We were walking across an open stretch of moorland heathers and grasses...
a quietude around us and yet we were both aware of a prevalent energetic field.
One of us had been startled in an extreme way just minutes before and the atmosphere was like that of a ground bird having been surprised by a dog wandering freely amongst the low scrub. A trigger and a startle experienced directly through the body senses and we wonder what created the seeming shock waves that coursed through the harmony.
A few questions later we recalled a monumental event that is about to occur. It is a date and time held in place for 100 years.The 11th day of the 11th month of the year...a century of days has passed since a world at war came to put their weapons and polarised positions down.
There we were, walking along the path and we realised we were in the presence of a multitude of entities. Energies of people who had once had bodies and no longer had. Spirits of those who were gathering around the field of ceremony and rememberance for an event which happened 100 years ago...
One of those people was of course my own grandfather. An Australian soldier, an ANZAC who had been shafted into a war across the oceans to a land called Turkey, a place of battle called Gallipoli. He has never come to visit me before. Having died when I was a very young delight of a granddaughter I had never encountered him directly as the 'odd, strange, often surly and quite tempestuous man' that my mother had described him as having been. To me, David Gordon Tennyson Smith had only ever been my Poppa. A beaming and quiet, rotund, cuddle companion. One who let me sit on his knee and who fed me the occasional extra strong peppermints called Steamrollers. When he died I was bereft. My Poppa no longer there for me somehow...
Having him with me on the moorland today was quite a thing and I very much desired to listen and perceive whatever he was conveying to me. I knew this was an offering of some kind and I was willing and keen to receive whatever it was he was asking for...
We continued walking and started to wonder what it would take for this planet to no longer carry the energies of war, of traumas kept alive through rememberance - cellular or emotional, thought or cultural, physical or energetic... remembrance. We know it may seem irreverent on the day before the day of remembrance to allow ourselves to consider NOT remembering but we were in the presence of a being and his many companions in the aftermath of warring energies who were conveying to us that remembering is a way that we continue to keep these conflicting and traumatising fields in existence. What if we did allow ourselves to no longer re-member? Lest we forget..is what we are told and what is enshrined throughout monuments all over the world.
What if we did not actually forget but we chose to no longer re-member ourselves and our antecedents to a past and future that has abuse, trauma and conflict as a signature, a characteristic of the plane of human suffering?
When we scanned ahead into the future with awareness another question arose - how long woud it take for the residue of abuse and trauma to no longer be an energy that all beings were at the effect of? What would be requred for a future in which the energy of abuse was no longer recognised and so would no longer play a part in the creative and generative living.
2ooo years...Really? Another 2000 years?
What would allow that to change? Was there anything that we could bring about that might allow that to be reduced?
We landed at around the 350 - 400 years mark now ...
This was possible. Not only possible but also desired by all of life as we currently know it and as it may come to be. A time when the course of human suffering is no longer held up as an esteemed prize or medal, a flame to be ignited and commemorated for the conflicting and warring energies that were once held in highest regard.
So today we ask you
What is it that you carry in your heart and in your light as the future trajectory of life on earth? Would you be willing to place your energies there on this day? Would you be willing to neither resist nor remember the course of human suffering as the hour of 11 occurs wherever you are in the world?
Would you be willing to create a space for yourself to be with the sounds that were created to assist the shifting of many energies that have been held in perpetuity through the righteous views and defined orders that perpetrate the annual onslaught of an ending of a war that truy never ends while we insist on keeping it alive?
These sounds were created to allow those beings who have been trapped or magnetically bound by our commemorative occasions so that they could let go and move towards new conscious choices. These sounds were created to allow the possibility that we could create a nebulous and liminal space of something unfamiliar as yet and yet longed for and sought after...that which is a space where we no longer recognise the energies of trauma and abuse for they no longer have any reference points or need to be healed...
The sounds are without meaning and without shape. They allow something uncomfortable to emerge and also to become more familiar.
To create new requires the willingness to let go of the familiar, the known, the celebrated and the remembered.
No we are not advocating dementia or finding ways to numb ourselves on utopian ideals or drugs of any kind. We are directly asking each of to behave as though we no longer are re-membering ourselves as that from whence we and our grandfathers came.
What possibilities lie therein?
