thoughts and observations

Using sound to heal in a partnership with your clients.

Lumena Atherton Sound Healing - Entrance Buddha

In Asia when someone goes to a healer to cure an issue there is an unspoken contract of behaviour that both parties adher to. The behavioral contract consists of how the dynamic of interaction between healer and client will work. During shamanic or energetic healing sessions the client is not passive in the way that many westerners are when interacting with the healing process. The trance experience is approached with the purpose of the encounter well focused. The client allows herself to be lead by the shaman to connect with the cause of her illness or problem. It is important to notice that when the client is journeying that her expectation is to meet with higher beings or states of consciousness and through that interaction to find an energetic method to solve or cure her problems. This connection on the part of the client is necessary for the shamanism to have a real effect.

In contrast when working with my western clients I often notice during sessions that they take the opportunity to drift off and explore interior spaces in non focused ways. The session becomes another entertainment. This type of journey can be helpful only in a small way – by reducing stress. Sound sessions by their nature always have a physiological effect on stress and relaxation. I also make sure to use certain frequencies that are know to have exhibited therapeutic effects, so on a physical level some good will be acheived. These type of sessions are fine for a spa-like experience but to truly confront a deeper problem and move toward a more holistic state of wellness, the client must adopt a slightly different mental attitude.  The western client often expects complete responsibility for intercession to rest on the practioner. This is not correct. The process of healing can be guided and supported by the shaman but ultimately the resolution of the energetic causes of discomfort and illness must by undertaken by the client.

During the sound healing session the shaman is fully engaged, maintaining a high energetic state and a constant attentiveness to the client and the sound in the room. Methodically setting up the sounds to lead the client into a trance state. She stays between the worlds of energy and matter neither of one or the other. When the client begins to have dreamlike experiences the energetic component is then guided and moved by the shaman. During this experience the client should only be attempting to focus on their experience – however if their mind is drifting it is important that they return to their intention then follow the sound back into the experience. If the shaman is closely observing the journey and supporting the trance with sound the journey will then flesh out and the client’s issues will take shape in the experience. The client should not only know that this is how to interact with their problem but expect to have that interaction as part of their healing journey. This is the important thing to stress in pre-session conversations. When the client begins to experience the world of their spirit they need to interact with it within the context of the trance experience.

I have found that it cannot be assumed that western clients understand this important component in the process and interaction. Often after the first session I find it necessary to restate to the client that they must not only relax but seek to engage their issue.  I often hear it said that merely setting of intention will engage the healing process. I don’t really believe that just saying ” I  have a perfect body and it is full of health” will do it. The energetic patterns of illness need to be engaged in a tangible way, with emotion and mental focus to effect healing. The process is experiential and the client should be trying to find ways to have an experience of their intention. This can take many forms, colors, shapes, beings or activities that come forward while they are riding the currents of the sound. Once these types of experiences begin to take shape all intentions and other thoughts should give way to the interaction within the dream logic context.  As the mind begins to relax and dreams or visioning occur it is incumbent on the client to use this experience to approach the texture or story of their problem and become engaged with it from the nonverbal position.

The process of interaction with the nonverbal through trance experience is central to shamanic healing of sickness. It is the responsibility of the shaman to guide the journey using sound. The shaman does not heal she creates the conditions so that the patient can resolve their problem on an energetic level to encourage and achieve healing on a physical level. Constant observation of the client’s state both physically and spiritually become the necessary focus of the shaman. Hooking the consciousness with patterns of repetition, tension and release. Creating the waves on which the mind of the client floats. It is by experiencing these sonic and energetic patterns of tension and release that the client builds a knowledge of the root causes of her discomfort and finds the path of experience that allows her to resolve and release the conditions that bind them to illness.

My way of explaining what they should be doing is …

1. First they should set their mental intention

2. While in the early stages of relaxation as their mind drifts they should seek to become  single minded in their thoughts.

3. When thinking is no longer possible they should relax and allow the trance to happen

“Be their experience.”

4. When in trance no matter how deep – their will be a logic the client must seek to stay engaged with the logic. If you have doubts about the logic that you should follow try to find a way to make the experience more beautiful.

