Friday, June 28, 2013

Mind Body Spirit Artist Series - Christina Saj

Artists express their spiritual and religious beliefs through their work in a number of 
ways, but probably one of the oldest and most traditional is through the use of religious icons.  
Christina Saj is an established artist who not only carries forth this 
sacred tradition through her work, but she is also someone very much of her
 own time - giving her iconic art a contemporary spin as well.  
I hope you will find her interview as informative and interesting as I did!

                                                                                                        ~ diane fergurson


Birth of an Angel, mixed media

MBS: Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you get started making art?

Christina
:  Painting is my destiny. I have always enjoyed making things and had a bent for it. I formally declared my intention in first grade having entered a poster contest about "what I want to be when I grow up". Even then, I was certain I wanted to be an artist. Our entries were hung in the window of a local department store and  I won first place. It was the first acknowledgement of my interest and the sense that I had talent. As a kid, I took elective classes whenever I could and was determined to start working in oils by high school. I explored a a variety of media, but was always drawn to painting.

 
My ethnic background is Ukrainian and I was lucky enough to know several working artists growing up and it seemed to me to be a viable occupation. Although a good student, by the time I went to college I was looking forward to being able to focus more on artistic pursuits. I went on to receive a BA in Fine Art from Sarah Lawrence College, followed immediately by an MFA from Bard College. While still in college I had an apprenticeship with a noted Ukrainian Iconographer Petro Cholodny the Younger in hopes of mastering egg tempera and the precepts of icon painting. These lessons stayed with me. Though I went on to pursue contemporary renderings my work is deeply rooted in the familiar tradition which had become part of my vocabulary. 


MBS:  It's interesting that you said you had the opportunity to be around working artists growing up.  That can make such a huge difference in the choices one makes to pursue an artistic life.  What are some of your thoughts about that? What did you take away from that experience?

Christina:  Being around working artists makes it real, viable and possible to imagine a life that is built around the serious pursuit of creative efforts.  It's not about that imagined, romanticized ideal of what we think it should look like. They were normal people, not all rich or famous, but contributing and realizing their talents.  I was also lucky to be part of a community that respected artists and supported them. Artists were just part of the landscape with the gamut of all people who make up the community at large -- it was just another job description.

I got to see them function, and saw the mechanics, which were often messy, all encompassing and not necessarily idyllic. Artists create in the middle of it all... it doesn't stop or start like a 9-5, its always there.  It can be all consuming and keep you up at night or if you're blocked keep you indefinitely at bay. You have to have the ability to make work regardless of the resources, for making good art and good money don't always follow, though they can. By necessity artists often had creative solutions to issues of "employment" or economic stability. I saw that artists have to have a glimmer of hope an idealism I suppose. But most of all you learned that artists can make magic anywhere, without pristine beautiful studios and all the perfect trappings that one imagines in the ivory tower. In their little corner of the world, sparks can fly. Making good art is about ideas, mastering skills, and practice! practice! practice!  Being an artist isn't about where you live, having time, or who your friends are (though a community  is necessary for support and dialogue). It's about doing it every day, expanding on ideas -- and hopefully making things that resonate and have meaning.

 
I accept that creating is part of my life and always will be, in one form or another. I trust my gut. I realized early, that I had a vision which was compelling and felt worthy of focus and letting go of expectations to make room to do serious work.  Twenty years in, I still just try to embrace the chaos and savor the joy of the creative act itself. I try to channel it so that I can be productive, content and continue to grow while managing all the pitfalls and demands of a full life. 


Archangel Gabriel, egg tempra
MBS:  For those who may not be familiar with it, what is Iconic Art?   

Christina Byzantine icons are sacred paintings of holy figures often depicting Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, or biblical scenes. They are devotional paintings used in prayer and often adorning eastern catholic and orthodox churches. They are rich with symbolism and there is a long tradition of rigid precepts making they decipherable to anyone who has been exposed to their vocabulary. Figures were always depicted the same way and inscribed with initials, to make them recognizable. Their purpose was didactic, as they were used in the early church to illustrate the narratives of the bible. The general population, then often illiterate, could remember the stories as they explored the images painted throughout the walls and ceilings of the churches. Small panel icons were used in personal devotion as a means communing with God.