So give yourself a little space or place of comfort and perhaps put on your headphones. Be present...fiercely present if that works for you ... with what was and what is no longer desired. Beyond thinking or emoting, beyond right or wrong or good or bad. This invitation is to be empty... a space that may allow a bridge or a transformation of energies that are also ready to shift. The weaving we recorded was quite long but one section came through as being what we would like to share with you. It is 11 minutes and 11 seconds long...
What can these sounds allow for you and your body as you enter into the sound weaving field of possibilities?
David Gordon Tennyson Smith has, by the way, given us his acknowledgment and thanks through this period of being really present with him. We came to know that his consciousness no longer wished to be held or modelled as an unsung or sung hero.
Through this writing and the playing of the music we came to know him as a being no longer bound by others as the memory of what he had been.
There is a lightness apparent now, a distincly different energetic to the tightness
of our earlier encounter with him.
And now, what becomes possible?
What single drop of possibility can we be that brings into the world a manifest vibration of peace?
What does it take to create peace?
For this we are inspired to look at the question of where does transformation happen? Is it out in the world or is it within ourselves? Is it in our actions or our reflections? Is in the ways that we create and generate our lives with each other?
What does it take to live from beyond the distractions and the habituation of a polarised reality rather than an inherent desire to live according to essential harmony and wellbeing for all of life?
We’d like to ask – what would it be like if we acknowledged that peace is something that lives as a dream in this current world and that the creation of peace – within and without – is actually a quality that we have virtually no references to?
What is it that allows a dream to begin to create itself as reality?
Initialising and Actualising. It is about having an impulse to bring something forward and then taking a different step, a course of action, and asking for a different possibility - one that carries ever more of the many single moments that we each desire more of. A single drop many times brought to the planet creates more ripples that carry the qualities of that drop. These drops, when brought from an open-hearted space of co-creation with elemental beings can bring about a range of new frequencies that have never existed on earth before! What if those single drops, of hammer strikes on annealed metal, could bring forth a vibrational possibility that Peace May Prevail on Earth?
Over the years of crafting and forging metal sounding instruments we have been privileged to co-create alongside different organisations and communities who carry a deep impulse towards the creation of peace on earth and whose work is daily impulse and generated from this question - what does it take to have peace on earth? What difference can we each be that will allow a field of possibility to grow that literally invites the energies of peace towards the Earth?
Our invitation for you to join us for the making of a Peace Bowl or Bell is an invitation to come with the willingness to undefine your ideas and conclusions about what that means and come willing to Be the energies from which Peace may begin to know itself here on a planet that includes and is woven into a glorious creation dance with All Beings, the Solar System, the Cosmos and the Universe at large.
For us a workshop is an invitation to participate in a dance of co-creation. One where you meet the metal as a being of the earth, one that has come forward from the Earth's crust to be crafted as something new, acknowledging all it may have been and encountered in its existence pre-mining and since having been mined. These processes may have been many along the way and it may well have been regarded as inert, benign or unconscious along the way. What if we are able to meet this sheet as a co-creator – an element in bringing forth more of what you would like to have as possible for the future?
For that we ask you to find that invitation within your own space of being and allow the engagement with the fire, with the metal, with the water, with the many nature and earth beings that assist and be willing to be in joy, in gratitude and in wondrous possibilities for the many futures we would each wish to create on and for our ongoing journeys and choices.
It’s simple. It is profound. It is stillness in motion. It is transforming and it directly opens multitudinous new ways for living and creating and generating your life and living.
And what is peace?
Is it the absence of war? Is it audible silence? Is it the roar of the ocean? Is it a single drop of stillness in a busy day? Is it a space where there is usually none? Is it the warm hug of a child that lives in the moment? Is it a spontaneous encounter with an aspect of nature? Is it something that you have never encountered? Is it the empty fullness of a meditation? Is it harmony in whatever action you are engaged in? Is it joy? Is it sexualness? Is it communion with another being? Is it a flash in the pan? Is it a distraction? Is it a divisive plot to have you focus on what you are not? Is it a brief encounter with delight? Is it a red rag to a bull? Is it the knowing that you are not separate from anything or anyone? Is it about another? Is it about you?
What are the qualities that are close to the creation of peace for you?
For me it is the absence of thoughts…an emptier space that allows me for a moment to arise and flow from a space where I am more elemental by nature.