5. If the practiioner is attentive and uses sound to guide the experience using patterns of build and release – the client’s journey will allow them to interact with their problem.

6. The more attentive to the client the practiioner is the more likely that the release and repatterning will occur for the client.

The client in a session understands that their mental state is important to the healing process and behaves accordingly.

Alain Presencer Video

This video is well worth your time.
Alain Presencer, one of earliest westerners to adopt tibetan singing bowls. His ideas resonate with what many others have said. At times he can overload you but ultimately he has thought about sacred sound for his entire life.

Sounds for Healing

IMG_0238smJust a quick note to point to downloadable sounds for your personal healing and spiritual growth.







Sound Massage
Healing with Sound and Intention

“The sound of the bowls is like a river and by merely following their sounds into silence great healing can occur.”

My thinking about singing bowls and doing sound massages with them…

The harmonious sounds that singing bowls make combined their gentle vibration allows singing bowls to suggest a state of well-being to your body and helps you to temporarily let go of damaging thoughts and stresses. People in good health will feel refreshed and energized after a treatment. People who face more complicated problems with health or difficult emotional states can achieve a deeper sense of relaxation which promotes healing. When the body is vibrating at its normal healthy frequencies you experience health. If a part of your body begins to function incorrectly it vibrates at a frequency that is not harmonious to its normal rate of vibration. This stuck rhythm can be reset using gentle pulses and flutters.

The antique tibetan bowls I use are feather light and feel like the kiss of butterfly wings.  Like throwing a pebble into a stream — the vibrations from the bowls interrupt patterns of disharmony and stress with little spirals of vibration and sound. In this way it is possible to use sound to project a temporary change in the rhythm and flow of the currents of the body. The standing wave of the heart is entrained momentarily and similar to physical massage the changes in pulse rhythm are influenced momentarily to allow the body to an opportunity to flush toxins and produce a clearer flow of fluid throughout the body. When the sound is removed, the body will then reassert it natural wave patterns and a gentle relaxation back to it’s natural frequency and health will be experienced. This change may not however be permanent as it is dependent on the physical conditions both interior and exterior of the patient. It is through the combination of intention and vibration that sound can effect healing.

I Made Sumantra

Sound carries the intention and the body responds by retuning itself to it’s natural healthy frequency. As my friend I Made Sumantra, a Balinese healer says, “I pray for you to be well”. My personal intention is to always be focused on your healing. If you wish to join your intentions to heal with mine, either verbally or non-verbally, I welcome and encourage your participation. By setting your intention to heal and leading the body to the correct vibrational frequency wonderful things can occur. A person is more than a body but your body is the vehicle you occupy for this incarnation and so must be attended to on all levels. I have been working on refining my techniques for years now and I feel that certain effects are felt by a majority of clients.  An hour of relaxing sound meditation will relieve tension and there will be a measurable net-effect of stress reduction which can last several days. People have found that they have more energy the next day after a session. In cases where the client may be undergoing other treatments for serious illnesses, conventional medical treatments are rendered more effective when sound meditation is used to augment the healing process. It has been found by cancer oncologist Dr. Mitch Gaynor that sound and focused intention can speed healing and reduce side effects of medications by decreasing the stress of the client and giving them a calm internal space without the need for learning additional techniques such as meditation or self-inquiry. If you any questions about the bowls, me or anything at all, I am happy to talk to you.

Harmonic Healing Spirals

The Power of Spirals.
Robert Bedner, PhD., a scientist and sound healing researcher has been conducting experiments to measure the electronic potential of spirals. He has lately become very interested in the electronic potential of vibrating copper. Copper when struck and vibrating creates aligned fields of electrons. Various other scientists have referred to this a plasmon field. He set out to prove their existence when rubbing singing bowls. His experiment involves using a pico amp meter in the center of a singing bowl to measure kinetic (electrical energy) produced when singing or rubbing the bowls. His experiments found that the greatest meter deflection or peak of electronic energy or as he calls it plasmonic energy occurs when singing the bowl in an alternating pattern of three rotations in one direction then three rotations in the reverse direction. After a series of 3 repetitions of this pattern the meter registered the greatest measurement of potential. This means that alternating rotations in patterns of 3 x 3 create the maximum plasmonic field displacement.

