Crystal Bowl Meditation
By Brandy Buchanan, Dec. 5, 2001
Published in Bayside News
October is the month that hosts Hallowe'en, the popular cultural climax of spectral activity. Though still dwelling in the realm of mortals, the SPIRITS of St. Petersburg were no less active than their ghostly counterparts.
After a flurry of interviews by Channel 8, WUSF 88.9, and Thunder 103.5, the team members were featured as guest presenters at Tampa Theater. Shown and discussed with the public were the results of the team's investigations into the Theater's paranormal phenomena. At the end of the month, the SPIRITS gathered all remaining energies to teach a course on ghost hunting mechanics 101 through Baywinds Learning Centers, Tampa campus.
Needless to say, once November came around the team needed a break for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. So, instead of the usual ghost hunt, several team members participated in a meditative healing sound session hosted by the Center for Healing, Inc.
One-named wonder and self-taught artist and sound-healer, Pipsa, produces the concert of soulful sounds. Sessions are held in the relaxing atmosphere of low-lighted rooms, where candles flicker around a circle of large white bowls.
In the center Pipsa sits. She slides suede-covered wands across the bowls' opaque surfaces to produce notes of sumptuous music, which sound like a combination of whale songs and wind chimes.
Ironically, the bowls are a side effect of the computer manufacturing industry. Silicon, used in computer chips, is grown in the 99.8% pure quartz containers, which, upon retirement, are reincarnated into crystal singing bowls. Their use as musical instruments became so popular that the bowls are now manufactured for their therapeutic tones.
According to the artist, each singing bowl creates a specific frequency and vibration, which both relaxes the mind and body. Often, brain waves slow down and alternate states can be reached.
"My goal is to bring peace, healing and love into this world by working through sound, person by person, and group by group," Pipsa explains. "I, myself, see sacred sound as a powerful tool for spiritual development and growth."
It was sheer chance that Pipsa came in contact with the subject.
"I had already begun doing work with sound healing utilizing the voice and other musical instruments when my husband came across a singing bowl on a business trip in Holland. He was told he could buy singing bowls from the United States, as well. Knowing this was something I would love to work with, he did some research and ordered me a set of 7 bowls. When I started to experiment with them, to play them, I instantly felt that this was right for me. My bowl collection expanded with my skills; I have added many more to my original set."
She also found inspiration through Sounds of Healing, a book written by Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor. A cancer specialist and practicing medical doctor, Gaynor used crystal singing bowls to aid in the healing process of his patients.
Along a similar vein, Pipsa has played for patients at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, and continues to perform individual and group sessions at several local venues.
In addition to the bowls, Pipsa uses toning techniques to help relax her listeners. Toning is a vocal excursion requiring no musical ability. It is neither singing nor speaking but falls within the same family as chanting. It uses the voice to create vibrations inside the body. Combined with a mind-set to heal, toning, Pipsa believes, is a way to activate the body's own healing system through a type of internal massage.
"I have had many people report different results to me. Nearly all feel peaceful and relaxed after a session. Some say they feel bodily sensations, in different places with different tones. Others report experiences of higher awareness, and heightened creativity. Still, others believe it helps them to overcome pain, disease, stress and fatigue. I have even had reports of seeing certain colors with certain notes, the sensations of flying or floating, and reaching states of perfect stillness, a type of inner bliss."
These are the results obtained by SPIRITS participants:
Brandy: I have been to two crystal singing bowl concerts. The first time I was pretty relaxed when I came in. I felt as assortment of phenomena. At one point, I felt that I was floating in a warm tub of water, my arms and legs felt weightless. Later, I found myself visualizing flight, following the path of a bird-shaped beam of light. What is most odd is the few moments I had of simply being, feeling, thinking, and sensing nothing. The second time I went with the SPIRITS. Upon arrival, I was very tense and it took me longer to relax. After that, I quickly hit that state of stillness, which surprised me. Coming out of it, I felt as if my arms had become very heavy and warm, and I almost felt as if heat was radiating out from them.
Karen: I must tell you the experience was more than wonderful and relaxing: it was transcendental. Pipsa's creations of tones & vibrations were so moving! The first half of the concert I listened enjoyed and seemed to become part of the tones and vibrations. During the second half, Pipsa invited us to participate by creating our own sound to release negativity, to become positive. It was phenomenal! I actually felt and could see the negativity leaving and then felt so calm, positive and relaxed. Yet I was energized at the same time.
Lee: This was my first experience listening to a bowl concert, and I must say it was beautiful. I totally relaxed and was without any cares. I had a feeling of weightlessness. I found that I did not have to try to visualize; it came naturally as the music flowed. I especially loved the water ripples and different colors I visualized. The music seems to produce different images in the mind, through the use of tones.
For more information, contact Pipsa at Pipsa@ozline.net, or through PO Box 254, Oldsmar, Fl 34677-0254, or contact the Center for Healing, Inc, 1045 - 9th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, at (727) 895-4625.