Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls notes for Kalsman 2015 workshop.

Crystal and Tibetan Singing Bowls 
 Joy Krauthammer 

for Kalsman Institute and Cedars-Sinai ~ Jewish Wellness and Wisdom Festival of Learning 2015
 workshop notes

For meditative and reclining listening comfort, participants may bring a mat and pillow.

Intuitively, I play crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, ting shas, chimes, ocean drums, rain sticks, and bells for 'Sound Spa Massage' and 'Gong Bath' meditation and relaxation. I offer participants the opportunity to immerse in a symphony of meditational, vibrational healing soothing sounds. 

Sound and Shadow Ripple Reflections II video by Joy:
Tibetan Singing Bowls content: Bell metal bronze, and or copper and tin, or seven metals include gold, silver, mercury, copper, tin, iron and lead.

My Crystal Singing Bowl is tuned to 'F', the heart chakra, and helps to open hearts. While hopelessness, despair, and anger may become obstacles to verbal prayer, the vibrations of the bowls are then desired for their serenity. They vibrate in the Sephirah Hod, in reverberation of splendor.

The Sounds of Joy Singing Bowls (which I carried back from Tibet) are known for their harmonic, lingering resonance and soothing sounds. The singing bowls' sound and vibration balance the brain's right and left hemispheres, and help center our chakras. Sound waves reverberate through one's body for relaxation and stillness, and create harmony within the body as they resonate higher healing emotions of gratitude and compassion.  Vibrations open energy channels for flowing, allowing for access to more joy, heart, love, unity, peace, Oneness connections with soul and Source, and higher enhanced, expanded states of consciousness in our universe.  

Crystal Singing Bowls' vibrational tones and sound harmonics stimulate the restoration of harmony within us. Modeled after the ancient Tibetan Singing Bowls, the tremendous energy of these pure quartz crystal bowls resonates strongly with the liquid crystalline substances in our body. Their tones restore balance to the rhythmic patterns of our organs and cells.

Higher-frequency, inner attunement soundscapes are created with Crystal quartz singing bowls, chimes, Tibetan tingshas (cymbals), and tuning forks.

Sounds of singing bowls and wordless chant are conducive to deep meditation and are used to induce transcendence with equal effect. 
Breath work, chant, meditation, prayer.
Slowly the mind quiets, the breath deepens and one centers their focus; Prayer is given through the voice of a singing bowl.
A sanctuary of sound is created for sacred and healing space.

Larger bowls when struck or rubbed with a mallet on rim resonate deeper sounds and create a humming or singing sound that shifts a person's focus inward, and refocuses their thoughts and intention away from everyday problems.

Studied in 1995 with Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Mysticism of Sound:
The sound harmonics created by the bowls (soundwave frequencies equivalent to Alpha brainwaves which are associated with the state of deep relaxation and dreaming) have the therapeutic effects of an internal “sound massage.”

Bathe in sound spa of gentle tuned resonances and sublime harmonic vibrations with purity of the sustained ringing tones, that penetrate deep within our consciousness, and throughout listener's body. Sound vibrations dissolve energy blockages and entrains one to mental clarity, emotional calm, and somatic balance, transporting the listener to a world of serenity and peace.  Singing bowls provide the listener with a tool for releasing tension and stress held in physical body, and realign and balance their energy system.

"El Na ReFa Na La"  לה נא רפא נא אל / G*d, Please Heal Her, Please (Numbers, 12:13) is an ancient Jewish healing prayer that Moses spontaneously cried to Hashem to heal his percussionist sister, Miriam HaNeviah, when Miriam was stricken with tzara'at, a biblical disease. Eleven letters compose this prayer.

The Source of Healing, Whose Name was given to Moshe at the burning bush, also has eleven letters, אהיה אשר אהיה, "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh" / I will be who I will be To heal our loved ones, when we chant this first healing prayer in Torah, we call out to the ever-present G*d, using G*d's Name that speaks to us in our need (Source of All BlesSings, Creator, Shaddai, Shechinah, Holy One). We tell G*d our name and invite G*d in.

At the onset of the chants, individuals may offer up to Hashem the names of those loved ones, including themselves, that need healing, serenity, courage, strengthening, restoring, reJewvenation, hope, and enlivening of body and/or soul.

Chants I use in healing, with crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, include ShalomEl Na ReFa Na La, Ruach, Ribono Shel Olam, and Henayni. Hebrew sounds are elongated, and have importance. "Ah" in ShAlom, is a universal sound for healing, as is AhOhm. Following the chants, we enter space of verbal silence, hearing and receiving the vibration sounds of the healing singing bowls.