Likewise the atoms our bodies react to electro magnetic potential and respond by engaging in resonance. Waves of a plasmonic field can create changes in the body.  Similar techniques are in common usage in physical therapy where the use of ultrasonic stimulation is commonplace. Singing bowls placed directly on the body and played using the alternating rotation technique and spinning you raise create the moving plasmon field directly the body. The alternating magnetism of the field creates an entrainment of the water molecules in the body with the spinning of the bowls.

Perhaps some of you reading may recognize the significance of the 3.5 turns in other disciplines. Science is beginning to catch up with ancient and traditional knowledge about the world and energy.mandala reiki tibet singing bowl spiral water


The vibrations of the singing bowls cause a light internal massage to all of our cells. The same results are conducted by physiotherapists with ultra-sonic sound waves  Synchronization comes into play when the vibrations of the singing bowls transform the normal vibrations and wavelengths of the human body to match their own. Meaning, a healthy organ vibrates at his own rhythms and frequency, while an unhealthy organ’s natural rhythm is disturbed. Singing bowls “recreate the original harmonic frequency, and stimulate the body to rediscover its own harmonic frequency, by making it vibrate to the frequency of the bowl so that when it is synchronized, it can vibrate independently”
Jansen, E.R., Singing Bowls: A Practical Handbook of Instruction and Use. (Diever, Holland: Binkey Kok Publications,1992);p.39


Using Singing Bowls Therapeutically
When spinning the bowls it is good to watch the breathing of the person for rhythmic activity. As you observe you are waiting to see an change in respiration. This is often occupied by a sigh.  When the it seems that the breathing is exaggerated cease the spinning and tap it lightly. As you do this the electro magnetic field will collapse and the water in the body will return to its natural pattern of flow. It should be noted that when this occurs toxins that may be dissolved in the water will separate from the water molecules and will be naturally flushed from the cell as water is exchanged. This is especially good for the water that is in the cranial sacral cavity. This entrainment and release helps to shake loose toxins that may have been built up over long periods.

mandala reiki tibet singing bowl spiral water sound healing at sage center woodstock

This technique of using electro magnetic spiraling of water is often used industrially to create pure water. It is also the used of magnetically charged water by the Edgar Cayce group to recreate high quality floral water extracts.There are other names for this process which include vortexing water, magnetizing water – even many high end water purification methods used in organic households employ spinning of water to separate toxins from the water molecules. The vortexing of water within the body actually works similarly to the Thai Yoga Massage method of using blood stops on major arteries. Stopping and starting the blood in main arteries in massage is a method of altering the rhythm of the heart and flushing toxins from the body. Unfortunately, this massage method can be stressful for people with high blood pressure and women on their periods and is so counter indicated. The method of using singing bowls to create wave interruptions of the heartbeat wave however, is much more gentle than using blood stops during massage to flush toxins, is substantially less risky and can be used with all types of patients without restriction.

mandala reiki tibet singing bowl spiral water temple in chiang mai universal pact to do no harm



Healing Resonance

Healing Resonance
When scientists observe atoms and electrons they find that actually they have no perceivable form are not solid but exist as waves. Electrons are actually the vibrational waves of the atom. The atom’s magnetism or gravity holds the wave or the electrons.

The word resonance is often used to talk about a variety of subjects but it’s scientific meaning is to share a common vibration – either a fundamental or an even harmonic of a specific repeating frequencies. This harmonic resonance is the source of matter. It is the harmonic resonance of the waves or vibrations surrounding the atom that create the structure of molecules.

Rare type of thadobati that is in the traditional shape of a begging bowl as portrayed on images of the Buddha.,

Rare type of thadobati that is in the traditional shape of a begging bowl.
This shape of bowl is often portrayed on images of the Buddha. Concept made into form.
Tibetan Bowl available at my Etsy Shop.

Sound creates form.

The richies perceived that in the beginning the world existed in an unmanifested state of consciousness. From that state of unified consciousness, the subtle vibrations of the cosmic soulless sound OM manifested. From that vibration there first appeared the Ether element. The ethereal element then began to move: it’s subtle movements created the Air, which Ether in action. The movement of Ether produced friction and through that friction heat was generated. Particles of heat-energy combined to form intense light and from this light the Fire element manifested.