MBS:  What do you find about Iconography/Iconic Art that is so compelling or interesting that you have made it the focal point of so much of your work?
 
Christina
:  I adore abstraction. I grew up with a deep appreciation for the modernists and relate to their breakthroughs in non traditional representation. But, I realized that often it helps to have a point of entry for a painting... and in the end as an artist I need it to communicate something fairly specific. It seemed only natural to look to stories. Mythology and folklore with their mystical qualities seemed like rich areas to explore that lent themselves to bright color and fantastic depictions and these are areas I still explore. Icons were a natural for me because they were part of my experience. They have a rigid structure for telling stories which I could reinvent and make my own and yet work within the confines of a vocabulary people could understand. This offered another layer of appreciation and meaning, for in an icon it's all about symbolism.

 
There is also actually a tight correlation between abstraction and the way figures are represented in icons. Because the figures in icons are not of this world, they weren't held to the same expectations. Perspective was distorted and there was a sense that things were not supposed to be of this world. Finally, the way they were actually executed was by building up flat planes of color which meant that the approach was really based on the principles explored by the modernists, with whom I felt a kindred spirit.

 
I also think that in order to be good at something, you have to really know it, study it, and keep at it. Today art is full of casual appropriation. We live in a world where it's easy to cut and past "loaded" images, one that have ideas associated with them...but more often than not artists are not necessarily versed in tradition and technique. It's easy to make something look clean and finished without lifting a brush or knowing how to physically MAKE something.


Artists traditionally make things. In this digital age, I feel even more compelled to do so. I feel it is my obligation to know my tactile craft, to practice expertise and continue a tradition so it is not entirely lost.  Though as is evidenced by my work, I believe in evolution and change to reflect the age you live in. But significant contributions don't usually just happen. You work at them. 


Guardian Angel, mixed media on panel
MBS:  Oh I think that's a terrific point about a lot of artists' not actually having or utilizing the physical ability to MAKE something.  And when they do, it tends to be craft oriented, not really art.  Not that there is anything wrong with crafting, but still...  Speaking of making things, can you tell us a little bit about your process when you make your artwork?  For example what materials do you use?  What sizes do you work in etc?

 Christina:  In learning to paint icons I studied egg tempera. When I do more traditional pieces for devotional use, in egg tempera I build my own boards, make my own gesso, lay gold leaf and make my own paint from pure pigments. So it's involved and relatively speaking slow. It can take a week or two to prepare the substrates alone. Egg tempera is then built up. It's a fairly thin paint, opacity depends entirely on the individual pigment, so often a fair amount of layering is required. Because you make your own paints, you can mix them differently than commercial pigments and there are specific steps in preparing grounds for gilding.
 
As citizen of the 21st century and with a natural curiosity about materials, I have worked on glass, metal, wood -- and enjoy finding interesting ways to arrive at traditional elements such as gilded surfaces through use of a variety of different metallic surfaces. I started working in oils in high school and have worked on a wide range of surfaces to achieve different effect. My scale is often dictated by project itself. When working on an installation in a worship space, the needs are usually for large scale pieces. I've often found creative ways to provide work which is developed with a specific space in mind. Recent projects have often been driven by a request or invitation to a particular venue, but I continue to explore things of keen interest to me often initially on a small scale which I really enjoy. There is something delicious about working on an intimate and personal scale.

 
Although I don't want to digress, I do recognize that with the commercialization of prefab art supplies there is a tendency to go with easy out of the box... one of those. I do see that the proliferation of "craft" materials with projects in mind and defined end goals really don't teach people how to be truly creative or to think independently. So much of being an artist is about finding a voice and developing basic skills which lead you toward a vision. The time it takes to master these things affords you time to explore and think and really understand what you are doing. It's not just the end product that is the driver, though making gesso and doing preparatory work such as building boards isn't always compelling work there is something about the act of preparing for the mark making which makes the act more sacred.


