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Tibetan Singing Bowls appear to be a modern invention
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 19, 2019 10:03AM

Tripping On Good Vibrations: Cultural Commodification and Tibetan Singing Bowls

[savageminds.org]

Himalyan Pink Salt - turns out a lot of it is mined in Pakistan, far from the Himalayas.

Is Pink Salt Good For You?

[tonic.vice.com]

6 Reasons to End Your Love Affair with Himalayan Rock Salt

[www.1millionwomen.com.au]

Myth or Fact: The Truth About Himalayan Pink Salt Revealed


[medium.com]

Goji Berries - Chinese Wolfberry

[forum.culteducation.com]

and

[www.google.com]

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 19, 2019 10:08AM

One person's well researched assessment of singing bowls.

Quote


[soundhealingforum.discussion.community]
Posted Jan 05, 2016 #1

Singing Bowls - Separating Truth from Myth


“We have come to an age where it is very hard to know which is truth
and which is deceit” - Bangambiki Habyarimana

When we survey the sound instruments used in today’s Sound Therapy practices or sacred sound programs no one instrument has overwhelming myth associated with them as the Himalayan Singing Bowls. What I am primarily focused on here, is what are they ‘actually’. Sure, many of us in the Sound Therapy community have experienced them with profound awareness. They have become a very popular instrument in the therapeutic art of Sound for many.

My journey into the world of Singing Bowls began in 1973 long before the term ‘sound healing’ became popular, and probably before many of you reading this were born. At that time, there was only about a half a dozen westerners involved with Singing Bowls, the most notable being Frank Perry of the UK. But I do not want to leave out the contributions in the early years of Nancy Hennings, Henry Wolff, Karma Moffatt, and Dr. Alain Presenser in bringing awareness about them.

I have now spent over 4 decades exploring them, including living in Nepal and running field studies on the ground in the Himalayas. I know or have at least met, nearly everyone involved in the ‘trade’ of Singing Bowls in Nepal, and some in India as well. The range of this exploration includes hundreds of interviews with the monastic community, watching them being made, witnessing healing rituals using them by shamans and Bönpo medical Lamas, surveying collections both Eastern and Western, and more. I think it would be ‘fair’ to say I’ve done some true work in this area.

With all do respect to everyone involved, from people playing them, selling them, using them in a Sound Therapy practice, teaching about them, etc. I want to offer some of my thoughts on what they are, and are not, from my research.

They are not made from a sacred 7 planetary alloy which proliferates the internet and some books. This information seems to have arisen originally out of a treatise written by Olympiodorus an Egyptian, written in Greek. Who by the way, never traveled to the Himalayas that we know of, nor does he mention ‘anything’ about Tibet or Asia at all in his writings.

The 7 metals (as well as the 7 flowers, the 7 perfumes, etc) is something tossed about in Mid-eastern alchemy circles (and appears in other European alchemy writings), also unrelated to Asia, that has become part of the ’story’. One only needs to reference ‘De Re Metallica’ by Georgius Agricola (1556AD) to understand how this information proliferated early thoughts regarding planetary/metal relationships in the West.

Singing Bowls are bronze, 98-99% bronze with up to 14 trace elements making up that other 1-2%. I know this from numerous metallurgical analysis’s and from watching them add the raw material to the ‘ghuli pot’ in the Himalayas firsthand. The process that is used today is more refined than say a few hundred years ago. Copper and Tin were in a unrefined form (containing many trace minerals) in the past, and the Himalayas contain at least 3 forms of Copper, in which one is far more resonant than the others.

It is known among academics that have studied this, and is confirmed in at least 2 Tibetan texts, that drinking cups, plates, and cooking pots made from a metal alloy similar to what a Singing Bowl is made of, has certain medical properties and ‘metaphysical potential.’

I remember a short interview I conducted with Ter Ellingson, PhD professor of Music, Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington over twenty years ago. He was conducting field research in Nepal at around the same time I was in the early 1970’s. He recalls seeing Singing Bowls being used in the early beer (chang) stalls in Kathmandu, but never for anything else. I remember thinking that the esteemed professor sees them as an interesting beer stein.

