Music has always been recognized as having a powerful effect on human consciousness. But in the past few years, there has been more research into the science of sound, and how it can be used to improve our lives. We are learning why different kinds of music and sounds have the effects that they do on the body, emotions, mind, and spirit.
Science tells us that all life is energy in one form or another. Further, this energy is eternal, changing and morphing from one shape or form to another. Each ‘energy shape’ has its own particular pattern of frequencies, or vibrations. When one form experiences a matching frequency in the form of a musical note, the form will begin to vibrate in sympathy with the note in sympathetic resonance. A strong enough vibration can even cause a form to restructure itself, as has been noted with cancer cells, crystal glasses, water crystals etc. With the Himalayan bowls, (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls) every note creates sympathetic resonance with every other note producing harmonic overtones that commence the healing process.
Let us, for a moment, look at the difference between healing and curing: Curing is an end product or finite result. Dictionary definitions define it as “the complete biological resolution of a diseased state” or “ the elimination of disease, distress, evil”.
Healing is a Process and infinite in nature. Some definitions include: “the making or becoming whole, the mending of a breach”, “to free from grief , troubles, evil”, “ restoring to health or soundness”; and my personal favorite by Jeanne Acheerberg “an intuitive perception of the universe and all its inhabitants as being of one fabric. ”
Healing is a movement from disharmony to harmony, from duality to non-duality or Divine Awareness. The journey of healing then is a spiritual awakening with consequences on our physical well being. As we awaken, our perspective shifts. As our perspective shifts, our vibration shifts. As our vibration shifts, our cellular make up shifts. The shifts can not occur as separate entities- they affect the whole of who we are and extend infinitely. This link between body and spirit has been much ignored by the medical profession but the link is quite clear.
Healing is a process where we are released from an ego centered finite perspective of ourselves in the world and move into our essence where our vibratory energy is connected with the universe. Healing can lead to being cured. But if one is simply cured on a physical level, without sufficient healing, the core issue that caused the condition in the first place is likely to manifest again. A vital step in the healing process is that of establishing resonance with the condition in question. Most people resist their condition. You cannot release that which you do not own. Sound is the train that helps us get to healing.
How? We now know that different pulses stimulate different brainwave centers. We also know that we can create brainwave entrainment through a process of sympathetic resonance and that we normally entrain or fall into vibrational step to the strongest vibrations in our immediate environment. Our body is a perfect transmitter of vibration, being 70% water Further, nerve bundles in our spine transmit vibrational sensory data to brain stem and limbic system (our emotional processing center). Placing bowls directly on the body significantly increases their effectiveness. The bowls vibrate at the frequency of perfection, otherwise known as the Sanskrit mantra AUM. They create harmonic overtones in which each note contains all other notes and none is a separate entity on its own.
Their sound entrains us into health by entraining our energetic system to resonate with them in their perfection. In the universe every dissonant chord tends toward becoming a harmony.
And that’s what they help our bodies to do. The harmonic resonance of the bowls literally pulls us back into a more universal energetic flow. They effectively transmit their soothing and peaceful vibrations through our 70% water body in a way that affects our entire nervous and immune system and initiates the relaxation response bringing us into a Theta brainwave state (waking dream state that is home to creativity, inspiration, intuition and where we can let go of our ego boundaries, of our consciousness of our physical state and connect with the non-physical, non dualistic. ) The sound vibrations of the bowls balance our right and left brain and with repetition in conjunction with visualization can hold us in the Theta state for longer and longer periods of time. The vibrational sound from the Himalayan bowls initializes our parasympathetic nervous system and helps to raise the disease fighting immune cells while also reducing our stress response and creating cardio respitory synchrony (the synchronized flow of our brain, respitory and heart rate waves). Our capacity to heal from any illness is predicated on our body’s ability to achieve cardio-respitory synchrony and this is exactly what is achieved by listening to the bowls. When they are placed directly on your body, as in a private session, then the healing potential is greatly increased because you are receiving the vibrations in your muscles and organs in addition to hearing them. In other words Vibrational Sound creates the optimum physical/spiritual container needed for healing. Dr Mitch Gaynor, Director of Oncology at the Cornel Cancer Prevention Center states: “‘Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.
Bowls are teachers: Let’s not reduce the healing that takes place only to science. We have already seen that healing is predicated on spiritual awakening. The bowls can be seen as great teachers. They carry the Buddhist Voidness teachings which purport that nothing exists independently of anything else. Each note from these sacred instruments contains all other notes and herein lies their magic. Although possessing a variety of harmonics, the fundamental vibration of each bowl is rooted in the Sanskrit mantra OM. This is the vibration that our brains entrained with. This primordial sound is the perfection of the universe. The ensuing sympathetic resonance between brain and bowls reawakens the intrinsic blissful self in us.
Our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors will either engage with or sabotage the healing potential as well. Positive thinking can strengthen your immune system and change your life. The combination of the sound vibration of the bowls with positive visualization and affirmations will greatly enhance the healing experience.
Diane Mandle is French/American who has lived and traveled worldwide. She has a background in performing arts from Stephens College where she graduated in 1972. It was there that she was introduced to Buddhism, and her interest in this has taken her to Nepal and Sikkim several times where she was able to deepen her understanding of the cultures where the Sacred Sound instruments were created and utilized.
She has been working in the healing profession for over 6 years with an integrated body/mind practice that includes focused dialog, energy balancing and Sound Healing. She is the only State Certified Tibetan Bowl Sound Healer in the country. In addition to her private practice, she conducts concerts, workshops and educational programs nationally, is a regular presenter at the Chopra Center and is a featured performer on a new CD, “Turning Pain into Serenity” by Clinical Psychologist Michael Samko, Ph. D. Diane’s own CD “Return to Om” received critical acclaim in the San Diego based “Light Connection” magazine.