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The Music District hosts meditative class with Himalayan singing bowls

Interested in attending a session? 

The Music District’s small upstairs attic was transformed into a space for relaxation and meditation on Saturday, all thanks to Betsy Perna and her collection of Himalayan singing bowls. Guests of the free one-hour session were invited to witness firsthand the powerful healing powers of vibrational sound in an intimate concert style.

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Singing bowls arranged in a semi circle on the floor
Betsy Perna’s collection of singing bowls

Perna’s journey with Singing Bowls began in 2006, when she purchased her first bowl. Not long after, she began studying the art under Suren Shrestha at the Atma Buti Sound and Vibrational School in Boulder.

Since then, Perna has continued to cultivate her collection of bowls and is currently working towards 200 hours of practice for her next certification. She has carefully hand selected and tuned each bowl to ensure the cohesive tonality of her work. Most of her bowls come from the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, where the same family has been crafting singing bowls since the time of Buddah.

“Now what I’m offering you today is pure acoustic sound,” Perna said during her introduction to the class.

She noted that she would be playing in the traditional Tibetan style and that each bowl correlates with a specific chakra depending on the note. She filled one of the bowls with warm water, which caused a “dancing” effect when played. The vibrations from the water in the bowl react with the liquids in your body on a cellular level to promote healing, she said.

The instructor at the front of the class showing how the bowls are played.
The instructor, Betsy Perna, showing the class how the singing bowls are played.

“What we are about to do here is entrain your body patterns to a harmonious way,” Perna said. She then instructed the participants to lie down and relax in the dim lighting while she began the session.

The powerful healing vibrations coming from the bowls elicited soft snores from the audience as meditation turned to gentle napping for some. She skillfully maneuvered her way around the room while simultaneously rubbing and striking the bowls, clearing chakras and chanting. The noise from the street and small distractions from the holiday weekend melted away in the presence of Perna’s craft.

Perna then welcomed the participants back to reality with hot herbal tea and a tin filled with her husband’s homemade gluten-free cookies.

“It was very relaxing—transcending almost,” said Whitney Jones, a first-time participant. “It’s a bodily experience, completely void of stress.”

Bringing her Himalayan singing bowls into a class setting makes her happy, Perna said. 

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“It’s all coming from my heart with love,” Perna said. “Part of life’s purpose is to give back.”

Perna’s focus on others does not go unnoticed. Julie Sutter, programs manager at The Music District had lots to say about Pera’s involvement in the community.

“I think it is important for our community to be better connected with one another and one way to do that is to introduce them to things that they might not see in their everyday walk of life,” Sutter said. “She’s certainly an inspiring personality who seems super grounded and I think it’s because of the work that she does. Her being able to come in here and share that with other people is something that we want to continue to concentrate on here.”

Collegian reporter Anna Nixon can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @anna_nixon12.

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