But there are hundreds of different types and styles of them, used by the Himalayan cultures even today. I’ve seen them being used in medicine, astrology, divination, and in rare cases within the dZogchen school for meditation. Many of the uses you see for them in the West, is simply western in design and not eastern at all.

My research suggests that they originated around the Himalayas, and quite possibly in the Zagros Mountains (a theory I am now exploring). Evidence suggests that the metal-smiths of the northern Kunlun mountains (Kham) could have been involved in the early production as well. Keep in mind that 3 things are very important in their production outside of expertise - raw material. You need access to Copper, Tin, and wood to make charcoal for the furnace. Just for the record, Tibet has very little Tin reserves. The Tibetan Bönpo scholar Samten G. Karmay in conversation with me, agrees that the bowls did not originate in Tibet, and most likely in around Assam. Near Assam, to the east and north, was a Kingdom known as Jang. In early historical texts this area was known as the Land of Women, and in Scythian history, they once battled an entire army composed of women in armor.

So we know that there was an advanced metal culture in this area of the world. But the primary area for Singing Bowls is Nepal (India is second) and the surrounding Himalayan area historically.

I want to point out, that the culture of the Singing Bowls stretches from Afghanistan to Burma primarily, but Vietnam has a type of Singing Bowl, and small groups of metal making communities exist in Ladakh, Kashmir, the Kushan Valley in Iran for example. Bowls similar to the Singing Bowl exist in China, Korea, and Japan, and Singing Bowls have been unearthed in archaeological digs in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Today when you visit Nepal, they are everywhere and everyone claims to be involved in some way with them, even monasteries are selling them and claiming some form of connection to them. You visit UNESCO cultural sites and find ‘experts’ claiming that they are from a singing bowl lineage or they were trained in Tibet. This is all just nonsense, a selling tactic in a very poor country, it’s just business. But finding authentic sources (which do exist) versus dubious sources (overwhelming) in Nepal can be quite challenging for newcomers.

The ’stories’ about Singing Bowls are too numerous to count, with ‘possibly’ maybe 1% having some semblance of truth to it. The authentic stories as well as the ‘folktales’ are far more interesting and entertaining than a lot of the fiction that permeates the web, including the pseudoscience. Westerners are the most guilty, but the Nepalese do nothing to refute these fictional accounts because they have families to feed.

In the early 1970’s I visited over 100 monasteries in Nepal (living for a time at 3,867 meters at a Nyingma Gompa near Mt. Everest) and found no Singing Bowls, there was not one shop selling them in Kathmandu at that time, today there’s probably 1,000 shops selling them throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Over the past decade, economic issues in Nepal has made it difficult to import raw material’s, henceforth the majority of Singing Bowls found in the Nepalese marketplace today, are made in India and brought to Nepal.

This is a subject that I could talk about for days, and there are so many aspects to them that are of great interest to the Sound Therapy community. But this nonsense about them being Tibetan, or made of some secret alloy of 7 planets, monks chanting as they are made, or each hammer mark represents 108 recited mantras; whale bowls, dolphin bowls, moon bowls, lotus bowls, water bowls, void bowls, mani bowls, etc., is purely western in design (to sell them or explain them, the Nepalese have now adopted these words) stretching from the pretentious to falsification to deception. You can either be part of this information cycle or not. But I really believe that people want to be more focused on truth than myth.

In summary, a Singing Bowl is made from Bronze, and is technically a bell because there is ‘less’ internal movement in the metal in the middle, rather than the edge (exception is Feng Gongs); so in theory they are a standing bell. Singing bowls however, find a general use as a resting Gong in Temples throughout Asia.

They did not solely originate in Tibet, and evidence suggests very few were actually made in Tibet; so a Tibetan Singing Bowl only denotes a name, and not a country of origination.

Their use as a sound therapy tool originated in the West, which has been adopted in the Himalayan regions in order to sell them to uninformed buyers.

Did the Himalayan region use them for other purposes than tableware? Research and personal observation in numerous field studies in Nepal conducted over 4 decades, found many uses in the areas of divination, astrology, medicine rituals and application, ceremonies by shamans, Nagpa priests, and a small number of Lamas within the Bön and Nyingma traditions.

They were not made in monasteries by monks or Lamas, but by metal-smiths in the ‘blacksmith’ castes of the Himalayas. Inscriptions found on Singing Bowls, are not mantras, but generally a family name in most cases.

