Why singing bowls are not designed to do space clearing

Singing bowl

It’s often claimed that singing bowls are made of a special alloy composed of seven metals that correspond to the seven major planets: gold for the Sun, silver for the Moon, mercury for Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for Mars, tin for Jupiter, and lead for Saturn. This mystical combination sounds very alluring, as if such an object would be imbued with the powers of the solar system. However, it is nothing more than a marketing ploy.

Debunking the seven metals myth

According to Himalayan Bowls founder and author of The Singing Bowl Book, Joseph Feinstein, ‘singing bowls do not contain seven metals at all. Extensive metallurgical testing has proven that singing bowls, as well as handbells, are made either from bronze (copper and tin) or brass (copper and zinc). There is no mystical property to the metal.’

The Balinese bell-makers I work with confirm this. Bells are made from a special type of bronze that contains more tin than usual bronze. They sometimes add a small quantity of 22-carat gold when making temple bells for Balinese priests and priestesses, but after testing thousands of their bells over the last 20+ years, I have discovered that this is no guarantee of superior quality of sound. The best bells are nearly always those that are made of pure bronze.

Why singing bowls don’t work for space clearing

The idea that singing bowls can be substituted for bells to do space clearing is also a New Age myth. They are very different to bells, both in the sound they make and in the effect they have.

A singing bowl consists of a metal bowl and a mallet. The bowl is held or placed on a cushion in the palm of one hand, and the mallet is held in the other hand. To produce a sound, the mallet is placed in contact with the lip of the rim of the bowl and slowly circled around it to produce a continuous melodic sound.

I’ve tried space clearing with singing bowls and the sound can certainly be very beautiful and does fill the centre of a room. However it does not amplify areas where there is stuck energy in the same that a Balinese bell does, it’s not possible to direct the sound into the walls and corners in the same way that you can with a Balinese bell, and most importantly, it cannot be used to shatter energy imprints in the same way that a Balinese bell can. Singing bowls are also quite heavy and require the continuous use of both hands, whereas a bell can be held in one hand and can easily be carried from room to room during a space clearing ceremony, opening doors with your other hand as you go.

For all these reasons, I do not consider singing bowls to be a space clearing tool, and do not recommend their use. They do not clear energies. It’s not what they were designed to do.

So what are singing bowls good for?

The sustained sound of a singing bowl can be used to induce states of relaxation and well-being that can assist with certain types of healing. I’ve heard that some people use them for meditation too, but have never figured out how this could work since complete silence and physical stillness are essential to achieving the high states of consciousness that are the aim of meditation.

In relation to space clearing, the only possible use of singing bowls would be after a space clearing ceremony, to help to maintain the vibrancy of the space. However, this can be done even better through maintenance space clearing techniques, using bells.

The sound emitted by a singing bowl is wonderfully blissful but horizontal and unconscious, whereas Balinese bells have a beautifully clear, resonant sound that can be used in much more awakened ways to harmonize, verticalize, and transform the superastral space of a room.

Restoring integrity to a space

Verticalization is an important principle in spiritual work because it is through this that integrity is restored to spaces. You can see the two principles of verticality and horizontality very clearly in the shape and function of the two objects. A bell is vertical. It can be actively rung and its sound can be willfully directed to clear stagnant energies and shatter imprints. A singing bowl is horizontal and its sound cannot be directed — it just ripples out in horizontal waves that travel where they will. There is no comparison between the two.

I’ve visited homes that have been space cleared by a well-intentioned person using a singing bowl instead of a Balinese bell and to be perfectly frank, it would have been more effective if they had gone around the property with a feather duster. Space clearing is just not what singing bowls are designed for.

Other space clearing myths
Why smudging is not a space clearing technique
Space clearing and salt

Related post
What’s so special about Balinese bells
The history of Balinese space clearing bells
Why Balinese bells are the best kind to use for space clearing

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Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2018

Posted in Space clearing myths | Read 9 comments...»

Some facts about incense that you may not know

Balinese offering with incense

Some people like to burn incense in their home, thinking it may help to purify the space, or at the very least, mask unpleasant smells. But here are some facts about it that you may not know…

Burning incense is not a space clearing technique

In my book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, I explained that incense is used in most of the major religions of the world because it is a quick, easy way of raising the vibrational level of the atmosphere of a place. Many Asian cultures also use it because they believe that the upward movement of the smoke helps to waft the essence of their offerings and prayers up to the gods.