St. George and the Dragon, egg tempra
MBS:  What are you currently working on?  Do you work in a series?  Any particular shows or
commissions on the horizon?

  
Christina:  I tend to work on a number of things at once... bouncing in and out between several pieces. I have been exploring some new media recently. So I've been doing some experimental works that have really just afforded me a place to just play. With 20 years in, a recognizable style, and a personal vocabulary it's easy to settle in. I've done half a dozen solo shows out of state in the last few years and so I've decided to consciously slow down and to stretch and allow myself room to expand my repertoire and try new things. I am always intrigued with reflective surfaces and have been looking at different ways to achieve that. I have also been allowing myself to do a lot of small studies which stand on their own rather than building towards a larger work. I often do work in series. The parameters of which can be determined by any one of a number of variables, scale, media, shape and/or subject.
 
I show in traditional gallery environments, but also often in liturgical spaces. I have been lucky to have requests from venues to exhibit bodies of work and or to do installations. When in religious venues, they are often tied to the liturgical calendar. I am just getting started on a series on the stations of the cross. I have had repeated requests and am now ready to tackle it. It will be featured next spring. The work surrounding icons is built on research an study of prototypes. I want my reinventions to come from an informed and carefully considered position. I keep books of notes with areas I have intentions to explore, and  sometimes things need to germinate so you can build up to them. I also find ideas come when I'm in the middle of series and working on a project and get ideas I can't get to till I'm ready for the next one.

 
I have been fortunate that in the last couple of years I've had museums approaching me for inclusion in curated exhibits. This winter there will be a show entitled "Sacred Voices" at The Canton Museum in Ohio which shall feature contemporary Christian, Jewish, and Muslim artists who are seeking to express faith through their art. It being done in conjunction with another exhibit at the museum entitled, Illuminating the Word: The St. John's Bible.


Mother of the Sign, oil on panel
MBS:  Since we originally met, you have children.  How has motherhood impacted your life as an artist? Also, what is a typical work day like for you?

Christina
:  Motherhood is a blessing, but also a challenge if you want to do serious independent work. I had a well defined identity as an artist before I had kids. This meant I was actively involved in it when they showed up and couldn't imagine my life any other way. I didn't question my commitment at that point, but I certainly faced the challenges of all working women. Children make your life rich and full, provide insights, joy and shift our perspective as well as providing lots of distraction. They need and want attention. But I try to set realistic goals and work hard.


Right after my daughter was born I was working for a semester as an Artist in Residence at New Brunswick Theological Seminary at Rutgers University and did a temporary 300 square foot installation before she was 8 months old. As a baby she often came with me to the studio and the project was flexible enough that I could do it. Once they start walking it's a different matter. Then you need help. I feel lucky that I can make my own schedule and most of the time be able to be available when my kids need me and found help for when I had to really focus. There are definitely days I struggle, am tired and feel like balance is a real challenge. I try to work around my family's needs, but I consciously carve out time to do projects that are important to me. Exhibition schedules being what they are, we often plan exhibitions long in advance. When my son was born I had several out of state shows that had been scheduled long before his arrival. So I tried to just pace myself.

The early years are a sleepless blurr, but prolific enough. I did six solo shows in the last three years, so where there is a will there is a way. Since the they arrived I have carved out time that I can work every day, hiring someone to take care of them at least for a few hours a day so I could work. I believe in a disciplined approach. I was never one for hanging around waiting for inspiration. This served me well once I had kids. Generally I work in the early part of the day. My daughter is in school now, so I revert to mom most afternoons revisiting my studio and anything left over from earlier in the day in the evening.
 
The prism of youth invites us to rediscover the world and certainly, I have been inspired to do work which will have resonance and meaning for them. I have several pet projects I want to get to which certainly find their roots in my experiences with the kids, still working on fitting it all in, but taking notes for future reference.


Protector
MBS: I see that you are selling some of your work online now.  How has the whole online experience been for you, not just in terms of sales, but networking etc?

