My selection of instruments includes a number of various gongs, over a hundred antique singing bowls from various regions of Himalayas and India, Japanese temple bowls, modern crystal (glass) bowls, bells, rattles, shruti and other meditative state inducing instruments. Shamanic drum that I use in some sound healing sessions is rather a stand-alone tool than an instrument. Antique bowls, consecrated centuries ago and carrying very specific and powerful energies, also bring an additional dimension to my work.
Most of the instruments in my collection came with a calling and interesting stories. For example my voicework which is probably the most powerful sound tool of mine, has also developed with an unusual story, after a vivid dream of me entering an old cathedral and finding there a secret gift hidden in one of the hall’s columns – a gift of a voice making everybody feel ecstatic… When I choose bowls to buy, I go into a trance to get an approval from my helping spirits and deities.
Gongs and bowls belong to the instruments of the bells family. Both in the West and East we see them in churches, temples, shrines, courtyards and home altars as messengers and facilitators of a transition from ordinary to divine (prayers, funerals, initiations, rites of passage). In many eastern cultures gongs and bells are used to dispel malevolent spirits, to call in protective powers and good fortune, to communicate with ancestors, spirits, enlightened beings and immortals.
Music, chants, mantras and prayers have been an important part of human well-being since time immemorial, however sound healing with gongs and bowls as we know today has developed in the 70’s with hippies and experimental musicians discovering astounding properties and effects of these exotic instruments. With their use, a deep trance-like state, profound transcendental feeling and sometimes out-of-body experience became easy to achieve with no special preparations nor years of practice that one finds in various yogic practices.
How They Affect Us
The sound of tam-tam type of gongs is quite abstract, containing a wide range of tones and rich overtones, and having very strong resonating properties. Such sound and strong vibrations envelope and penetrate a listener like ocean waves and literally ‘take over’ the mind and the body.
The sound and vibrations of singing bowls are more sublime – they are like mysterious bird songs or cosmic teleportation waves communicating something magical to us.
During a gong and bowls sound healing session the cells of the body are physically ‘dancing’ in resonance, a person surrenders to something greater, and an emptied mind opens up to subconscious. In this therapeutic state we confront ourselves from a wider perspective, and this is a crucial step for a deep introspection to generate and increase self-healing.
At the same time sound reaches and ‘tunes in’ those parts of the body that need attention and healing, both in physical and subtle bodies (energy centres and channels) of a person. People report having tingling, circling or similar sensations in affected areas, and pain relief at the end. Similarly people experience restorative sensations on the subtle planes, sometimes quite surreal like for example a bad odour leaving the body or a sensation of removing the energetic blockages. Among many results that I hear from my clients are an improved sleep, relaxation, rejuvenation, detox, anxiety and trauma release, increased self-esteem and energy flow, creativity and more positive and easy attitude to everyday life, as well as transcendental experiences, heightened intuition, inner visions, and touching something deep and infinite within themselves.
On a psychical level a person goes through an inward journey to be born again, a journey that in some cases can be challenging, facing inner demons and confronting the dark, to accept, to recover, to learn, and to gain the power to move forward. And here comes this mystical experience and spiritual rebirth, bridging us with our higher divine self and restoring our harmony at very deep soul levels. We catch a glimpse of the source, the divine bliss and enlightenment, and return feeling empowered to keep a balance between the material and spiritual.
My Approach to Sound Healing
The deepness of sound healing and especially this deep soul level work depends a lot on a practitioner, on how spiritually and emotionally mature and balanced she or he is. Openness for a constant learning and evolving is essential. It is also very important that healer’s path, personality, attitude and instruments used in healing would carry the energy that resonates and supports your own personal and spiritual growth.
My professional priority is a continuous work with myself, overcoming the ego, and developing a relationship with the higher planes and energies/helping spirits/deities to merge with them and to channel them to serve those in need for support, guidance and healing. For this reason I keep practicing shamanism, authentic tantra, mahamudra/dzogchen and tao, and my consecrated shamanic drum and singing bowls have a significant place in my healing tools inventor being the most psychically charged of all other instruments.
During sound sessions I often apply distance hand healing and calling in the divine. I allow myself to become a channeling tool and a creator, and together with all the instruments, incense, intention and visualizations a sound magic is created - all that helps us to connect with totality, The Absolute.
In the bigger sound healing events I invite my best students to assist me, those who feel a strong calling to work with sound and subtle energies, and who play with a humble attitude and from the heart.
My all-night gong baths are carefully prepared in collaboration with other professional and amazing sound healers (Jamie from Infinite Spirit Sounds and Francisco from Toes to Crown), run as an intensive shamanic ceremony, with us three playing and holding the space from the beginning till the end for continuous eight hours, almost without a break.
In a private one-to-one session a client has an opportunity to receive a singing bowls sound massage with the bowls placed and flowingly moved directly on the body which offers an enhanced vibrational experience and mindful communication with one owns body. I can combine sound healing with shamanic work using a drum and some other tools for a more in depth healing, issue solving and blessings.
How To Prepare
A participant lies down on a mat on the floor, and all she/he needs to do is to surrender to the sound and to observe what’s going on in her/his body, senses, subconscious mind and inner vision.
It is advisable to ware comfortable clothing and warm socks.
The best way to fully benefit from a sound healing session is to come without expectations, with an opened mindset to whatever happens and wherever the sounds take you in the landscape of your subconscious. You can come with a specific intention or without.
Sound healing is suitable for everyone except people suffering from some types of epilepsy. Pregnant women should avoid intensive gong baths in their last trimester but gently played gongs and bowls are absolutely safe and very beneficial and comforting for both the mother and the baby in the womb.
After a sound bath you might feel a bit spacey and light-headed for quite some time. If you are not comfortable with such sensation, a snack or a meal will ground you.
Drinking plenty of water would increase the cleansing and healing process.
The effects of sound healing are ongoing, and you might feel them for the next few days. The most powerful is an all-night session. If you are going to such, make sure to arrange at least one day off for yourself after the night.
Regular sound healing sessions are particularly good for boosting immune system, helping with depression, anxiety and addiction, supporting self-exploration and mindfulness, generating balanced energy on many levels, and empowering your higher creative self.