Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.
All over the world, people who were or still are in contact with the nature of reality, always used sound to manifest what they desired, in healing, in spiritual voyages, in making contact with other beings. It is well known that shamans have been using songs, mantras, and guttural sounds in their rituals.
When I became interested in singing bowls, I went for a group session at a shamanic event at the Center for Relaxation and Body Work in Mechelen, a city in Belgium. Before this I had played the bowls exclusively for myself, so this was something new. Two women, Martine Goossens and Liliane Boels, played singing bowls, accented by a variety of drums and many unusual musical instruments. It was a primitive but powerful sound experience, truly archaic in character. The event had an empowering effect on me. The whole room was covered in mattresses, and we were all lying down, relaxing and drifting away on the multitude of sounds. Turning into my inner world I experienced impressions of demons, awesome beings connected to the “music”. These demons were the kind of beings present in Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism internal “demons” such as these are considered to be latent fears. The only way to overcome them is to bring them into the forefront of consciousness. It is for this reason the Tibetans paint demons on the walls of their temples, to remind the monks to face their own fears. The uninitiated find them frightful, and if encountered in the inner world, they run away from them. Looking at the paintings serves as an exercise, teaching one the fear resides in oneself, and that one has to face one’s own fears. These ‘Buddhist’ demons are also real beings, very powerful, but not malevolent. When they appear they can choose to take a very beautiful form or a very frightening form, depending on the consciousness of the person. When they appear in their beautiful form, they can grant blessings or gifts. When they appear in frightening form, they reflect one’s own fears, and give you the opportunity to face and transform these fears.