Christina
:  The web has leveled the playing field for artists. It is an amazing resource that can serve you well and the whole world is your audience.  I was an early adopter. I have had a website since 1996. There is no question that it has afforded me visibility, increased exposure, and many opportunities which might not have materialized otherwise. It's a great way to stay in touch with other artists, dealers, collectors and just plain old art appreciators.... while pursuing this isolating work in the studio. Selling online means your work is readily available to the general population.  And I think that the tools available today are frankly amazing. It has changed the way we communicate, and given artists, especially folks getting started big advantages. I have forged new relationships and stayed connected because of the net. I certainly try to use them but it's important to remember they are just tools. The message is still key. If you are looking for an audience there is no question that there is one out there... so I think artists should embrace the web not be afraid of it.

 

MBS:  Any advice for those who wish to (seriously) pursue an artistic path?

Christina:  Make the best art you can, push yourself, stick to your guns and stay focused. Relish the creative act itself. That is where the magic is and what it's about at the core.
To "make it" in any sense, you have to work hard, you have to love it, you have to develop a thick skin and not get discouraged. 

 

 thank you Christina!




Christina Saj is a painter who lives and works in NJ. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence and an MFA from Bard College. Early in her career, she mastered the technique of Byzantine Icon painting.  Her contemporary interpretations of icons have been widely exhibited including such venues as the American Bible Society, Union Theological Seminary, The Ukrainian Museum in New York, Museum of Cultural Heritage, Kiev Ukraine, the American Embassy in Qatar as well as at the White House. Her works reside in private and museum collections in the US and abroad.  

You can contact Christina at:  chryssa@artonline.net or visit her shop on Etsy
Her website is at:  www.christinasaj.com





Links to other interviews in the Mind Body Spirit Artist Series.

         

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Healing With Gemstones - Getting to Know Tigers Eye


Welcome to this month’s installment of Healing with Gemstones.  
This month, we will take a look at one my favorite stones, Tigers Eye.

Tigers Eye is an alternate birthstone for June, and is a zodiac star sign for Gemini.


Tigers Eye Origin

Tigers Eye is from the quartz family of chalcedonies.  However, unlike other quartz, this is a banded and layered stone.  In the brown and red stones, the layers are asbestos fibers that form the matrix you see in Tigers Eye.  During volcanic events, the asbestos fibers are replaced with limonite, which is a quartz with iron in it.  In the blue stones, the bands and layers are from silicate fibers banding with crocidolite.  When you move the stone around, you see the layers appear to shimmer and move.  This is called “chatoyancy”.  The term “chatoyant” is actually a combination of the French words for “cat” and “eye”. 

 



Tigers Eye History

Because of the brown, earthen, color of the stone and its ability to shimmer, Roman soldiers looked at the stone as a combination of the Earth and the Sun.  Fusing these two together in one stone, they looked at it as a stone that would make soldiers braver in battle.  As it looked like an eye, they believed it made soldiers all seeing.

Ancient Egyptians, also believing it had connections to the sun, believed it provided the wearer with luck and protection.  They would use it in adornments made for the dead, to help protect them on their journey to the afterlife.

In Ceylon, it was used in charms to ward off evil spirits.  They also used it in abundance spells and rituals, believing it would bring helpful people and material gain to its wearer.  One such ritual was to place several stones around a green candle.  After you light the candle, you visualize that which you want brought to you.


To those who practice Feng Shui, this stone is looked at as providing grounding and balancing both the yin and the yang.



Ancient Healing Properties




Red Tigers Eye is believed to ground you by helping to flush out your excess energies.  






Blue Tigers Eye is believed to help you gain perspective and focus on things more clearly.  This would be a good stone to use for meditation.  You will often find Tigers Eye beads used in prayer beads (malas).

 


Brown/Golden Tigers Eye is believed to help you when seeking clarity or aiding in the development of your intuition.