Do you desire peace?
In your life? On Earth?
Are the answers to these separate or linked?
There are ancient singing bowls that create incredible harmony and coherence, well being and deepest peace - instruments that were crafted with finest skills and in highest states of spiritual integrity, under guidance from masters whilst in a prayerful connection with the Earth and the Universe.
These instruments are our mentors, our teachers and our ancestors.
Is it possible that these instruments have contributed to our lives in many subtle and strong ways?
Is it possible that the sound that is crafted with consciousness and the willingness to create coherence in our own lives and through the instrument may contribute to the future?
What is the future you would like to perceive of life on Earth?
Does it have a vibration?
Does it have a particular resonance?
A sound that allows you and your body to relax and become peace?
Live with and from greater joy?
What sound can emerge from an instrument crafted with an open invitation to meet the metal as a co-creator of the future you would like to create for you?
For the Earth?
The hard and the soft
Fire’s heat, hammer’s beat.
Earth pulls the hammer into the bowl
Heaven propels it aloft.
The instrument makes itself.
How the fire embraces,
How the metal speaks,
How the hammer responds.
Every detail tells a story of our lives unfolding.
Are we able to receive these messages from the elements?
Do we remember what we have asked for?
An essential gift of nature:
the chaos of the bowl that has not yet reached coherence.
The birther and the birthed:
all we can do is surrender to the birthing.
As we are forging, so we are being forged.
Am I willing to wear this intensity like a blanket,
and relinquish suffering it like a penance?
It all takes place within the stillness and expanse
of the field of becoming
which is always holding us.
a cornucopia of energy through words ... words gathered during the spaces between the sounds and the hammerings at Ardalanish Bay.
Words brought into the dance of creation by Helen Titchen-Beeth
See the wondrous language of beauty from the lens of her eye here
Forging Sound, Forging Self
Isle of Mull, Scotland, August 2017
Have you been crafting, creating and living your life from an 'old' way of being?
Are you asking for that which you know is available but it cannot be defined or named and so it sits in the wings, waiting…?
It cannot be named for it has never been in existence and you know that to name it may restrict its growth, it’s infinite qualities and energies that will allow and enable more of what you know to be possible.
It is new.
You know it's possible because you can sense the energy of it as it dances in the realms of what may have formerly been called the dream ... the whispers of consciousness … your own infinite knowing in relationship with the cosmos…
It may be an energy that you can sense and perceive but not quite grasp? Wonderful! Please don’t attempt to grasp it…allow it to come to you as you sense it more generously, ever opening to greeting it with wonder and openness.
Keep going – sense the energy of it. It may be something that you have tucked away and out of sight, perhaps locked away in a cupboard or stashed under the bed, put away for your children to find or for you to return to in another lifetime?
Perhaps it's something you've known all your life but through years of getting on with the stuff of life has become a little like white noise - ever present and irritating - but if you filter it out you can manage to get on with the daily numb?
What if it were possible now to bring that which has only ever been a dream into existence? What if these are the days we have been asking for and creating our lives for and the days that are indeed offering us to live as one with Creation's Dance?
So here's our question to you -
Would you like to create your life from the Hum instead of the Numb?
When something is held too tightly it contracts, becomes dulled and numbed. This is easy to perceive through a singing bowl - when an open and vibrational sounding instrument such as a singing bowl is ‘stopped’ it ceases to vibrate according to its own resonant field. This is true of an idea, a child in the playground filled with questions, your own body as it’s movement is restricted through rules or lack of something it requires. When a singing bowl is either held lightly or sat freely without too much surface contact when being played they may ring freely and their full harmonic range will vibrate out into the field of the wider cosmos.
This work of handcrafting an instrument such as a singing bowl cannot be fully met through any manufacturing process. The way of forging is mysterious and strong. It facilitates people to having a direct experience of being at one with the energies of embodied creation. You yourself as maker will be changed, transformed through direct engagement with receiving that which you are asking for vibrationally and in a form that cannot be controlled or dominated at the outset.
And here’s an interesting moment that bears more fruit - what we know about creation and crafting and forging is that it's the bowl itself that tells us when it's ready to come out of the fire. It's the sound or vibrational frequency through sound that delivers the moment of arrival. A moment of knowing, a direct, generous and coherent space from which the maker, the place and the impulse to make the bowl itself all come home to a new resonance.