However, it is not actually a space clearing technique because as soon as the aroma dissipates, the effect is lost. Burning incense in a space does not permanently change anything energetically.

The reason I included the use of stick or resin incense in the space clearing ceremony I described in my book was because I wanted to offer as much help as possible to people doing space clearing for the first time. By temporarily raising the atmosphere, it helps to get a better result, especially if there is a lot of clutter in the home.

However, I no longer use incense, the professionals I train no longer use it, and it will not be part of the updated description of the ceremony in the new space clearing book I am writing. There have been so many new developments over the last 20 years in the techniques I teach that it is no longer needed.

Many types of incense are a health hazard

To the best of my knowledge, the two types of incense I recommended in my book were made of high-quality natural ingredients that were fine to use for doing space clearing in a ventilated space. But those particular brands are difficult to find now and using substitutes can be fraught with problems.

Commercial incense sticks generally consist of a bamboo stick coated in herbal, wood and adhesive powders, with some type of fragrance added, often synthetic. Cheaper varieties can contain anything from melted down rubber tyres, inner tubes and engine oil, to albumen powder made from the dried blood of slaughtered animals. It really is anybody’s guess what they’re made of because the ingredients are rarely listed on the packaging.

This is not a problem in places such as Bali, where the temples are all open air, or in western countries, where most people only burn incense very occasionally. But it’s causing serious problems in indoor temples in places like Thailand and Taiwan, where multiple joss sticks are burned at the same time. Each stick emits roughly the same level of toxins as a cigarette, so being in a temple with several hundred joss stick burning simultaneously exposes everyone there to the same level of health hazard as being in a room with several hundred smokers puffing away.

One study found that commonly used incense sticks emit carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, aldehydes, ketones, xylenes, diethylphthalate and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, including formaldehdye.

Another study conducted over a two year period in Thailand by Dr Manoon Leechawengwong analyzed the blood and urine samples of temple workers and showed they had a very much higher risk of certain types of cancers. Benzene levels (implicated in leukaemia) were found to be four times higher than normal. Butadiene levels (related to blood cancer) were an astonishing 260 times higher. And levels of benzo(a)pyrne, which is known to cause lung, bladder and skins cancers, were 63 times higher. Other studies have raised similar concerns.

Temple workers in Thailand’s 37,000 Buddhist temples are now encouraged to wash their hands after handling incense and have annual health checks. People visiting temples are advised to use shorter joss sticks instead of the full-length ones that used to be popular, to burn them only while prayers are in progress and then extinguish them, and to avoid using them at all in poorly ventilated areas.

It’s rather ironic that what is widely believed to be a purification technique has actually been found to be so toxic to those who use it in their devotional prayers. Perhaps incense used to be purer in the days when it was all made by hand, and the move to mass-production is the reason why that’s changed. But whatever the case, I no longer know of a single reason ever to use it.

Related article
Why smudging is not a space clearing technique

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Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2017

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Is it the same if a robot vacuums your home?

Robot vacuum cleaner

I’ve always been fascinated by how effectively vacuuming removes not just physical debris but also refreshes the energy of a room.

A vacuum cleaner is a physical, mechanical device, designed to suck up dust and all the inevitable bits that get dropped on the floor. But because stagnant energies also sink to floor level, it does a remarkably good job of revitalizing them too, through its vibrating, sweeping, sucking action. Or as Hoover’s oh-so-memorable advertising slogan of 1919 put it: ‘It Beats, as it Sweeps, as it Cleans’.

Robot vacuums

And now we have a new generation of devices called robot vacuums, which have been designed to clean up after us automatically without us having to lift a finger. The good quality ones are still too pricey to be mainstream, but it looks like the future of cleaning is heading that way.

My question is, because no human operator is involved, does your home feel as clean after it’ s been cleaned by a robot vacuum as it does if you clean it yourself using the good old-fashioned handheld variety?

Technically (and depending on the efficiency of the model, of course), there may be no difference. The same amount of dust and dirt gets hoovered up and the floor looks equally clean. But just as food tastes different according to the love and care that is put into it by the person who cooks it, so a room can feel different according to whether it is vacuumed by a mechanical device or by a human who puts care into it. Scientists can’t measure this subtle quality, but most people can sure as heck taste it in food, and I’m pretty sure more sensitive folk will be able to feel the difference with a robot vacuum too.

So does it really matter?

Well, here we get into the realm of etheric awareness and space clearing. If you’ve ever had your home space cleared by one of the professionals I’ve trained, you will know how different it can feel after all the stagnant energies and astral imprints have been cleaned out and new, higher frequencies have been instilled. It is as if a fresh wind has swept through, cleansing and revitalizing the space at a very deep level, and resetting your home as a clean slate on which to write your life.

My husband, Richard, and I, regularly space clear our home and keep it energetically maintained in this way, so that it supports us in our lives rather than holding us back. Because of this, we have noticed a huge difference between how it feels when we vacuum the floors ourselves and how it feels when we hire someone to do this for us.

When we vacuum ourselves, we presence and own the space as we go. When a professional cleaner does it for us, he or she may use the same equipment, and it has the same mechanical action, but it never feels as clean. On a physical level there’s no difference, but at the higher levels, just as with food that is cooked without love and care, something is tangibly missing.

Or rather, here in the West it is. During the 20 years I lived in Bali, we were fortunate for much of that time to have a wonderful woman called Padmi who cleaned our home beautifully. Not just at the physical level, but at the higher levels too. The Balinese have space clearing rituals they perform on a daily basis, and they naturally carry spiritual forces of purification in their blood. Padmi did not just beat as she swept as she cleaned. She loved, cared for, and presenced our home too. Ah, how we miss her now!

The difference space clearing can make

There is definitely a spiritual component that can be integrated into the mundane action of cleaning a home, and this produces a result that is very different to having a cleaner or a robot do it for you. But for people who really need this type of help, is there is a way to have the best of both worlds?

I’m happy to say that there is.

Providing the cleaner you hire is someone you like having in your home, who does the job with the same love and care you would put into it yourself, or the robot vacuum is one that you like the look, feel and efficiency of, then this can be counter-balanced by doing a deep and thorough space clearing ceremony at least once a year in your entire home, following the 21 steps in my book. This will have the effect of clearing out stagnant energies, owning the space, and permeating it with new, higher frequencies to support and nurture you and anyone you live with.

So it’s not at all the same if a robot vacuums your home, but the missing aspect can be more than compensated for if you regularly space clear or, better still, hire one of the space clearing practitioners I have trained to do it for you at a much higher level than you could possibly do it yourself.

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Copyright © Karen Kingston 2015, updated 2017

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Why Balinese bells are the best kind to use for space clearing

Balinese space clearing bells

From time to time I receive an email that says: ‘Much though I would love to, I cannot afford to buy a Balinese bell. Can I use a different type of bell to do space clearing instead?’

Why Balinese bells are the most effective

I really do appreciate that Balinese bells are more expensive than mass-produced bells such as Tibetan bells. That’s because of the purity of the metals used to create them, the skill involved in making them, and the time it takes to produce them. Handcrafted items are always more expensive than mass-produced.

But they are totally worth it and I’m thankful they exist in the world. I would never have started teaching space clearing publicly if I hadn’t discovered them. It takes a full month to create a space clearing bell, and there are only a handful of Balinese craftsmen and women skilled enough to make them. That’s why they cost a bit more.

Without doubt, a highly quality bell is the most important piece of equipment needed to conduct a space clearing ceremony. If you use a lesser quality bell, the results you’ll get are unlikely to inspire you to ever do space clearing again. Your first time will probably be your only time.

Balinese bells are the only type I have ever found that are so effective at clearing stagnant energies in buildings and, depending on the skill of the person, can also be used to willfully shatter astral imprints too. I’ve tested hundreds of other kinds of bells in my travels around the world and none have even come close.

The level of craftsmanship skills in Bali is extraordinary.  The island is, after all, the purification centre of the planet. And the family of master bell-makers I work with produces the highest quality bells in Bali, and has done for hundreds of years. I’ve really done my homework on this.

Why Balinese bells are the safest

When I wrote my first book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, I was very mindful of the various types of perverse energies that can be found in some buildings, so I included clear guidelines to minimize the possibility of people picking any of these up while doing space clearing.

So this is another reason why, in all honesty, I cannot advise anyone to ‘save some money and have a go with just any old bell’. I have a responsibility to make sure that people have the right equipment to do the job safely, and Balinese bells are the only ones I have ever found of this quality.

The truth is, I would not have written my book at all if I had not discovered bells of such high calibre that people could use to do space clearing in their own home.

Related articles
What’s so special about Balinese bells?
The history of space clearing bells
How to care for a Balinese bell

Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2010, updated 2017

Posted in Balinese bells, Space clearing equipment | Read 4 comments...»

Space clearing when you move into a new home

Moving house

One of the most important uses of space clearing is to clear out the predecessor energies of previous occupants when you move to a new home and land your own energies in the space. Until you do this, it will never be truly yours. There will always be residual energies from the past affecting everything you do there.

If you move into a completely new building that no-one has ever lived in before, you might think this wouldn’t apply, but in my experience space clearing is still very helpful. It clears out any energies left by the builders and harmonizes the space after the disruption of all the building work, so that it immediately starts to feel like a home. Without space clearing it can take much longer for this to happen.

Is it best to space clear before you move your furniture in, or after?

Well, it’s definitely easier to space clear an empty building than one that’s full of stuff, that’s for sure. The same number of offerings are required but it’s a lot quicker and easier to walk around the space, and certainly less energy sensing, clapping and belling are required.

However the space clearing ceremony I’ve developed is not just designed to clear the stagnant energy that builds up over time in the walls, floor and ceilings of a house. It also very effectively clears the energy of objects such as furniture, decorative items, equipment and personal belongings. So it really is best to do space clearing AFTER you’ve moved your stuff in, not before. And it’s advisable to do it as soon as possible so that you’re not living with the energetic crud of whoever occupied the space before you (known as predecessor energy in feng shui terminology).

The final part of the ceremony, using a harmony ball, is also much more effective when you have furniture and personal belongings in place to consciously anchor new, higher frequencies into.

Why it usually works best to space clear twice

When you first move in to a place, it’s usually chaotic for a while. You may have workmen coming in and out, fixing this and that. You may need to redecorate, have new carpets laid or buy new furniture. And it can take a while to simply decide where each item you own belongs in your new home.

When all this has been done and everything calms down, it will feel very different to when you first moved in, and you’ll be different too. When your home is in chaos, parts of you are in chaos. When the energy of your home settles down, a deep part of you lands too. This is why it’s so important not to let this process drag on for years, as some people do. Weeks, okay. Months, understandable in some circumstances. Years? Life’s too short to live in limbo for so long.

The first space clearing you do soon after you move in is essential to clear out predecessor energy, but I also highly recommend doing another space clearing ceremony when you reach the point where everything is in place and your home is as you want it to be. This will allow you, and those you live with, to deeply land in the space, and will greatly speed up the process of making it truly feel like your home.

Professional space clearing or do-it-yourself?

Given the choice between calling in a professional space clearer to help with the first or the second space clearing, in most circumstances it would be best to get the deeper level of expertise for the second ceremony. The practitioners I train are taught advanced techniques to facilitate a very profound landing of a person’s energy in their home, which generally requires a much greater degree of skill than a predecessor energy clearing.

Of course there are exceptions to this, such as a situation where someone is moving into a new home where traumatic events have taken place, such as a divorce, bankruptcy, chronic sickness or some other kind of heavily imprinting occurrence. These are circumstances where it is usually best to get expert help right from the start. And if your home wasn’t space cleared when you moved in then any professional space clearer I have personally trained, who has maintained their skills through annual Continuing Professional Development training, will know how to combine both the first and second types of ceremonies into one and do them both for you at the same time.

Relates articles
Other uses of space clearing

If you hear of a professional space clearing practitioner who claims to have been trained by me but their name does not appear in my Directory of Practitioners, it means they either did not train with me at all, were not able to achieve the standard required for certification, or have not been able to maintain their skills. If in doubt, you are welcome to email me to check a person’s credentials.

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Copyright © Karen Kingston, 2010 – 2017

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