Overall, Tigers Eye is looked at to clear our mental plane, get us in tune to our thoughts, make them stronger, clearer, to give us a better idea of the things we truly want.  It is looked to to help separate thoughts from feelings, so that you can focus more clearly.  It is believed to help you clear your thinking, lock into the real issues, and charge you with the confidence to tackle the situation.

Because Tigers Eye has a vibration to it, it is often used in conjunction with other stones in healing rituals.  Pair it with other stones to help bring about the desired effect.   If you followed our “Gemstones of the Zodiac” series, you have a good idea as to the healing qualities of other stones, and can match the Tigers Eye with those stones to help achieve those qualities.  








Charging Your Tigers Eye

As this stone has connections to both the earth and the sun, it is recommended that you charge your Tigers Eye stones in the late afternoon sun.  This is because that is the time when the sun starts to move closer to the earth.

It is also recommended that, when using Tigers Eye, you should only use it for about 6 or 7 days at a time, and then stop using it for at least a day.  Using Tigers Eye for too long a continuous time could cause the effects to reverse, and give you the opposite of the desired effect.  Use the intervening day or two off to cleans and purify your stones, and then recharge them in the afternoon sun before their next use.


Tigers Eye Jewelry

As I said earlier, Tigers Eye is one of my favorite stones.  Not only do I have several pieces of it that I wear myself, I also make many pieces with it.  Some are by themselves, some are in conjunction with onyx.  Here are a few of them (the third one uses all three colors of Tigers Eye together):

Onyx and Tigers Eye Flower Necklace
Three Colors of Tigers Eye Necklace

Cleanse and Purify Your Stones


For information on how to cleanse your stones, see this article by Diane Fergurson, published recently on Mind Body Spirit Odyssey.


~ Giani




Articles from our series on Healing With Gemstones of the Zodiac can be found here.






You can read Giani's Tarot reviews in the Review section of this blog.
This is the first article in this wonderful series, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more
 in the upcoming months!  I thank Giani
 for his wonderful continued contributions to Mind Body Spirit Odyssey. 


The beautiful jewelry pictured above can be found in Giani's website and on CraftStar.
                                                                                  
 ~ diane







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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mala Beads for Meditation, Yoga and Beyond

In recent years, mala beads have shown up in many forms of
contemporary popular culture.  Mala beads have appeared in films such
as Eat, Pray, Love, Wanderlust, and television shows such as
Enlightened. Moreover, mala beads have emerged as a popular yoga
accessory, and are worn now by many yogis and yoginis as a fashion
statement of a relaxed lifestyle. Despite this surge in attention to
mala beads in American culture, mala beads are not new nor are they
just a fashion statement. Mala beads have been an important spiritual
accessory since at least the 10th century. Traditionally, mala beads
are used in both Hindu and Buddhist religious practice for counting
mantras or affirmations. Early artistic depictions of deities, monks,
and sages from the East, show mala beads being worn and used during
meditation practice.

Mala beads are a strand of 108, 54, 27, or 21 beads traditionally used
for keeping count of mantras or affirmation. Traditional mala beads
are made from natural materials such as rudraksha seeds, tulsi seeds,
Bodhi seeds, rosewood and yak bone. Mala beads can also be made from
gemstones, and historically gemstone mala beads were reserved for
monks in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Uses of Mala Beads

There are many uses for mala beads.
While some practitioners restrict counting each in and out breath
during a meditation sit, others choose
to wear their mala while practicing yoga. Some people like to coil
their mala at the top of their yoga mat or in their lap while in
seated meditation, and many believe that the mala beads absorb the
energy of their practice. Other people choose to wear their mala as a
mental reminder or their affirmations or spiritual and emotional goals
of their practice. For example, some people will wear a mala bracelet
to remind them to stay present and keep breathing throughout the day.
Some people like to place their mala in a shrine or in a sacred place
in their home. Finally, some people wear a mala bracelet as the
quintessential fashion accessory of the a casual chic and boho fashion
style, and feel that their mala beads are both a statement of
lifestyle as well as a spiritual piece of jewelry.