An instrument that is in resonance with what it is you are calling for - not only through the instrument but that may well touch every molecule of your life.
If what it is that you are calling for is ready to be birthed – even if only vibrationally - would the bowl making like to facilitate that birthing or b-earthing for you?
A beautiful brass singing bowl, hammered and forged with the kind of presence and willingness that was able to give birth to different and new possibilities.
That's the bowl you see above - a bowl that has been re-crafted this year - from one that has worked hard for three years as a healing bowl. Siddantha has assisted many through deep processes of letting go and witnessed some immense clearing and transformations.
Powerful and in some ways costly.
Like the maker herself, the bowl was ready to retire, ready to give up a way of working hard. In so doing the bowl and maker demanded to be re-fired, re-hammered, re-newed, re-leased from service oriented purpose that included suffering and given a whole new life filled with nameless and multitudinous new possibilities. It takes a certain readiness and open - hearted willingness to say yes to change and it's always a choice.
She was ready to let it all Go.
Knowing that what was on offer was nothing less than everything she crafted a bowl of openness, of kindness... of generosity and youthfulness that seems to call directly to a deep femine voice of the earth herself. Through the days of bowl making she came into a wholly new way of living and generating her innate beauty with others as though a dance of creation.
Through a stream of wordsmithing that speaks of her co-creative weave you may sense more of what it is to work with the elements ...
Meeting all of me in this metal
Lighting me up,
Weaving a flame
Filing the edges, taking the edges ... softening what is brittle in me
opening to that softness
Hammering. My Rhythm,
Retrieving my respect,
Hammering the sounds of others, the support of others, their rhythm and mine match as we weave ourselves, their stuff, my stuff, one.
Softening, sun, rain, wind, laughter, song, coffee
sound, sound, sound
The big bowls listening from inside, supporting, encouraging, calling the new beings...inviting,
Go deeper, take back yourself,
Midwives within and without, supporting, holding, nurturing, empowering each
as we co create a bowl,
that would sing,
my song, our song, the song for myself, for others,
for our planet,
from the re-making of Siddantha - birthing anew and also the hammering of The Reed - a hollow (singing) bone of creation.
Marie Evans, Eire 2017
When it seems that all of the world is really crazy and that all is at an end - what else is possible?
During a recent three day retreat at The World Peace Sanctuary there was a particular bronze singing bowl that was continually drawing the attention of the group who had gathered to craft a bowl for themselves. . . it seemed to call people into the room early and invite quiet personal visits. It was energetically turned on and those who had gathered were aware of it eager for what it had to offer them.
This particular bowl, made by Gabriella, was crafted over a five day period at this very place - the World Peace Sanctuary - in Dumfries, Scotland. In 2014 we gathered with a small group of makers in response to a deep call to the question - what else is possible?
Each of the bowls made during those days was crafted with the conscious prayer and heart based presence to bring towards the future a sonic vibration through a singing bowl that would carry a frequency that might raise the vibrational resonance of the earth. Some of that group brought their focus to bowls that were crafted specifically with the invitation for peace to become a possibility on Earth. Some crafted their bowls with an invitation to co-create with the waters of the planet and the molecules and atoms to bring forth solutions for the toxicity of the earth and the waters...some crafted their bowls with the awareness that their finished bowl would travel the world to attend and contribute to ceremonies with indigenous elders...Some crafted their bowls from the heart of the pilgrim... ready to go the distance no matter what it took.
Each of these bowls continues to be played and lived with consciously and each is a vibrational frequency that had not existed until it was made.
The bowl that Gabriella crafted, the bronze one with the compelling invitation resounding forth - both energeticaly and audibly - was crafted from the heart of the dynamic state of chaos...that of nuclear fission itself. During the forging she allowed herself to go deep into the question, the meeting point of what it would take for this particular bowl to carry the dynamic and creative potential of the transformative energy that created the Fukushima nuclear accident and from within that space she asked the energies to bring forth another possibility.
What is our potential and what can we bring forth?
What vibration does that question carry when it comes free of expectation and the agony of regret for what has been?
These are wordless places.
