water in a bowl will raise its tone, the opposite is true. The more liquid in the bowl, the lower the tone goes. So pour a few liters of water into a 12" E bowl, and the tone changes to D# - E flat. About 3 liters of water in an F# bowl will lower its tone to F natural, and so on. You can check bowl tunings most easily with a digital tuner, which helps you adjust accurately to conditions of elevation, air temperature and humidity.

The practical reason for experimenting with this at many events by the Sacred Sounds group in Hawaii was that most of our didjeridoos are in C#, and don't harmonize with my bowls, all of which are in natural tones except for the F# heart bowl. So we added water to change my D bowl to C#, F# bowl to F, and B bowl to A#, creating a major triad that harmonizes beautifully with the didjes.

One caveat with this, though: The water trick works well if you add a little water to drop the bowl's sound by a half-tone. Keep adding water to take the bowl down a full tone or more, and the bowl gets harder to play, and produces more static noise. So I advise people who want to combine crystal bowls and didjes to start with the smaller, cheaper 10" D bowl and 13" F" bowl. They can harmonize as they are with didjes in D. Add water, and they harmonize with C# didjes -- and the 10# bowl nests comfortably inside the 13" bowl for travel.

Water Effects

Anyone who's heard Tan Dun's amazing Concerto for Water -- scored for a symphony orchestra and three soloists playing various water instruments -- knows the amazing variety of other sounds you can get from a quartz crystal singing bowl, ideally one of the larger ones. You can use two paper cups to scoop water up, then pour it slowly to create waterfall sounds. Or place small wooden bowls of different sizes upside down on the water surface, and play them with wooden sticks. Or immerse a sieve in the water, then pull it up quickly to make a beautiful fizzing sound of thousands of drops hitting the water surface. The 15" C bowl and 16" A bowl work best for effects like these.

Or Add Tea

You can use other liquids too, and pass them around in cups for the group to drink after they're charged with the sound of the bowl. I've experimented with still wine, champagne (it quickly goes flat), apple and watermelon juices, and various herb teas, especially my Rocka da Chakra blend of seven chakra-specific herbs. Does drinking sound-charged water or other liquid create a state of elation by itself? Hard to tell, as the people are usually blissed out from the sounds, aromas, shared love intentions and other elements of the ceremony. But it has yet to happen in my experience that drinking sound-charged liquid changes anyone's mood for the worse.

Use Sound-Charged Water Consciously

The main idea, when the music is done, is to use the sound-charged, vitalized water consciously. If you don't drink it, use it to water plants, or wash vegetables or a baby. Pour it in your fish tank, or steep your crystals in it under the Full Moon.

Sound Stars

The Sacred Sounds group of Oahu has used this term for ceremonies in which we arrange crystal bowls, didjeridoos, bells and chimes, flutes and other instruments in geometric designs that enclose a central space. The central area can range in size from futons or yoga mats where one or two people can lie down, to larger spaces where people can move and dance. We've used the smaller design many times, in events ranging in size from house blessings to beach festivals.

The purpose of the Sound Star is to group harmonious geometries of sound around the "receivers" lying inside the Star. The B bowl (crown chakra) goes at the head of the star, the C root chakra bowl at the foot, the E solar plexus and F# heart bowls at the sides, and so on. Or there is no bowl at the foot, so didjeridoo players can play into the soles of the receivers' feet. We've also used a 6-bowl Star of David design of two triads, in C, E and G; and D, F# and B -- this latter one sometimes tuned with water to C#, F and A#. Between the bowls, others in the circle can play other instruments, or use their voices to match or harmonize with the bowl and didj tones.

We also make a point of leaving enough empty space by the sides of the receivers that people who want to place crystals or other power objects on the receivers' bodies, or apply flower essences or oils, or deliver reiki, can get in close. The process is very fluid and intuitive. The receivers always seem to know when they've had enough, and it's time to give sound again, and let someone else enter the center and receive. We've also found that hesitating to be a receiver can be a sign that one has other issues about receiving, and the Sound Star can offer a gentle way to dislodge and begin to release them. We'll report in other pages on this site some of the many transformative, therapeutic results we've had from doing Sound Stars.

Want to Try your own Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls?

These bowls are available through Hermes3, and can be shipped anywhere in the world:

Frosted Quartz Crystal Bowls
8"
G
Throat
$169
10"
D
Navel
$179
12"
E
Solar Plexus
$199
13"
F#
Heart
$219
14"
B
Crown
$239
15"
C
Root
$259
16"
A
Third Eye
$279
Optically Clear Bowls
6"
$179
7"
$239
8"
$339
9"
$379
10"
$399

Each bowl comes with a rubber "O" ring and playing rod.

Please note that tones besides the ones listed in the table are available for some bowls. Just e-mail me and ask what alternate tones might be in stock for the bowl size you like.

Estimated Shipping in the USA and Canada:

For larger (13" and up) bowls, shipping by UPS runs 25 - 30% of the purchase price; For smaller (12" and under) bowls, regular air mail rates are 10 - 15%.

If two or more bowls are ordered, they can be packed together and shipping costs will be lower per bowl. It's best to treat shipping case-by-case, as distances and mail zones also factor into shipping costs. If you let me know which bowl(s) you want, and where to ship, I'll give you a total figure on purchase and shipping.

How to Order Singing Bowls:

1.) Send an e-mail with the following information to dan@hermes3.net:

Your name
Shipping address
Telephone number
e-mail address
Sizes and prices of bowls you'd like to order

I'll send you an e-mail to acknowledge to let you know the total cost of your order.

2.) Send your payment:

Op your PayPal account to send payment to hermes3@hawaii.rr.com. Please use this address only for PayPal, and send all other messages to dan@hermes3. If you don't yet have a PayPal account, you can set one up at http://www.paypal.com. It's easy, and useful for moving money from your credit card account, or to your bank.

By check or money order payable to Dan Furst to:

Dan Furst
c/o Kelly Furst
6317 W. 75th St., # 126
Prairie Village, KS 66204 USA

I'll send you messages to acknowledge payment, and let you know when your order has been shipped, and when it should reach you.

Questions? E-mail me at dan@hermes3.net.

 

 

 

Copyright 2007 Dan Furst