Spiritually, I offer Mi Sheberach (by Debbie Friedman, z"l) and blesSings for Refuah Shleimah, healing of soul and body (refuaf haNefesh, u'refuah haGuf). Sound healing offers an opportunity for prayer other than using Hebrew and expressions of the heart. At times, people want to commune with the Holy One for comfort by themselves being quiet, and going more deeply inside.

Be henayni/present to the Jewish wisdom shared, by offering a sanctuary for creation of sacred healing space and learning.
Abraham Avinu answered "Henayni" when G*d called to him.
In the Torah, the patriarch Isaac is described as going "lasuach" in the field; a term understood by all commentators as some type of meditative practice. (Genesis 24:63) (Aryeh Kaplan)

The singing bowls also offer a mode of "prayer for healing". Through the ages, sacred healing sounds arose with King David’s appointment of Levitical singers and instrumentalists.  David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals. (1 Chronicles 15:16). The Levites' sound of cymbals was reinstated with Kind David's construction of Jerusalem's Second Temple (Ezra 3:10).  Today, I play those cymbals and through Psalm 150, connect with our ancestors to praise G*d.

"The late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan taught, meditation is intrinsically Jewish.  The goal of our prayers is to change ourselves, so we can be the Mentchen we are meant to be.

The crystal bowl, played by Joy, takes us deeper…into a meditative prayer. We invite a oneness with Shechinah...with Reality and the Source of All Life.  The calm peacefulness opens the way to experience the One, the Holy One, in the most intimate and meaningful way. This ritual is an integral part to our spirited, reflective and meaningful Shabbat morning davening." 

Rabbi Laura Owens writes: "The watchword of our faith is the Sh'ma prayer, a prayer from G*d to us, a prayer that comes directly out of the Torah.  The first word of this prayer is SH'MA–which means "LISTEN,"  to "HEAR". It is one of the most important things we are commanded/directed to do – to listen to our hearts, our souls, our conscience; to listen to the messages from our bodies; to listen to the pain and suffering of others; and through listening and hearing we can begin the important work of healing ourselves, our relationships, our communities, and the world.

"LISTENING to the sounds of the bowls, HEARING the singing that arises from them, puts our bodies and minds in a place of "kabbalah," of receiving and accepting that which is to come next. One of the foundations of Jewish healing is the ability to connect to the Greater One, and One-ness, and the sounds that emanate from Joy's playing of these beautiful bowls are a language of connection without words."

"Being Jewish means being present in each moment. That is what makes each moment sacred–when one is present. The singing bowls help one move into a state of present-ness, and being able to say, 'Henayni' / I am here." - Rabbi Stan Levy

Healing methods. I use the singing bowls as part of my Bikur Cholim avodah–for those physically ill with acute and chronic illness, for caregivers, for those in pain, for those at end-of-life and in need of spiritual healing / r'fuat hanefesh, and for those grieving a loss. Holy moments occur when I hand the singing bowl and wand to the friend in bed on hospice, and they are pleased to 'play' the singing bowl.  I also share with visiting guests a gift of meditation. As shomer, I have served souls with sounds in shalom.

Jewish meditation studies with Rabbi Jonathan Omer-Man, and Metivta, A Center for Contemplative Judaism; I served also on Metivta's Bikur Cholim committee. Rabbi Omer-Man, in leading weekly meditations, played for us the Tibetan singing bowl that the Dalai Lama had personally given to him. To bring sound into my Jewish prayer practice, I then studied sound with the Dalai Lama's monks.  (I do not know of any other Jewish people in Los Angeles publicly playing Tibetan singing bowls. For two dozen years, I also have been the only Jewish female percussionist playing regularly for synagogues in LA.)

Ivdu Et Hashem B’Simcha", in meditation, I play for individuals, congregations, retreats, classes, and diverse gatherings, for healing of Jewish people, and for D'vekut/cleaving to G*d.  I help people to find a Jewish place of healing in the universal sounds. People feel good about receiving the Sounds of Joy, and receiving MiSheberach chanted to רופא חולה, Healer of the Sick. Sound is universal, a bridge to cultures, and for crossing narrow places. 

Conscious connection of wholeness, healing and Oneness, in the Kabbalistic Four Worlds of Spirit, Mind, Heart and Body, is my musical kavannah / intention.  I am inspired by the call to Serve G*d in Joy / "Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha" (Psalm 100:2), and believe with Emuna v'Bitachon / faith and trust, that especially with music, "Joy breaks through all barriers," as shared by the Baal Shem Tov.
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