The alchemical journey of making of a singing bowl
In our practice of crafting new singingbowls for this time we reconnect to the tradition of the ancient bowl makers of Tibet who worked the bowls in meditation and prayer, infusing it with the spirit of the purpose it was made for. We perceive the process of the work with the elements of fire, metal, water, air, wood to be an alchemical process of transformation and incarnation. The incarnation – coming into form – of a very specific and unique frequency.
Our focus is not so much on the particular tuning but more on the quality, purpose and essence of the sound.
My own journey with making bowls has evolved over the last few years as I have been crafting bowls for my own work and others who have asked for healing bowls and bells.
Making a bowl is an adventure I become deeply immersed in:
The fire is crackling, the flames licking around the golden disc – a round piece of brass destined to become a singing bowl. It had been carefully chosen, cut out of a larger plate and filed into a smooth precise circle to get to this stage of being in its first fire, where it leaves its past behind and begins its new destiny as a singing bowl. I close my eyes listening to the fire and think of the person who has asked me to craft this bowl. For the purpose of this writing I will call her V. I feel joy, I see cherry blossoms and flowers. It’s spring in my inner vision while on the outside high summer is surrounding me. An uplifting energy. The golden disc in the fire changes colour, many colours – absorbing the rainbow before it glows and I take it out to cool down.
It’s blackened now and I need to clean it before I start the process of hammering.
Ash, air, water, acid all play their part in the early life of this singing bowl.
Before I start hammering I connect with V in prayer that it may serve her highest good and evolution in the frequency it brings through.
As I start hammering – spiralling out from the centre of the disc to the periphery and back into the centre – I am still filled with joy, cherry blossoms and nature and very soon a beautiful shallow plate stands before me.
As I continue working I perceive on the inner levels a shape that had been held in a particular form for a long time popping open like a flower bud, As I keep working and hammering – spiralling in and out – I perceive the flower opening to reveal a great light inside in form of a pistil and stamens – again like the inside of a flower. They grow and I feel that this is connected to V – who I am inwardly working with – beginning to stand up in her own power, light and authority. I perceive a little brown speck on the side of the pistil and wonder what it means.
I decide to stop and arrange to talk with V who lives halfway across the world at the next possible time.
When we get to talk she completely understands the images and she knows exactly what the brown speck means. In her life she is being challenged by circumstances at work and in her private life to step up into her authority and take her power but at the same time she is hugely challenged by all of the difficult issues.
I decide to take it slowly with this bowl. Big processes are at work here, time is needed for them to play out and integrate. We decide that we weave into this bowl the intention that the bowl may assist her and others with its frequency to be able to stand in their fullness and find the highest expression for her/their innate gifts, so they can shine and be fully expressed and received and make the greatest impact.
A few weeks later I take the bowl back to the fire with this intention and ask for grace in this process. The fire is strong. It dances with the bowl with both strength and gentleness.
As I continue the hammering, the bowl deepens. I feel V’s warrior spirit. We are reaching deeper into layers of her unconscious as the metal stretches and expands beyond its easy comfort-zone of the first rounds. Now the sound is also in stretch-zone. (I have frequently experienced that if the making of a bowl works with a deep process it invariably goes through a stage of ‘chaos’, where the sound is awful, dissonant, the shape a little crooked and you wonder whether it’s ever going to make it through!) This one is no different. As the hammer deepens the bowl, stretches the metal, I feel I’m riding waves of turbulence, but there is also determination, trust and strength. We ride the currents of turbulence for another couple of weeks before I feel the energy shift and I know I can pick it up again and bring it into the next level of coherence.
It has become a beautiful deep balanced shape of half a sphere in which it stabilizes.
With feedback from V I get that she really has been stepping into a new role in her work, has empowered herself in other areas of her life, taken big steps and decisions and is continuing to do so.
I now start to work on the bowl from the outside. I use a wooden hammer over a metal mushroom anvil to smooth out all the bumps. I am sensing a lot of support arriving for V as I work. Gifts being passed to her that she will now be able to use as she is coming into accepting her power and authority.
As I put the bowl into the fire for the last time – not in order to work it further but for it to release any of the struggle and receive the blessing and strength of the fire I find a sweet smell in this fire. Laurel leaves have found their way into the kindling. Wow. The smell is uplifting. I realize laurel is woven into the wreath of Victory. V, you are victorious!
The sound is magical. My feeling is that every time I play it, a doorway opens. The lower note provides the warm container and the high note reaches way up into the stars, activating the remembering of the gifts we have brought with us.
It’s mysterious. Not an interval I would have conceived or chosen. A tri-tone stretched over another octave – bridging the visible and the invisible, the conscious and the unconscious into a sound that is both warm and at the same time creates heightened awareness and alertness – a powerful assistant to raising consciousness – stretching us out of our comfort zone into alert strength and presence.
V is deeply moved. The journey has been a lot bigger and deeper than either of us expected when we set out.
I am also deeply moved by the journeys I get taken onto in the forge and the grace with which the elements work with us when we invite them and allow ourselves to be the instruments in this grand orchestra of the universal symphony.
For more info on bowl workshops and custom made bowls go to: http://peace-trails.com/singing-bowls