Thus, Ether manifested into Air and it was the same Ether that further manifested into Fire. Through the heat of the Fire certain ethereal elements were dissolved and liquified manifesting the Water element and then solidified to form the molecules of Earth. In this way Ether manifested into the four elements of Air, Fire Water and Earth.
Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayruveda:The Science of Self-Healing(Santa Fe Lotus Press, 1984); p.21


Himalayan Alchemy
Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls

Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls were made with a consecrated alloy that contained between 5 and 12 different metals; gold, silver, lead, tin, copper, mercury and most importantly iron and meteorite elements. The main alloy components that contribute to the sound are copper, tin and iron. The type of iron that was added to the bowls came from the meteorites that fell in the Himalayas and was revered as a source of what is called “Sky Metal” this type of iron was not mined. The other additional metals and sometimes crystals and minerals that were added at the time of forging were subject to a unique set of principals of alchemy that the master maker at the time of the metal forging decided upon. These bowls were created with the intention was to be used in ritual, healing, as offerings to Deities and Temples, and placed on Altars.

Tibetan Singing Bowl, Antique, Available on

Antique Tibetan Singing Bowl approximate age 200 years old

The smelting and forging of metal has not always been the realm of industry although in most countries that is what it has become. One well know exception is the Gong Makers in KlungKlung Bali. They forge all gongs and gamelan parts according to a strict astrological schedule and require a Mangku or Priest to bless the forge regularly. We were all once doing it this way. I have personally participated in gong rituals in Bali and their devotion is sincere. The metal in Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls comes from a time when that sort of thing was the way it was done in the Himalayas.

In contrast today modern bowls of even the best quality are made with metal sourced from Malaysian and Chinese factories and contain only Copper and Tin with impurities. Although some of the modern bowls are still hand fabricated the materials used are not equal. The process of making modern bowls also does not include ritual or blessings and given the cost of metal and labor the workmanship and quality of the antique bowls will not be repeated. New bowls are just not the same.

Antique bowls were always designed with specific purposes in mind and were forged during exact astrological times and in very small quantities. In the Himalayas there was a special reverence to metal and all materials that come from the sky or are taken from the earth. This reverence to the materials used and their connection with the Nagas or Earth energy in the Himalayas and the practices around making metal bowls are wrapped within a Himalayan culture that looks back at least 8000 years. There it finds its history in the fire cults of Uigher and the religious tradition of the Bon Po which include Dzogchen.

The few antique bowls that can be see today are the result of hundreds of years of small artisan shops that existed long ago and they are only available on the market today due to the efforts of collectors both in the west and in the Himalayas to find and preserve these fine objects in the face of modernization and cultural change.

I sell no new bowls.
The collection that I have for sale is a result of years of weeding through thousands of bowls and sitting at the feet of Bon Po monks and Nag Pa. These bowls are the ones that harmonically did not match perfectly to me and my practice so even though I am releasing them back to the world at least you have some provenence to judge. I bought all of them back myself from choices I made on the ground in the Himalayas. If you are considering a bowl, let’s talk. I would rather put you on the right path, see you happy and using the bowls in a meaningful spiritual practice.

Video and Sound File

I recently put up a nice video that I made using only three singing bowls. I think I am finally getting the knack of getting good recordings of my bowls. I also have gotten all the bugs out of putting sound files up on the internet for free download.

So First off here is the link to getting the free music downloads. I will also be putting all future recordings up here so check back periodically.


And here is the video.

Much love and please enjoy.

Take some time to listen. Even just the sound can be effective.
I did no post processing of the sound only eq and conversion to a format for the video. This was live recording done with a sony PCM d50 using the internal mics. The images you see are the bowls themselves.

Triharmonicum Antique Tibetan Singing Bowls Meditation

Debunking the Chakra Theory – Tibetan Singing Bowls are not single note instruments

A lot of theories about which notes for which chakras float around. Joy Gardner has a few, Russill Paul has made various comments, Fabian Maman has spent most of his life trying to map which frequencies are the magic ones. I myself have occasionally used each of their systems to help people decide what notes have been chosen for various combinations of singing bowls.
I have personally done hours of research both by reading all the claims and by listening to various notes and extending my senses to determine which note belongs to what chakra. I don’t think there is one conclusive way to approach it.