Are they useful in Sound Therapy, yes in many cases and more so by people trained, and educated in Music or Sound Therapy.

The only book that I will recommend on this subject is Himalayan Sound Revelations by Frank Perry

For additional reference see: page 240 in Dreamworld Tibet: Western Illusions by Martin Brauen
For additional insight refer to: Tibet Chic: Myth, Marketing, Spirituality and Politics in Musical Representations of Tibet in the United States by Darinda Congdon

© 2016 Mitch Nur, PhD
[www.9ways.org]
9waysacademia@gmail.com
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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: alonzo ()
Date: February 25, 2019 09:54PM

For anyone interested in clear understanding and healing the below site and it's corresponding pages is all the help you need. If you follow it through you'll find the answers and understanding that you seek.

{Moderator note: Don't promote a spiritual healing website here]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2019 11:18PM by rrmoderator.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: ime223 ()
Date: March 24, 2019 02:29AM

First forgive me for my bad English. I hope that you will understand me. I was always very shy guy, very self critical and anxious. At the end of high school i started smoking and drinking alcohol and went into slight depression. To let go of depression i found on net some practices like Law of Attraction and Eckhart Tolle teachings. I already felt slight guilt because of destroying my body with cigarettes and because i was always a good guy and now i was doing some unmoral acts. After some experiences with Law of Attraction it seemed to be true for me. But now problem was my fear of lung cancer and my negative way of thinking so i became very fearful that i will attract cancer to myself and i completely adopted that "magical" way of thinking like if i think bad thoughts i will experience bad things. It caused me to deny my negative emotions and created HELL for me. I started to supress my thoughts. To find relief from that suffering i tried to meditate but it only worsened my condition. And then after reading Power of Now i felt very heavy guilt because when he talks about ego i understand that ego is myself and i started to see myself in negative way ( very heavy guilt ). So now i feel very guilty for having a ego, i hate myself i suffer alot. Intelectualy i understand that i cannot be guilty for being myself but my mind is contantly producing heavy negative thougths like ego is illusion, you are illusion, everything is unreal, self does not exist ( very painful feeling after that thought ). I started to deny and reject myself and feel completely brainwashed. I wish i never heard of E.T. PLEASE HELP ME. I WANT ECKHART TOLLE OUT OF MY MIND I WANT LOA OUT AND TO RETURN TO MY NORMLAL RATIONAL THINKING. I am suffering for 5 years it destroyed my young years ( 20 - 25 ) of life . I lost all my friends because i lost my personality out of heavy suffering. I could not smile nor cry. Only heavy guilt and negative thoughts form E.T.
Imagine 5 years of pure suffering everyday, unable to sleep, unable to enyoj life like before. WHat i can do. I went to psyhiyatrist many times but he could not help me. i refused to take meds.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: March 24, 2019 03:49AM

Hi Ime223,

You are good as you are. Smoking or not, you're good. "Having an ego" or not, you're good. And everyone has an ego. Even Eckhart Tolle has an ego. He still responds to his name. He still knows in which body's mouth he needs to put the food he eats. He may have had a shift of perspective that allows him to recognize that he is not only the body-mind, but that's all. Enlightenment is recognizing that the body-mind is itself perceived as form by a formless awareness. Since that awareness is formless it can't change. Since it can't change it can't be affected by anything, so it's free from everything.

That's all enlightenment is, it's a recognition of a deeper dimension to the self. Enlightenment is ordinary, nothing spectacular. Spiritual teachers are salesmen and enlightenment is their product. So like any salesman, they hype up their product. That's just ordinary marketing, like the commercials on tv.

Enlightenment is not a solution to any problem. It's not something you need. It's not something you need to achieve. It's not bad in any way to not be enlightened. It's certainly nothing to feel guilty about.

And why the hell do you feel guilty for smoking? It's your body, you can consume whatever you want. That's your free choice. It's not immoral. If you prefer the health benefit of not smoking, try not to smoke. But don't feel guilty about smoking.