Benefits of Gemstone Mala Beads

Any type of material can be used for a mala however gemstone mala
beads have the added benefit of holding the metaphysical properties of
the gemstones that they are made from. If you like to use healing
crystals, a gemstone mala is an excellent accessory to add to your
spiritual practice, especially if you meditate or practice yoga. For
example, if you are working on improving your strength and stamina, a
black onyx mala can help focus your attention and mind in this
direction. Black onyx is believed to improve strength, discipline,
stamina, and aid in the regulation of weight gain. If you are working
on increasing your balance, physically, mentally, or emotionally, a
mala made from tiger eye mala beads can help as this gemstone is
believed to improve overall balance. If on the other hand you are
working on chakra clearing and balancing, a mala made from white
tourmaline quartz would be excellent, as this gemstone is believed to
aid in aligning the chakras and centering the auric field.

Choosing a Mala

If you are interested purchasing a mala there are a range of materials
and qualities to choose from. If you want your mala to last a long
time, and you are purchasing a gemstone mala, be sure to purchase
stones that are at least AB grade. The quality of the gemstones will
impact the durability of the piece. It is also important that you
choose a mala strung on premium wire, quality braided thread, or
durable stretch cord. Some malas are strung on low grade cord which
can reduce their durability. Finally, when purchasing a mala check
that the seller has a product guarantee. You may also want to consider
working with a mala maker to select the perfect gemstones and symbolic
guru for a mala designed especially for your practice.

If you have any questions about purchasing a mala please contact the author.



Author Bio

Jacqueline Medalye is the designer and owner of Salt Spring Malas and
Yoga Jewelry. She has been practicing yoga for 10 years and she has
been making beaded jewelry since 1993. After traveling throughout
India she began making malas. She specializes in gemstone mala beads
and custom malas. Jacqueline feels that Salt Spring Malas is her path
of right livelihood given her passion for yoga, beads and jewelry
design.

You can contact Jacqueline through her




A big thanks to Jacqueline Medalye for her very informative article.
We appreciate her contribution to our blog very much and hope we 
will be hearing more from her in the future!



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Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Singing Crystal Bowls - Conversations With Healer Darren Orr


MBS:  One of the things I found rather unique about your classes when I studied with you years ago, is how you incorporated the Crystal Bowls into your sessions. For some of our readers who may not be familiar with them...what are the Crystal Bowls, or Singing Bowls, and how do they assist in healing and meditation?


Darren:  Yes I still use 3 crytsal singing bowls for the 3 Dantiens (Jing, Qi, Shen) at the end of each class. However, over the last couple of years I have expanded their use throughout the class to enhance acupressure, chanting of sacred sounds and the toning of the 5 elements and internal organs. Recently I've incorporated a Native American drum and my 400 yr old antique Tibetan singing bowl to give a complete sound healing for the last 15 minutes of class. People love it!

As the bowls are played the sound spins and swirls in a circular motion around the Mind drawing the energy back into the center of the body, rooting and grounding it. To use a metaphor the sound of the bowls is like a dimmer switch that slowly settles and calms the monkey Mind, allowing it to come to peace. The Mind becomes quiet and "the lights get turned off and the noise of the mind dims". The nervous system switches from sympathetic (fight or flight) to parasympathetic (rest and digest) mode. A calm mind and nervous system creates a healing space for the body to let go of physical, mental/emotional, spiritual blocks and return to homeostasis. This is the point that trapped cellular information is released in the form of memories, experiences, feelings, sensations and seeing of colors and lights. Through this release and peace, the sounds create an access point via stillness to awaken and experience your Shen/Spirit/True Nature.

The crystal singing bowls were initially designed and engineered by computer companies as the environment and habitat to grow the quartz microchips needed to process and relay information. When the bowls dont meet the perfect specifications for the microchips they would be given to and played by an expert who determined the tone and musical note. Today I believe people many manufacture them outside the computer industry.

