In conversation with Antoinette Biehlmeier on her growing collection of Singing Bowls and Inner Tune Therapy.
A little bird tells me that you bought 2 Singing Bowls at the recent Heart, Mind and Body Festival. What drew you to them?
I am usually drawn to a bowl either because of its magical sound or the vibration that it creates in my body. One of the bowls had such an amazing deep soothing sound that I couldn’t resist and the other one immediately had an effect on my solar plexus…. they had to come home with me.
How many bowls are there now in your collection? Honestly.
I think about 30 plus right now.
Shree Krishna Shah and Santa Ratna Sakya, my teachers from Kathmandu who performed at the Gallery Helios Himalayan Singing Bowl Charity Concert, brought me a really big one on their recent visit- you can stand in there and then play it. Absolutely stunning!
Then there are the ones that I offer for sale… so quite a good collection. My husband luckily lost count of them.
How did you first discover the Singing Bowls?
The first time I visited the Holistic Fair at Fort Canning, I passed by Shree’s and Santa’s booth thinking “oh never mind, just another item that needs dusting “. It was only a few years later, when I had my own booth at the fair, which happened to be right opposite theirs (no coincidence, of course), that I became a bit more curious, and at the end of those two days, I came home with my first three bowls. I was really hooked – the effects of the bowls are simply amazing and I truly appreciate their magic. For me the outside world simply ceases to exist when I play them; it is so meditative and creates inner stillness so quickly.
Tell us a little bit more about Singing Bowls.
Traditionally, Singing Bowls are made from an alloy of seven metals- copper, tin, iron, lead, mercury, gold and silver. This combination produces the unique tones that enable the bowls to be used for therapy and rituals, as well as for meditation purposes. The bowls can be plain or have religious or spiritual depictions, prayers, or mantras carved on them.
These days, the more commonly found Singing Bowls are usually from Tibet, China, or India. They can be made from copper or a variety of other metals or alloys and are less likely to include precious metals. While Singing Bowls have for centuries been handmade, giving rise to the beautiful hand-beaten burnish, with the older bowls polished smoothen from years of quiet meditative play, these days there are plenty of machine-manufactured, mass-produced pieces. They just don’t have the same timbre.
How did you train to become a Singing Bowl / Inner Tune Practitioner?
I had to beg Shree and Santa for more than 2 years before they finally found the time to arrive a few days earlier in Singapore to give a workshop. I was really lucky to be taught by two very skilful teachers on how to use different bowls for healing work and also how to play the bowls for a concert. However to be honest, it takes years of practice before I can play the bowls like they do.
I love the Inner Tune Therapy sessions, where a client lies on the floor and I position 7 bowls around according to the chakras. Sometimes I add the smaller ones to bring in more harmonies. It doesn’t take long before the client drifts off into a very deep relaxed state and by which time I can hear which bowl doesn’t sound harmonious and needs to be played more often to release the corresponding area of tension in the client’s body.
Meanwhile I am confident enough to teach myself and just last year I received a little touch up by Shree to play the bowls more softly. It makes a really big difference how a bowl is stroked.
What is a typical Inner Tune Therapy session like?
The client lies fully-clothed on a mat on the floor and the Singing Bowls are placed around him, aligned with the seven major chakra points (energy centres) of the body. Each bowl has a tone which corresponds to a specific chakra. At the beginning, the bowls, or sometimes tuning forks, are struck and sung in a particular rhythmic pattern, and as I tune into the client’s energetic imbalances, intuition gradually takes over.
Sound and vibration have been used to alter brainwave states to promote deep relaxation by inviting the brain to move into the more relaxing frequencies of lower Alpha and Theta.
Besides being deeply relaxing, the sound energy harmonises the chakras, thereby balancing the person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing on many levels.
Clients report energy shifts during the session, altered states of awareness, sensations of a deep inner peace and tranquillity, as well as a letting go of old frozen energies and blockages. Some take the opportunity to do a little astral travel. The effects of a single Inner Tune Therapy session can last for several days.
Inner Tune Therapy can break pain reflexes, deepen breath, reduce stress, harmonise the left and right hemispheres of the brain, aid sleep and much much more.
As a therapist, how do you feel after the session?
It is always a very rewarding experience for me. As I mentioned, I lose track of time and the outside world and am totally in tune with the client, the resonance and the bowls themselves. I feel more peaceful and grounded after a session, very relaxed and much more aligned.
So if you ask me I would be more than happy to give Inner Tune sessions all day.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to organize a workshop towards the end of the year so that we will have a few more therapists around – then perhaps I am lucky and get a Singing Bowl therapy session more often!
My aim is to visit Shree and Santa in Kathmandu next year, not only to see how the bowls are crafted, but also to learn more from them. It just came to my mind to perhaps organize a Singing Bowl Retreat with them. What an intriguing idea. If anyone reading this is interested, please get in touch with me by email, Antoinette.Biehlmeier@GalleryHelios.com.