Ultimately I have found that for the purposes of Himalayan Singing Bowls the answer does not have a direct relationship to one particular note and although I use particular bowls on certain parts of the body I do not believe that pitch is the main factor I use to choose which bowl to place where.

Himalayan Singing Bowls are not single frequency instruments. 

You can easily prove this by striking the area on the outside of the bowl with a soft mallet. You will hear a lower tone – this is the fundamental of the bowl. Now to prove that the bowls have more than one note lightly tap using a harder mallet on the rim and you will hear a second note clearly. This is the first major overtone in the chord of the bowl. Notice I say the word chord. The chords of Himalayan Singing Bowls individually include between 4-7 notes. Careful listening does not reveal this but how about a little science with that? Here is a frequency analysis chart of a single bowl made quickly using Ableton Live.

Notes present in a Single Himalayan Singing Bowl

Notes present in a Single Himalayan Singing Bowl. This bowl is a 9 inch Jambati. Although this particular bowl is quite old it is a common style of bowl and represents the frequency format common to a large number of Tibetan Singing bowls. Each Peak represents a note.

As you can see there is more to this than one note per chakra. So let’s be done with that myth. The Note is not like a crystal singing bowl and as you can see even one singing bowl can be used for Note (C), Note (G#), Note (E) and Note (B). Three or four bowls like this can create complex and moving harmonic resonances and more than exceed the tonally simple concept of one note per chakra. These tools represent thousands of years of meditation and experimentation from one of the most spiritually focused cultures in history.
As in many parts of the society we live in there is a lot of half truth and disinformation. So saying a bowl will resonate only one chakra is pretty simplistic and only a half truth. The main reason you do not get solid information from most of the people selling singing bowls on the internet is that they are not really very deeply involved with the bowls and operate their business from a sales and marketing approach.

The important idea to take away from this topic is really this.
Atoms and by extension people are resonators. When we observe atoms in a laboratory we find that that electrons are actually vibrational waves of the atom. The electromagnetism holds the wave to the atoms. This electromagnetism or harmonic resonance is the source of matter. Carbon is one of the main components of the human body. Carbon nuclei come into being as a result of three Helium nuclei bound together by atomic bounding (electro magnetism or “harmonic resonance”). They must be vibrating in phase and exact time alignment to produce a Carbon molecule. This is how we are made.

A three note chord is how we are made.

Complex harmonics that we hear speak to us at a cellular level and it is these complex chords not single notes that hold the key to entraining our consciousness.

Sound shamanism has a long history and the use of vibrating copper has been used in Asia since the 16th century BC by the Bon Shamans. When the brain is entrained by sound waves then the shaman can act as intermediary and guide the client back to health.

We learn listening and movement before birth. Hearing is the first sense to develop and the last to leave. Even when your heart stops you still hear.

It is this idea of a three note chord and stimulating resonance that lead to this style of using Himalayan Singing Bowls as a tool for healing and consciousness expansion.


Sound Light Being – Invocation – Sound and Video

I have been working a lot lately and wanted to make a note about the new recording that I have posted on Bandcamp.lumena atherton,tibetan singing bowls, himalayan singing bowls, tibetan singing bowl meditation, meditation music,,lotusflowerheart, sound healing, lightbody, dasa vayu

I am developing a much stronger relationship with my guide and I am beginning to see real fruit in the ease of connection that is occurring. There is also a video up at Youtube and the animation was done in tribute to a famous shaman Joska Soos. Joska Soos was a hungarian shaman and one of the first westerners to use Tibetan Singing Bowls in his shamanizations. He also was an exceptional visionary artist and his work was his way of showing how the “sound light beings” manifested to him.Joska Soos, sound light beings, shaman,tibetan singing bowls, shaman

I was introduced to his work through my teacher Margaret Harrell who also has one of his original paintings in her house. I really owe her a great debt for exposing me to his work.

I am always searching for more info about him and anyone who reads this who knows more please contact me.