What Eckhart Tolle writes about enlightenment is not a prescription but a description. He can't tell you how to become enlightened because he doesn't know. It just happened to him, sort of by accident. He hasn't been trained in a spiritual tradition, like Zen Buddhism for example. In a tradition like that, you study scripture and do meditation practice for tens of years. A teacher in such a tradition knows how to teach students a path that can possibly lead to enlightenment, because it's a systematic path that he has learned and that can be taught. Eckhart Tolle doesn't know anything about a path or a system. That is not in his experience. So he can't teach you how to become enlightened. He can only describe what enlightenment is like for him. And like I said, he hypes it up, like so many enlightenment salesmen.

Just remember, whenever you notice that you make yourself feel bad with your thinking: don't be so hard on yourself. Lovingly accept yourself and all of the thoughts and feelings that arise.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: March 26, 2019 04:38PM

A bit more about the misconceptions that Eckhart Tolle spreads:

Tolle used to suffer from severe anxiety and depression. One day he had a moment of especially deep crisis. He was ready to end his life. He kept thinking (I'm paraphrasing): "I can't live with myself anymore." But then, he suddenly wondered: "Who is this self that can't live with myself? Do I have two selves?" For the first time he questioned his identification with the psychological self, and saw that this self is just a story in the mind. That psychological self-story is itself observed by formless awareness which has no story whatsoever. He recognized that the latter is the "real" self.

Somehow this insight was so deep that he managed to let go of most of his identification with the psychological self all at once. The fact that his psychological crisis was so intense may have been what made this possible. In most people on the spiritual path, this process takes a long time (the process of seeing through the relatively illusory nature of the psychological self and recognizing the underlying formless awareness).

When identification with the psychological self has been let go of to a large extent, this results in a significant reduction in thoughts revolving around this psychological self. These thoughts probably comprise around 80% of an ordinary person's thoughts.

So after his shift, Eckhart Tolle noticed that he had much less thoughts than before. His mind had become much more peaceful.

Tolle had no training or education about the process of spiritual awakening. It just happened to him, and it happened so fast that he wasn't able to discern or understand much about what actually happened. He mainly just noticed that he stopped thinking so much and that he felt peaceful.

Tolle was already a language teacher when he was 19 years old. So he had an inclination to teach. Naturally he tried to teach others about his amazing shift from a tormented mind to a peaceful mind. But how could he teach this? All he really knew was that he now had less thoughts and was more peaceful. So he concluded that in order to become peaceful, you have to think less. He concluded that the mind is the source of trouble.

This is a misguided teaching. The reduction in thought was an effect, not the cause of his shift. It's like teaching a starving child that if you want to stop being hungry, you have to poop more :)

So don't put to much value in anything Eckhart Tolle says, especially when you notice that it makes you more confused.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: swissalyst ()
Date: March 26, 2019 10:57PM

See also the previous threads, e.g. “Eckhart Tolle -- Comments From Someone who Knows Him”:

[forum.culteducation.com]

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 27, 2019 05:16AM

These days person does not become a high profile internet ubiquitous spiritual teacher by accident.

The person has to *want* this.

Two, there are vast numbers of teachers out on the internet and in the body, all competing for followers.

Echart Tolle had to overcome all this competition to get where he is today.

To get where ET is, you need ego, and you need a large team of people skilled in marketing, PR and SEO...search engine optimization.

SEO is the stuff that brings your material to the front page of Google results by pulling in as many different
online search strategies as possible.

When someone is as famous as ET this by itself is no evidence of realization.

Its evidence the person has mastered marketing PR and SEO.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: March 27, 2019 05:54AM

Quote
corboy
To get where ET is, you need ego, and you need a large team of people skilled in marketing, PR and SEO...search engine optimization.

Sure, everyone has an ego, don't they? Doesn't necessarily mean their actions are egotistical. Tolle may also be driven (at least in part) by a belief that his message will change the world for the better. That's at least the impression I get from his books. If his message really does change the world for the better is another matter. The answer I think is yes and no. My father for example had a dislike for anything involving the words "meditation" or "awareness." He refused to look inwards and observe that there exists awareness in between and behind thoughts. This whole dimension of himself had always eluded him, until he started watching videos of Tolle. Tolle's unthreatening and unglamorous demeanor and appearance and his way of explaining things created an opening for my father. But obviously Tolle has a less beneficial effect on some other people, like ime223.

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