It’s no secret that sound therapy is one of the oldest and most natural forms of healing techniques known to man. So when the tonal purity of Tibetan Singing Bowls meets the majestic stillness of meditation, it’s anybody’s guess that the spiritual outcome can be very rewarding.
Doris Delessard, who hails from France, is perhaps the only Tibetan Singing Bowls and Meditation teacher in Qatar, and has created her own course that draws from the endless reserves of the various arms of meditation and energy work. According to Delessard, Tibetan Singing Bowls and Meditation is a neurologically oriented alternative healing modality that combines the “science of sound” with the “art of vibration” to enhance the inherent harmonic frequencies of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
“Meditation is not associated to any religion. Meditation is a state of mind. It is simply a process,” Delessard clarifies at the outset. It is the act of giving your attention on one thing only in silence or with the aid of sound, or any practice that will help you enter a relaxed and altered (slowed) mind and physical state, she explains.
Having lived in India for 12 years as a businesswoman before moving to Dubai and then Doha, Delessard has seen and experienced her life undergo a tremendous transformation. What started three years ago as an experimental tryst with hypnotherapy to address a minor health issue took Delessard on an exploratory trip into everything from theta healing, energy healing, reiki, crystal therapy, yoga, and of course, Tibetan Singing Bowls.
Delessard, who moved to Doha this April, points out that a Tibetan Singing Bowls session “combines sounds as tones and overtones with vibrational harmonic energy and focused healing intentions.” Among the many benefits, this method of meditation is good for calming the nervous system, stress, insomnia, anxiety, blood pressure, pain relief, decongestion, and improving the digestive system. For those curious, Delessard will be giving a free talk at Six Senses Spa at Sharq Village & Spa at 6.30pm, today (Sunday). Community caught up with Delessard to know more about what many of us know little about.
There are so many ideas about what meditation is. What is it to you?
Meditation is a very big question mark. A lot of people wonder what it really is. Meditation is not just about experiencing silence. That’s just one way of it. The other way is to be able to focus on one thing and one thing only at a time. Sometimes when you are cooking, you will be so focused into how you are chopping vegetables that you will start forgetting everything else around you. Then you will suddenly realise you were so much into it and you jump back into your normal life. Similarly, meditation is about being able to disconnect from everything else and focus on one thing that you are doing. Like in the group sessions I hold, it’s about becoming mindful about what’s happening in your body. Without realising it, you become so focused on what you are experiencing that your mind starts letting go and you start drifting. Despite everything we hear and read, there is no rule to meditation. One can meditate by sitting or lying down, walking, dancing, alone or in groups, with eyes opened or closed, indoors or outdoors, in the dark or in bright daylight, morning or evening; it is really up to you. But what’s important is that you make it a regular practice.
How did your fascination with Tibetan Singing Bowls begin?
Three years ago, I went on a trip to Bali. I came across this Yoga Class with Tibetan Singing Bowls. It sounded quite interesting, so I signed up. While most of it was yoga, the lady instructor used the singing bowls for a mere two minutes and what I experienced in that brief time took me by awe and surprise. As I lay down in Shavasana (a yoga pose where you lie down on your back and relax your body and mind), she conjured vibrations off the rim of a singing bowl that she had held above my head. It was so magnetic. All of a sudden, I felt this irrepressible urge to lift my arm and grab the bowl. It was like I had a second arm that was already on its way up, touching the bowl.
I thought – this is crazy, I need to understand this thing. After I did a bit of research, I found this woman in Bombay and I attended her 10-day course on Tibetan Singing Bowls. After learning it thoroughly, I called my friends over to try. Soon, I began charging a fee for my sessions. I noticed that I was enjoying this more than my regular life. It was fulfilling. I even started working with children in slums and the handicapped children in Delhi, thereby also discovering the more compassionate life. However, I was also in a state of transition. I had been in India for 12 years and I wanted a change.
So was it in pursuit of this journey that you moved to Dubai?
Yes. My friend Mathilde and I journeyed into this meditative path together. We decided to practise and become full-time therapists. In Dubai, fortunately, all doors opened. Tibetan Singing Bowls is a very rare method of meditation. Even while other popular ones such as energy healing and Reiki are blossoming, people are keen to experience and know more about this unique form of meditation. Soon, we began group meditation sessions at yoga studios, which would attract people who wanted to come for private sessions. We became quite famous. People attending our sessions would start wondering why they felt the way they did. At times, some would start crying, laughing, or act as if their body is catching fire, and the feelings would become so intense that they would start questioning it. Like, one would have pain in his shoulder for years and now it’s gone – what happened? So that’s when you start talking and you move from a meditating state to a healing state.
How does meditation help us deal with issues in various aspects of our lives?
Being able to meditate allows you to enter another state and have more clarity. You start perceiving things differently. You start putting aside everything that’s not serving you. You become more focused. Some can use that focus for their creativity, and some can use it as a technique to heal if one goes in-depth into one’s emotions. There are several vital techniques such as cord-cutting (severing ties of negative attachment between you and another person) that can be life-altering. For instance, we are constantly exchanging energies and sometimes it’s hard to explain why you can’t stand a person even though it’s affecting you constantly. We also have patterns.
You might have heard people say – I don’t know why I’m always attracting married men, or why I’m always bullied around, or why I always get horrible bosses. While it’s about exchange of energies, it’s also a lot about who the person believes he or she is. You are what you believe you are, and then you start attracting.
In a meditative state, you can work on that – what has affected you, wounded you, made you the way you are, and how you can alter that state of mind. When you start doing that, your life starts taking a new turn, your priorities start changing, you start questioning what life is all about, what we are here for, and how you can make the most out of it.
Why did you choose this path?
I got into meditation and spirituality without realising it. It’s like my soul went into it and my body is only slowly catching up. For me, all these things seemed very far-fetched and very hippie-like. I took a lot of time to realise I was in it and this was becoming my life because I usually find people who do this to be a little weird.
My becoming one of them was a bit strange. But then I realised that my experiences and also my many years of handling business also helps me understand people who are still focused in the material world. I feel we can all find a balance. We can have a human experience but still connect to the spiritual side.
IN HARMONY: French expatriate Doris Delessard is perhaps the only Tibetan Singing Bowls and Meditation teacher in Qatar. Photo by Anand Holla