The bowl making process is one thing and the coherent and 'completed' singing bowl that is birthed through this total engagement is something that has no words...how could it? It has not existed before. It is an energetic and vibrational frequency that is recognised and creatively engaged with dependent upon our level of receptivity. This bowl, like many of our bowls, was crafted specifically for the Earth. We experience her as always receptive and always conscious of our requests, always generous beyond measure...
So two years on from the b-earth-ing of this bronze singing bowl an elder from our bowl making community responded to the call that this bowl was sounding forth. She perceived the invitation, the request, from the Earth for another bronze singing bowl to be forged by Gabriella...a frequency carrier that would bring forth the kind of conscious communion that has not been available on the earth before. That of true and dynamic peace.
That bowl has come into Being.
It is conscious and consciousness, alive with an acoustic wave of sonic possibilities that could, quite possibly change the world.
How do I know?
Through being in its presence it changed me. My body experienced a communion through and with sound that it has not experienced before. Through having the bowl gently and consistently played to me I became more in tune with something I have no words...a silent and empty fullness that was alive with a communion...where the energies of gifting and receiving have become one.
An energy and space that allows and brings tears of gratitude to the fore.
Full circle of the fire
The forger’s wheel,
An aureole cast of rivers,
of nets and hammer
Base phosphorus, copper and tin into gold,
the alchemy of the flame
and surrounding, stoke and
Hold up each creation,
All hopes made there,
hammered deep into
little dimples of sweet peace
To contain the world in
a handful of metal
that rings true, a life,
A new sound born
© 2016 – M. R. Baird
How can a singing bowl contribute to our relationships and the co-creation of communities and wholeness?
We have come to see that the very essence of this crafting of singing bowls is about the creating circle; a circle that goes through the stages of becoming a more coherent version of itself.
We meet harsh edges along the way and bring them to smooth…we listen and respond to what we sense and hear, often reflected through another and others…the hammering and firing or annealing processes are always asking us to be attuned to the fulfilment of reaching the promise of a true note…a sense of wholeness and homecoming. It is innate within us all, this sense of home. It rests not in the rightness according to law or impelled or imposed rules but ever in the depth of each one’s knowing. Along the way we come to meet aspects of ourselves that have stepped out of a harmonious or resonant field with the whole…the metal may be hardening or unmoving…the sound edgy or fractious. What is being asked for during these opportunities? More warmth? A different approach? The presence of another aspect or an invitation to something not yet met?
Through these actions we are engaging with a new awareness of ourselves in relation to what had previously seemed to be inert – a piece of metal…we begin to come to the awareness that there is no such thing. Each interaction or action has an impact on the outcome. We are with each other. There is a co-creation emerging. Here it is – what is possible in this moment? What choice is available to bring me, the maker and this metal towards a greater and more harmonious and evolved tone…or note?
Is this not what we also experience in our engagement in circles of co-creation in community impulses? Where is the listening and responding coming from? What choices are available in each moment as we give space and allowance to each voice…each note…each being that is willing to step forward to say “I am here. What can we create through being here together?“
A harmonic field is the resultant acoustic vibration that arises from a musical or other acoustic sound, ie a bird song, a deep thrum from a whale song, the impact of an elephant moving through it’s native territory, voices, sounds emitted unhindered by the effects of trauma? Sounds that are freely rendered and given and in constancy, received.
These spherical shapes that arise are available through an atmosphere that is free of electrical discharge or interference. What harmonics will rise and contribute to the wholeness of this circle? The wider circle?
originally written 3/17/2016
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enter into an alchemical process?
A process where you yourself become one of the elements that is being forged and transformed?
Alchemy with heart, hands and... hammers?
I hadn't. Not really. It wasn't in my world of possibilities - yet.
When I first met Gabriella Kapfer I was oblivious to the amount of change that would ensue and I certainly had never entertained the idea of becoming a coppersmith!
I was a musician - yes.
I was a Smith - yes (by name alone at that time)
I was a somewhat hidden magician (energy worker and healer).
I loved and was intrigued by mystery (the unknown)
and potions (everything from flower essences to creating food that was infused with flavour and essential life force).
I did know, however, that the energy of what I was calling for was a total match for how she, Gabriella, was being, living, creating and generating through her work and life.
I had been asking for something different to show up....
And I had been asking for the magic that I was re-awakening to in my life to show up more...
And I had also been dropping my resistances to expanding my musical world and was willing to undertake a journey into the unknown...
AND I have always requested that more joy would show up in the world...
Little did I know that a singing bowl, a voice, a cello and a smile would completely and totally change my life!
Little did I know that my natural inclination to create harmony and beauty in the world would open up an exciting and unique way of bringing new life forms into existence.
A singing bowl, a tubular bell, a set of tiny ting-sha bells or even a gong.
Not only are these instruments beautiful to look at and listen to but they are resonant with vibrational life forces, life forces that create different possibilities for me, for you, for the land and the Earth herself.
Who would have known the difference that these beautiful sonic beings would make to so many lives....and also some deaths?
So, if you sense the energy of a yes around working with metal or sound but don't have a clue as to what that would look like or even why you would want to craft a singing bowl simply follow the energy. You may receive something you have been asking for ... and I would almost promise you it will not be what you think it will Be!
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.
A little story…… Quentin writes
Some time ago, Ton asked me if I would be up for making a large bowl for his group Del Silencio. I replied that of course I would and that it would be an honour to do so. “Okay – dat be great” he said.
The bowl was to be 40cm in diameter, and made out of 4mm brass. He said he’d get back to me with the intention for the bowl. In the meantime I sourced the metal, had it delivered — yikes! What a weight — then began scribing, cutting and filing. Filing, filing, filing. Four millimetres is slow work!
Ton was in Spain writing, so I waited. Time passed and then came the intention from Spain via Carolina, his wife.
Oh, I thought to myself, (screaming internally)… nothing small then! Could I even begin to contemplate the Bodhisattva of Compassion and ingest a crumb of its meaning. Gosh – how was I going to go about this? Time passed. I found myself walking around the prospect of starting, knowing, just knowing that I couldn’t begin the work until something deeper, more authentic, fell out of my head and into a better place of inner wisdom. I didn’t know what or when that would be, but I did know that I wasn’t ready.
Walking around the valley and over the fields where we live, I found myself one afternoon looking for a spot, a place where I could sit in the weak spring sunshine and sink into that alpha state of being not only’ in’ nature, but a part of it itself. A small ask, I thought, yet wherever I looked there was either no privacy or no sense of quietude. Wherever I walked there was farm machinery on the fields, or building noises or traffic, totally filling the sound scape. Everywhere the hand of man, I thought to myself. No respite. All I wanted was a short period of calm so that maybe, just maybe, I might be receptive enough for something to drop-in. Hey-ho, not today, walk on.
Further on in my walk I am on my way home, walking westwards. On my left a field of stubble and a view over to Old Sarum, and on my right a small piece of woodland. Cutting across the field and wood, a small power line. As I walk beside the wood and under the line, I hear the ‘thrum’ of a plucked string and then a tiny ‘thup’ as a small thrush falls at my feet. I go to the grass where it has fallen. Beak open, panting hurriedly, it eyes me with shock and terror. Its wing is probably broken. My heart is full. I carefully pick it up in my gloved hands and arrange its wing. Still it eyes me, panting. “Blessings on you, and on all of your kind.” I find myself saying this out loud, again and again, as if to soothe it, but perhaps I’m just soothing myself… What to do? What to do? I think this for only a moment, for in truth there is nothing ‘to do’. Nothing to be done. There is no vet, no shoebox in the kitchen that help here. The ground is iron-hard frozen and I’m reluctant to put the thrush back on the cold earth. Having its life-warmth sucked out of it in such an emphatic way seemed harsh. A few yards away I see a large stack of straw bales. I place the bird on a straw ledge, facing west and in the relative warmth of the setting sun. I walk home imbued with the mystery of the afternoon.
So, Guan Yin, Kwannon, Kanzeon, Perceiver of Sound, (perceiver of the cries of samsara), Bodhisattva of Compassion, in my inability to perceive you, you drop a song thrush at my feet. The process continues, interrupted by this, that and the other. Each incident is part of the mystery. This is a much longer journey than I had imagined, but ‘the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting’
Listen here for a broadcasted portrayal of Quentin's relationship to the crafting of singing bowls. Scroll to approx 15'20" into the programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03g89bt/Saturday_Live_Linda_Nolan/