Written for a client who did not feel like he had the right to feel so bad. Generally someone who feels like this would need some help. This is NOT for EFT beginners. And this is NOT for people with self-destructive tendencies. Please use with caution.
“I find it hard to explain it to people, and to myself. The world overwhelms me. I want to run away. I want to die. I am terrified of living, yet I am terrified of dying. I am in a state of depression, feeling like pond scum lying at the bottom of the pond. I am nothing. I am conquered, defeated, vanquished. Shame. Humiliation. Degradation. Debasement. Defilement. And I don’t even know why I should feel this way. My life isn’t bad.
I wish I could get off this merry go round, but I feel powerless, trapped.
I wish I could lie down and die, or crawl into a hole and die. I want out of this life.
It’s too much. I feel overwhelmed. I can’t face another day.
Even though there are parts of me who feel overwhelmed and wish to bail out, there are other parts of me who are observing this. Those observer parts of me are not overwhelmed, and are willing to help the rest of me understand and enjoy peace and serenity. There might be reasons that I may or may not understand for this feeling of overwhelm. I may or may not be in touch with those parts of me who are feeling overwhelmed, but I deeply and completely love and accept myself. I forgive myself, and anyone else who might have contributed to this situation. There might be causes and conditions for the way that I feel, which may or may not be justified. This is just the way I feel right now. Feelings arise and disappear, I just accept and observe what is there right now.
I embrace all the wouldned childre inside who feel this overwhelm. I see you, I’m sorry I left you there all alone, and holding this “overwhelm”. Please come home, I love you. I’ll take care of you, cherish and protect you. I welcome you back to my family of selves.”
Sometimes we just find it very hard to heal. We go around in circles, and find it hard to break free. We’ve had years of illness, bad luck, and maybe a victim mentality. The same reality repeats, again and again and again.
In this particular case, K had major triggering event in childhood she named ‘total devastation’. These statements were crafted to allow her to see that she somehow perpetuated this reality, stretched the moment and clung to it. She chose it, and therefore have the power to choose to change it. It’s about letting go of the idea of ‘I’ being the victim, ‘I’ being alone and in need while everyone else is having a good time. It was designed to be slightly provocative ,to engage the ego and dig out emotions which may be hidden. Also it’s meant to suggest to the user to let the ‘victim’ go, but in the event that he or she isn’t quite ready yet, it doesn’t push the envelope. Caution: This can only be used with skill and compassion, and isn’t meant for everyone. Please use with care.
If you are new to EFT and tapping please check the section on EFT Basics for the basic tapping technique.
1. Repeat 3 times: “I need to hang on to this ‘total devastation’. So that I can blame someone else. So that I can hold the world responsible for my misery. So I don’t have to take responsibility for myself. The world owes me, so-and-so owes me, they are responsible for my suffering, my pain.
2. just once: I’ll show them, I’ll make them sorry for hurting me, I’m going to be really, really sick, and then they’ll be sorry. They’ll be sorry for me, and give me attention, and love me. Poor me, look at me, negative attention is better than no attention. I need this ‘total devastation’ to protect me, from having to take responsibility, because I know I’m not good enough. I can’t take care of myself. I’m only a child inside, I can’t cope. I need you to take care of me. I need to be nurtured. I need to be loved. I need. I want. Nobody wants me. There’s only me in my world. I’m all alone in my world of me. I need to make people notice me.
3. Repeat 2 times: Even though I still need this piece of juicy melodrama, I’m now ready to think about letting it go. The more I think of ‘me’, ‘poor me’, ‘woe is me’, the more I box ‘myself’ into my lonely world of one. If only I can find another way of being, I just might be ready to let go. If only I can choose to be calm and confident; to include other people in my world, I might start to think about letting my melodrama go. If only it’s possible to let go of this siege mentality and enjoy being humble, selfless, and free. If only I knew what it feels like to be loving without expectations, to be open and giving, I might be willing to let the ‘victim’ go. If I was strong enough to have compassion and wisdom, and think more of others than of me, I will let the ‘victim’ rest, I will let my ‘I’ rest. I might be able to find the courage to let go of the river bank and flow into the river of life. But for now, I’m ok being who I am, and where I am. I have free choice.”
This sequence is for Enneagram Type Sevens who want to do deeper work on integrating their personality. Please tap daily for about 7 days, either morning or evening, making sure that in each day, you find some quiet time for yourself to do this. Leave it alone for 7 days, then look at these statements again. You may have some new insights or memories relevant to the development of your Enneagram Type. You can tap on these or ask me if you need help.
If you are new to the Enneagram, EFT and tapping, please first refer to these sections:
1. Please start the tapping with the point under your left shoulder (Reset Button, “ouch” point), do 3 rounds of the following statements.:
“I am happiest when I am grounded in the knowledge that I can bring my joy and freedom to others, when I show people that they can achieve their dream, while cheering people up, sending the light of my joy into the world. I am happy when I am in touch with the discriminating wisdom that knows what to spend time and resources on, and I go seemlessly from one thing to the next, when I am full of joy and humour, and at the same time be in touch with great depths.
I enjoy being fully engaged and grounded, living life as an adventure and being TRULY PRESENT.
But there are times I am not TRULY PRESENT, and I just need to be happy and satisfied, to have a wide variety of experiences, to keep my options open, to enjoy life and experience excitement, to escape anxiety. I want to do those things that will ensure that I have what I need to be happy, to be OK, to be safe…..
I am afraid of not having my needs met, and of losing my freedom, being unhappy
I have a basic desire to be happy, to be free and content …..`
And maybe deep down, I have a basic fear of being trapped in deprivation and despair, of being in pain ….
I want to escape into my computer games, my books, my music, my Tuesday night out…
I am scared of my emotional upheaval, my emotional upheaval is my ego experiencing itself in my personality. BUT I am more than my ego, I am more than my personality, I am more than my emotions, I am more than my thoughts. I am life beyond boundaries. I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I forgive myself, and anyone else who contributed to this situation.”
2.Now just do normal tapping, also 3 rounds:
These are the statements that reflect the emotions, and you can change or add as you feel. Just don’t do too many at one time or you might feel overwhelmed:
“I easily pick up new skills, new hobbies, new obsessions, but then I loose interest and don’t follow through
I can’t decide, I like having all the options, I don’t want to miss out.
I am the instant expert, I can shoot from the hip anytime, why can’t people keep up?
I feel trapped if I stay with something or someone for a period of time. I need to escape, break free.
I am living in anticipation of the next thing, the next experience, so much so that I miss the present moment, and miss the current thing that I am experiencing. And then I just want more of a good thing, more is better.
Sometimes I use excitement as a substitute for being happy and satisfied. I hate being bored.
Sometimes I feel like I will never get what I need, I’m starving and grasping all the time. I need more; more quantity, more variety, more experiences.
Sometimes I am feel like I’m trying to outrun my pain and anxiety. I’m trying my best to stay “up”
I hate being told what to do, being controlled/stifled, having no freedom.
I am impatient that this (healing ) process is taking so long. It should have been done by now. I have had enough of pain and anxiety, I am fed up with going there – get over it already!
I am impatient with others who are in pain, I don’t want these depressed people to remind me of my own pain – get over it already!
I make others feel what I fear most, being deprived and trapped in emotional pain.
I want to avoid pain, anxiety and unhappiness at all cost. I am not equipped to deal with depression.
I am tired of feeling this way. I am struggling with a cocktail of emotions that is not really helping me. I am reacting all the time with attachment and aversion. I have no control, no stillness.
“I now choose to that I have a choice to give up the FRUSTRATION of NOT HAVING, NOT BEING NURTURED, to give up DEPRIVATION, and PAIN, to be open to GRATITUDE for what I have, to experience my essential quality: that inner JOY and the expansive FREEDOM within. What would I be without that thought that I need more, that I am insatiable, that there isn’t enough for me? What if I was free to feel good about who I am and where I am now?
I now choose to know that working on myself, and ensuring that I am the best that I can be means that I can be FULLY here. Being FULLY PRESENT means that I can be open to the unfolding of the real ADVENTURE of life. I choose to be GRATEFUL for the gift of the PRESENT MOMENT, rather than regretting the past or fearing the future. Maybe what I have now is enough. Maybe there’s nowhere else I need to be, and I’m not missing out on something else that’s more worthwhile. I AM BEING TAKEN CARE OF. I appreciate myself for getting the help I need, and doing the work so that I can be at the highest expression of who I am.”
3. Now do 3 rounds of this affirmations to get in touch with your true nature:
“I now choose to release the conviction that I require specific objects and experiences in order to feel fulfilled.
I choose to be involved with things in depth, and shift my focus of attention from myself to the world. I choose to see that the world exists for purposes other than my own gratification, but that I am being taken care of. I now choose to be in touch with
my sense of abundance
joy, inner delight
sense of boundlessness, expansive freedom
I choose to know that I am being nourished by the VAST BOUNDLESSNESS of my own nature, and taught by this adventure we call life.,
As I witness the unfolding of creation itself, great JOY and AWE arise. I find PEACE in the deep HUSH and restful STILLNESS within. I rejoice in the SPONTANEITY of BEING, and being in touch with this PRESENT MOMENT, the immediacy of constant creation. I choose to be open to my natural state of SOBRIETY, a quality like the CLARITY and FRESHNESS of newly fallen snow.
I choose to appreciate myself for being in touch with the WONDERMENT and mystery of life. I respect myself for the journey that I am going through, and know that I am never separate from the JOY and EXPANSIVENESS of life
I choose to know that I am HAPPY and CONTENT, FULFILLED and FREE.
I choose to CELEBRATE this JOYOUS unfolding of reality, and be FULLY PRESENT to the GRATITUDE, JOY, and SOBRIETY within.”
Adapted from the work of Tim McClean, Don Riso and Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute