Learn About Singing Bowls
Here's a demonstration of several singing bowls where I share a few different types of bowls, let you hear the tonal differences, and show you how to tell hand hammered, machine made, or antique or contemporary bowls. My dogs join in (dogs, whaddayagonnado, amiright?). Sorry about that.
Still, this is a good primer to get started. At one point I mention a singing bowl and can't remember the name of the dealer. It's Shanti Bowl. Because there are so few antique Himalayan bowls available, there are a lot of fakes. I have found a few dealers I believe to be reputable. Please contact me if you're looking for antique bowls and want the name of the few dealers I believe to be reputable. I'm sure I don't know every reputable dealer, but I do know of a few.
I also mention crystal singing bowls are silicon sand. More specifically, they are a silicon sand that is ground up quartz, heated and then molded. Most are 99.9+ percent quartz sand.
I almost always buy singing bowls by sound - so always try to get a good idea of the sound of a singing bowl and whether it is pleasing to you. If they are online, many dealers offer sound files. Make sure the sound files are for the exact bowl you are ordering, since sound frequency preference is such a personal thing. I did buy one bowl specifically because its energy attracted me (and I loved the sound), and that's the 18th century bowl I show with heavy patina.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Give Yourself a Crystal Facial
Want more crystals in your life? With the popularity of crystals, they are appearing in more and more beauty products, and giving yourself a crystal facial is a great way to add crystals to your beauty routine along with organic, natural botanical products.
Step 1: Start with a clean, dry face.
Use your favorite cleanser and give your face a good washing. I like to use a Clarisonic cleansing brush - I've used one for years, and whatever facial cleanser I'm enjoying at the moment. Some to try include:
-Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Cleansing Soap (no crystals but a really nice soap).
-Pacifica Crystal Foam Sparkling Clean Face Wash infused with rose quartz
-Sjal Balans Gemstone Deep Pore Cleanser infused with pearl, silver, gold, and rose quartz.
Step 2: Use a crystal-infused mask.
There are a few of these available. Two of my favorites:
-Sjal Kashmir Saphir Perfecting Mask with gold, platinum, sapphire, and copper
-Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask with white tourmaline.
Rinse the mask thoroughly. If you want, rinse with water you've infused with rose quartz and clear quartz crystals.
Step 3: Relax with a crystal grid.
Lie quietly for 10 to 15 minutes with small crystals on each cheekbone, one your brow bone, on your third eye, on the ridge below your nose/above your lip, and on your chin. Try nontoxic crystals such as clear or rose quartz, amethyst, aquamarine, or citrine, all with anti-aging properties. Play some nice relaxing music, breathe deeply, and enjoy the space.
Step 4: Spritz with a toner.
Try one of these:
-Pacifica Micellar Gem Infused Micellar Water Tonic infused with rose quartz
-Herbivore Botanicals Green Tea and Jasmine Balancing Toner (no crystals but smells fabulous)
-Aquarian Soul Rose Quartz Toning Mist (infused with rose quartz)
Step 5: Add some facial oil or serum.
Use a facial oil lightly on your face, neck, and decolletage. Some favorites:
This is my favorite step, and I use both a gua sha tool and a facial roller every morning. I keep my facial roller in the freezer (it's lovely), and I follow a standard gua sha facial massage using light pressure on my face and neck. This massages in the facial oil or serum and helps drain lymph fluids and remove puffiness. It wakes me up and feels great.
Where can you get the tools?
You can use a gem-infused moisturizer or your favorite. Some I love include:
I like to keep my eye serum in the fridge so it's cool when I use it. My favorite?
Image Tatiana from iStock photo
While it isn't the main focus of my teaching or writing, being a psychic medium is still a big part of who I am. All day every day I receive a stream of subtle information that I use as a guide through life. When I go haunted places, however, that mechanism kicks into high gear, and I gain a different perspective.
Jim and I just returned on Thursday from a quick trip to San Diego, Long Beach, and Laguna Beach. With my friend Nicole Strickland's passion for haunted San Diego and the Queen Mary (she's written multiple books about HMS Queen Mary and recently released a book about haunted San Diego), naturally we visited a few haunted locations. Below a bit of history of each, as well as my impressions.
Whaley House, Old Town, San Diego
The Whaley House is a small, unassuming brick house plopped smack in the middle of San Diego's bustling Old Town, a popular tourist area featuring fun, touristy shops and lots of really tasty Mexican food.
Thomas Whaley arrived in San Francisco in 1849 chasing gold in the California gold rush. Instead of panning for gold himself, however, Whaley made his fortune selling supplies to miners. His home in San Francisco burned, however, and in 1851 he moved to San Diego. He briefly returned to his family home in New York to get married and returned with his new wife, Anna.
Whaley purchased the property for his home in 1855 and erected a brick house on it, completing construction in 1857. Along with creating a luxuriously-appointed home the San Diego Herald called "the finest new brick block in Southern California," Whaley also operated a general store from the property, although he soon relocated the store to a busier location.
After the birth of their three children and the death of Whaley's business partner, along with the destruction of his store from a fire, Whaley moved his family to San Francisco (where they had two more children), but they returned to San Diego after a few years and re-took up residence in the brick house, where he once again operated a general store.
Other businesses operated in the house included a theater in an upstairs bedroom that was the home of the Tanner Troupe, and a courtroom in the front room granary.
Violet Whaley, one of the Whaley daughters, committed suicide in the home (she shot herself) after a divorce, and both Anna and Francis Whaley died in the home. Additionally, before Whaley purchased the property, the grounds were used for public hangings, including the most famous, that of Yankee Jim Robinson, a drifter convicted of grand larceny.
Many report the Whaley House as one of America's most haunted houses, and the Whaley House itself embraces the building and grounds' haunted reputation.
I really liked the energy of the Whaley House, and I didn't have any significant impressions or experiences. Jim, on the other hand, who describes himself as a psychic "lead-lined bank vault," had what he felt was a very powerful experience as we peered into Violet's room. At the time, unaware of the history, he said he felt as if he was trying to slash his own wrists in despair. Now Violet committed suicide by gun, but it's interesting Jim's impression was of a suicide attempt in a room where a woman eventually committed suicide.
The price to visit the Whaley House Museum is reasonable: $16 for an adult, and the tour is self guided. It's an interesting piece of San Diego history, and I especially loved the energy of the theater, which felt warm, inviting, and even a bit joyful. Parking on the street may be a challenge, but there are lots and garages with reasonable fees nearby. Be sure to enjoy some Mexican food at one of many restaurants in Old Town, and while you're in Old Town visit Gum Saan Land of the Golden Mountain, a lovely shop filled with treasures from Tibet and Nepal including authentic and antique singing bowls, South American Imports (it's tucked behind the Coyote Cafe), which is a nice crystal shop with tons of specimens and a knowledgeable, friendly owner, and MIner's Gems and Minerals (across from Gum Saan), which has some great mineral and fossil specimens.
Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado Island, San Diego
Built in 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado (also known as The Del) is a National Historic Landmark. It's currently owned by the Hilton chain and serves as an upscale resort sitting on the prime beach of San Diego's Coronado Island.
The Del has a storied history. It's appeared in films, been the preferred lodging of presidents and Hollywood giants, and it is even the setting for the mystery of Kate Morgan, a young woman who checked into the Del under an assumed name in November of 1982 who was later found dead at the base of the stairs to the beach with a gun shot wound to the head. The coroner ruled the wound self-inflicted, but that ruling is still met with skepticism. Kate is said to be seen all around the Del.
I've been fascinated with the Del for years and always wanted to stay there, so when we were considering vacations this year, Jim immediately suggested a stop there. We stayed three nights at the beginning of our trip.
I love the energy and architecture at the Del. We stayed in the old Victorian part of the building in a room on the fifth floor overlooking the courtyard. One night, Nicole and I were walking towards a breezeway on the 5th floor when Nicole spotted an apparition of a woman. As we approached the spot, I felt a gentle energy there that traveled with us through the breezeway. I didn't see her. Other than that, not a lot of experiences there except a great love of the place and its history.
Price-wise, the Del is expensive, but you get what you pay for. The service is excellent, the food is divine, the rooms are comfortable, and there's a lot to do there including gorgeous outdoor dining and bars, a world-class spa, a lovely beach, and many other amenities. Visitors can frequent the restaurants, shops, and bars at the Del. Unless you can find street parking, expect to pay for parking. Restaurants and bars are reasonably expensive. While you're there, visit the ice cream shop and enjoy the beautiful Coronado Beach.
Star of India, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Embacadero, San Diego
I've been hearing about the Star of India for a while, so naturally I was eager to explore it. As one of the attractions at San Diego's excellent Maritime Museum, the Star of India is an iron-hulled windjammer ship built in 1863 as the Euterpe. She sailed from India to Great Britain and New Zealand, and hauled salmon from Alaska to California. Retired in 1926, she was restored as a museum in the 1960s and remains seaworthy after restoration.
During her history, the Star of India collided with a Spanish brig, endured hostile seas, experienced a crew mutiny, and saw captains and crew members killed aboard and buried at sea.
I felt her energy before I even boarded the Star of India. Just walking past her bow on the dock, I noticed an aggressive and unsettled energy. Boarding, I moved to the stern first, where I felt a gentle and settled energy present. As I approached the bow on all levels, especially on the port side, however, I started to notice disorientation and what felt like heavy aggression. Nicole tells me this is consistent with reports aboard the Star of India. Apparently in this area is something called the chain locker, where an accident occurred when a crewman was crushed as another crew member raised the anchor, unaware of his presence in the chain locker at the time.
I definitely feel like there's some activity aboard the Star of India, and it's well worth a visit. You can visit her by paying the price of admission at the San Diego Maritime Museum, which is $18 for an adult. This includes entry to other ships and boats in the exhibit, as well. I recommend parking in the USS Midway museum parking lot (we visited the Midway, as well), which is about $10 for the day. While you're there, take a tour of the San Diego harbor aboard one of the many tour boats or do like we did and go for a thrill ride on the Patriot jet boat. If you do that, plan to get wet and bring a change of clothes.
Steam Ferry Berkeley, Maritime Museum of San Diego, Embarcadero, San Diego
The Berkeley was an unexpected surprise for me. I had never heard of her, but she is part of the maritime museum exhibits, and she's breathtakingly beautiful, especially her upper gallery with original stained glass windows and gleaming woodwork.
Commissioned in 1898, the Steam Ferry Berkeley operated on the San Francisco bay for six decades. In 1906, she ferried victims of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, operating night and day to ferry them to safety. She arrived in San Diego in 1973 and is a popular venue for parties and weddings now.
I was unaware of her history when I boarded the ship, but I was immediately drawn to the upstairs gallery, where all I wanted to do was sit and take in her beauty. The energy aboard is calm, peaceful, and beautiful. She felt like home to me, something that took me by surprise.
As Nicole and I sat up in the passenger gallery upstairs, I kept spotting someone peeking at me from behind a graceful archway across the ferry. Nicole saw a woman standing there. Video showed a playful light dancing in my camera.
What was most interesting to me, however, was the sensation of home - feeling like I belonged on the ferry. The only other place I've ever noticed this is at Wellington, which was the subject of my first two books. Without getting too much into the history, with Wellington I felt deeply connected to a woman who died there named Nellie Sharp, and I've come to believe I was her in a past life. What's interesting is Nellie was present in San Francisco in 1906 for the earthquake and fire, leading me to wonder whether she was one of the many who rode the steam ferry Berkeley to safety. I have no way of knowing or proving it, but the connection is an interesting one to say the least.
The Berkeley is part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego's permanent exhibit. She is undergoing some restoration work right now, but remains accessible. Cost is $18 for all of the boats and ships at the museum, and it's well worth a visit for the Berkeley alone. Don't forget to check out the Russian submarine and the Surprise, which was the ship in Master and Commander. They're all included in museum costs. Wear good shoes - you'll be going up and down ladders and stairs a lot.
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach
The RMS Queen Mary has a long and storied history as an ocean liner carrying the rich and famous including Winston Churchill, a troop transport during the war, and now as a luxury hotel that sits on the pier at Long Beach, California. My friend Nicole Strickland has written extensively about her history and hauntings, and she was kind enough to share the Queen Mary with us.
She is a beautiful ship with many interesting areas. I had numerous impressions and experiences aboard the ship. The ship houses many museum exhibits near the engine room, and as we approached this area I felt deep sadness and actually started crying. In the engine room, a forward watertight door I am assured is never open stood open, and we entered a small area in the deepest recesses of the ship. There, we encountered something that I felt physically push me backwards. It turns out this is the area behind watertight door 13 where a crew member was found crushed to death.
In one of the engine rooms (pictured), I actually saw a man's head pop out from behind the piece of equipment pictured in the foreground of the image to the left. Of course, nobody was there. In the third class lounge (now equipped as an event space), I felt deeply disoriented. And all over the ship, I felt waves of varying emotions that were difficult to explain. I'd say she definitely has a ton of energy.
The ship is reasonably priced for a stay; we stayed in the Queen Mary Suite, which was huge and comfortable. You can go up to the Promenade deck to dine at one of the ship's restaurants or bars, and cost to enter exhibits is reasonable, as well. It's worth a visit if you're in Long Beach, if for nothing else than the history and beauty of the ship. There's a reasonable fee for parking.
Battleship USS Iowa, Los Angeles
A short but terrifying drive away from the Queen Mary is the Battleship USS Iowa, commissioned in 1943 and now docked as a Naval museum.
The battleship was involved in WWII, the Korean War, and it continued operation as a naval vessel in the Cold War and beyond. FDR famously traveled on the battleship to cross the Atlantic in 1943.
In 1989, the Number Two 16 inch gun turret exploded, killing 47. There remains controversy over the findings of the Navy's investigation into the incident.
Like many decommissioned ships, the USS Iowa has reports of hauntings, particularly associated with that explosion. Many report seeing sailors in dress blues aboard the ship.
Jim was really curious about what I'd experience aboard the Iowa, particularly given the mystery surrounding the Number Two 16-inch turret. Honestly, I didn't feel much there, but when we entered the ship's museum at the end of the tour, it had a room with artifacts from the explosion. It was there I felt a surge of energy, as well as deep sadness and the urge to cry. Jim felt it as well. I stood in the room for a few minutes before I exited to another part of the museum. However, as I stood in another part of the museum, I felt the pull back to that room and heard someone say in my ear, "Come back. I need you to hear my story."
I went back into the room with the artifacts from the explosion again, and after a wave of sadness, a man's voice told me this. "My name is John. I was here, and then I was gone. I don't understand what happened to me. One minute I was here. Then, I wasn't." There were three men named John listed as fatalities in that incident. I tried to get more information, but that was all I kept hearing; "I was here and then I was gone."
As a piece of naval history, the battleship USS Iowa is fascinating. The tour is self-guided, although there are a ton of docents and veterans aboard to answer any and all questions. There are many areas of the ship you cannot access, but in the museum are multiple photos of those areas you can look at. Ticket prices are about $20. One nice touch is that they announce veterans who come aboard over the loudspeakers, a nice bit of respect paid to those who serve.
We didn't set out to take a haunted Southern California tour, but in our travels we came across many locations with haunted history. I'd heard of many before our trip and enjoyed exploring their history and feeling their energy. I'd recommend visiting each if you happen to be in the area. They are all well worth the cost of admission. Parking is reasonably priced.
These are Tibetan singing bowls made by the Shakya Clan of the Kathmadu Valley in Nepal nearly 400 years apart. One is from the 17th century and one is modern. The Shakya Clan has been making singing bowls for over 2000 years - longer than any other family in Nepal.
The bowls are made of bell metal bronze. The older bowl - on the right - plays in the note of A for the third eye chakra while the modern bowl - on the left - plays the note of D for the sacral chakra.
It takes four members of the clan up to 40 hours to make smaller bowls and up to 1,200 hours to make larger bowls. As they hammer the bowl, they chant sacred mantras to infuse the bowls with energy. They never know what note the bowl will sound until it reveals itself when it is complete.
I found the bowls in a little shop in Old Town San Diego called Gum Saan Land of the Golden Mountain. The owner, Casey, is a sound healer who is passionate about his work. He travels to Nepal to hand select items for his shop, including each of the bowls. I saw video of modern bowls being made by the clan - and it is amazing.
If you happen to be in Old Town San Diego, I highly recommend stopping to see Casey at Land of the Golden Mountain and seeing all the treasures he brings back. He is knowledgable and passionate about what he does.
Image by KatinkavomWolfenmond from Pixabay
Sit or lie comfortably. Close your eyes and breathe deeply; in through your nose, out through your mouth.
As you focus on your breathing, notice the air you are breathing is light. Visualize breathing golden or white light deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
As you breathe in the light, see it traveling through your nasal passages and into your lungs, filling your lungs and chest with light.
Now, move your focus to your crown chakra, just above the top of your head. Notice your crown chakra open, and feel white light pouring in through your crown chakra, swirling down through your third eye chakra, and filling your entire head. If you were to open your eyes or your mouth right now, light would stream from them and fill the space around you. Visualizing looking at and listening to the world through your new eyes and ears of light, and notice how everything you see and hear is light forming the sights, colors, shapes, and sounds you recognize in your everyday life.
See yourself opening your mouth and light streaming out. Know that as you speak, everything you say is of the light and filled with light. Everything you place in your mouth; everything you drink, chew, and swallow is light that nourishes and fills your entire body.
As the light fills and streams from your head in all directions, notice now it is flowing downward, filling your throat and passing easily through your throat chakra. Light fills your vocal chords and carries on your voice as you speak, as you sing, as you sigh.
The light continues downward now, traveling into your shoulders. Notice the light stream down both arms, through your elbows, into your forearms, then into your hand and fingers. The light streams from your hands and fingers. With every movement of your upper extremities, you emit light; it flows from you gracefully and easily, filling the space around you. As you lift your hands, as you touch objects around you, not only are you emitting light, but everything you touch, everything you feel, and everything you tap or stroke is light, as well.
Return your attention to your shoulders, and notice the light stream down through your shoulders into your chest and upper back. The light flows into your heart and fills it. Now, as your heart beats, it pushes the light through every blood vessel in your body. The light is circulating through your veins now.
Notice as the light moves downward from your heart, flowing easily through your heart chakra and into your ribcage, down through your solar plexus chakra and into your abdomen. It fills your abdominal cavity, moving easily through your solar plexus chakra and through your sacral chakra, filling your entire torso and expanding down to and through your root chakra.
Notice the light move into your buttocks, hips, and thighs now, moving easily down through your knees, into your lower legs, ankles, feet, and toes. It streams from the bottom of your feet into the earth and out from your toes into the universe. Every cell of your body is light now; it gives light and it receives light.
Become aware of your environment. The sounds, the smells, the feel of whatever you are sitting or lying on. Notice that these, too are light. As you move, you are light, moving through light, breathing light, touching light, being light.
When you are ready, return your attention to your breathing now. Notice as you breathe in, and as you breathe out the light flows freely to you, from you, and through you. When you are ready, open your eyes and walk in the world as light.
Music: "Meditation Impromptu 03" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Seeing the World with New Eyes
In Nia we have a concept called "beginner's mind." Essentially, it means approaching something you already know as if you know nothing, and it's a way to enhance your practice, your experience, and your learning.
Beginner's mind isn't a new concept. In fact, it's an archetypal energy represented across cultures and systems of symbolism: In the tarot it's represented with the 0 major arcana card, The Fool; in Jungian archetypes, it's The Innocent; and in I Ching, it's represented by the #4 hexagram Meng, which may be translated as Youthful Folly or Inexperience.
This archetype is highly represented in symbolic philosophical systems for a reason: It offers a way to view the world with new, fresh eyes, and it suggests an opening of the mind so new, creative thinking can find its way in. In all symbolic systems, this archetype represents the unlimited potential that lies before us when we enter beginner's mind.
It's easy to get stuck in fixed patterns of thoughts and beliefs about the world around us. We are so accustomed to seeing the world one way that our mind closes off to the possibility there is another. In fact, scientific studies have shown that when we are focused on one thing and a change is made right in front of us, about 50 percent of the people studied actually fail to notice the change. When referring to visual phenomena, this is known as "change blindness," but it can happen not only visually, but when we are focused on fixed perceptions and beliefs, as well. Other studies show that people with deeply held beliefs (such as political, philosophical, or spiritual beliefs) will actually dig more deeply into their stance when presented with evidence the opposite is actually true. It's how we deal with cognitive dissonance - by rooting more firmly into what we think we know, regardless of how much evidence we are presented to the opposite. There's a great book about this topic called Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) that really delves into this phenomena; I highly recommend it.
The tendency of the human mind to get stuck into one pattern of thought and perception keeps us from truly exploring the world in which we live. Our beliefs and perceptions are so powerful and strong they create our reality. For example, if someone believes they are sick and focuses on that thought long enough and hard enough, eventually their body follows suit because the power of the belief in illness brings about the physical state that matches self-perception. This is the partial basis behind the Law of Attraction; what we believe and what we focus our attention on becomes our reality.
That's why it's so important to tap into the archetypal energy of The Innocent, The Fool, Beginner's Mind. When we see things with fresh and innocent eyes, we drop our preconceived notions, and the world around us just may surprise us. Being in beginner's mind enhances our experience. It allows us to fully experience the beauty around us and opens us to new possibilities. Someone we thought was a jerk may, in fact, be lovely. Something we thought was boring may be fascinating. Something we thought we didn't like might turn out to be wonderful. We might learn something new about a subject we thought we already knew. And, we can open up to new ideas that can change our lives and possibly change the world.
One of the best ways to step into beginner's mind is to be in the moment and allow. Look at the world around you, even if it's something familiar you've seen thousands of times, and try and spot something new about it. Hear with your heart when you engage with others. Reach out with your soul as you journey through life. Allow for the possibility of fresh, new ideas, feelings, relationships, and thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking the same old thing, stop and ask yourself, "Is that true? How can I possibly know it's true? Could something else be truer?"
I encourage you to engage with the world as The Innocent. See it with fresh new eyes in every moment, and your life will instantly change.
Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay