An atmosphere of sanctity hovers around Jason Katz before a sound journey. He asks people to take their shoes off before entering the room; a gesture of reverence associated with a holy place or shrine. The experience itself, which begins with a guided meditation, feels holy and transformative.
The bowls still the mind, Jason says. “The mind stops thinking in response to frequency.” Frequency travels well in water and since the human body consists of 70% – 80% water, we are very receptive.
“As human beings, when we are still in the uterus, we hear sound. A foetus hears its parents’ voices and outside noises through the amniotic fluid. This is also how whales communicate in the ocean,” he explains. They emit frequencies over hundreds of kilometres. Until the advent of steam ships, whales could communicate from the north to the south pole.”
“The bowls themselves emit about three frequencies,” Jason explains.
Himalayan bowls predate Buddhism, having been founded by the Bon people in Tibet. “The Bon were shamanic in practice and master metallurgists,” Jason says. “They were the founders of the seven chakras, connected to the seven planets.” These ideas were incorporated into Hinduism and Buddhism.
“Each bowl is made up of the seven elements, corresponding to the seven planets: The sun being gold, the moon being silver, mercury copper, iron, zinc, tin, etc. Each metal corresponds to the seven chakras.”
Jason displays an intimately caring and reverent relationship with each of his Himalayan bowls; an attitude that is carried through into his interactions with groups or individual clients.
“My teacher taught me to treat my bowls as sentient beings,” he says. “I have seen people bang them and treat them with disrespect. That is not my way.”
Jason attended daily sessions with Alice Hoehler for two years before she felt he was ready to take the work forward. “She taught me the subtle nuances of the bowls, what they sound like, how to combine them.”
Each sound journey is tailored to the setting and the group. “I respond to the ambient temperature of the space as well as the energy of the group. I intuit what people are thinking and feeling and I play the bowls accordingly. No sound journey is ever the same.”
Jason brings his sensitivity to energy into his practice of massage and individual sound healing. “I can sense energy and I use this in massage and in individual and group sound journeys,” he says. “I can pick up blockages because the pitch goes out of tune.”
He is the facilitator of healing, not the healer, he insists. “The body heals itself if given the right atmosphere and frequency, but we are so wound up that we just don’t give ourselves the time.”
Jason offers individual treatments at his rooms in Senderwood, Johannesburg and is available to travel. He offers regular sound journeys at the Shanti Khaya Centre, at yoga studios, in rehab centres, twice a month in Orange Grove, and in team-building events in the corporate space. He is open to requests by all kinds of groups. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org (Facebook: Dstress@dstressjk).
A version of this article was first published in Sunday Times Lifestyle