The quartz crystal singing bowls (vibrational therapy and sound healing) are an amazingly profound and unique treatment modality that I continue to use by themselves and in combination with all my classes, Medical Qi Gong, massage, reiki treatments and meditations to help my clients further enhance their healing and well being. I also use them daily in my own self cultivation practice along with the chanting of seed sounds and sacred mantras to vibrate and resonate my 3 Treasures (Jing/matter, Qi/energy, Shen/spirit).

The bowls are made of 99% quartz crystal and when played resonate a pure tone on the musical scale (do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti,) that reverberates through and balances the DNA, nervous system, endocrine glands, brain, bones, marrow, myo-fascia and internal organs as well as purifies and revitalizes the entire energetic matrix and awakens one's Spirit.

Like the quartz crystal singing bowls our bones, DNA, brain, endocrine glands and myo-fascia also are made up of a quartz crystalline structure. When the bowls are played these physiologic structures in the body become like tuning forks that transmit the healing vibrations of the sounds deep into the DNA, brain, body, endocrine glands, bone marrow and cellular structure of the myo-fascia vibrating and resonating them to the frequency of health and healing. This healing frequency releases tension, stress, pain and adhesions and quiets the constant chattering of the thinking monkey mind. This allows the body to enter a profoundly deep state of relaxation, meditation, regeneration, rejuvenation, peace and healing...all while passively lying down. You learn via the sounds to let go. In that state of silence and stillness is where the spirit can be met.

In our technological age, quartz is used as a transmitter of energy and information in such things as clocks, watches, electronic equipment, micro-chips, computers, smartphones and tablets. Any piece of quartz is able to hold more gigabytes of information than all the computers on Earth. This ability of quartz to act as an amplifier of energy and information is further enhanced when the practitioner and client place their intention on the sound and healing themselves. You can intensify the power of the bowls by incorporating the power of intention and through use of the human voice, which is 1 of our most powerful tools for creation/destruction. The most potent and powerful aspect in any treatment of any system (Western or Eastern) is the intention of the practitioner. This is why NO ONE should play them for people until/unless they know how to ground and have developed a daily dedicated self cultivation practice where they have cleared thier own blocks. Otherwise it can be dangerous for both the person playing and people listening as transference can occur.

The bowls correlate to a specific musical note, particular color, nerve plexus, endocrine gland, internal organ, meridian, dantien and chakra. So when all 7 bowls are played you effectively balance and harmonize every aspect of your being and in doing so are given access to your true-nature/spirit/soul. That is the deepest healing and meditation one could ever ask for.

Over the years of using the bowls in
many clinical settings such as hospitals, hospices, homes, juvenile detention centers, cancer care units etc, I have seen how profoundly they affect people and how they are drawn to them.

I offer vibrational therapy and sound healing using the singing bowls in private one-on-one treatments and group sessions as well as in combination with any other services I provide. The session can be done in the comfort of your home or my Medical Qi Gong clinic.

Leonardo da Vinci asked us, "Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony"?? The singing bowls provide that harmony. To me the bowls are sacred and holy because they allow me to hear the sounds of of my soul and of the Divine Mind.
As Pythagoras stated and the bowls prove, “The highest goal of music is to connect one’s soul to their Divine Nature, not entertainment”




Darren Orr is a Doctor of Classical Chinese Medicine in Medical QiGong Therapy with a specialization in Dao-yin. He is currently training in ShenGong to be a Formless Daoist Priest. He is a Medical QiGong Master, nationally certified massage, bodywork and somatic therapist, Reiki Master, sound healer, Dao yoga, Dao Yin and meditation teacher. Darren is an A-Z practitioner specializing in life-altering illness, palliative care for the terminally ill, bereavement services for family, cancer, PTSD, fibromyalgia, addiction, mental/emotional imbalances, chronic pain and stress management as well as preventative medicine. CEU courses, lectures, workshops, seminars, classes, qi parties, and corporate wellness programs also available. Serving the tri-state area in a triangle from Philadelphia to NYC to Atlantic City Nj. Long Distance therapy also available.

You can contact Darren at:  d.orr333@gmail.com 

You may also be interested in reading our interview with Darren about healing and the practice of Qigong.


Also his articles for our blog include:



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