Erik Playing NAF

Welcome to Breath Of Life Flutes!

  Native American style flutes touch my heart.
They are a joy to play, and a wonderful challenge to craft.
My sincere hope is they will enrich your life as they have mine.

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    Native American style flutes offer a distinctive sound... haunting, beautiful and relaxing. I find their sonorous tones quiet my mind, bringing me a sense of peacefulness. I find a timeless space, relaxing and free. And I know this state encourages health, healing, and spiritual enrichment.

    Learning to play one of these flutes is a very natural process. A well made flute is easy to play — just breathe quietly through the instrument and let your fingers feel the music as it passes below them. It is all about feeling.


Truly, they evoke the Breath of Life!



Flutes are among the oldest known musical instruments....

      In 2008 a vulture bone flute was found in a cave in Germany. Radiocarbon tests date the flute as some 35,000 years old, reaching back in time to the last Ice Age when humans were expanding into Europe. You may read more about this at Physorg.com:


      Another flute, made from the femur bone of a cave bear, may be even older — some 50,000 years old! Dr. Ivan Turk (Paleontologist, Slovenian Academy of Sciences in Ljubljana) is reported to have discovered this "Neanderthal flute" in Slovenia. You may read more about this at the following web sites: http://whyfiles.org/114music/4.html, or http://www.greenwych.ca/fl-compl.htm (the second source explores at some length the musical ramifications of this flute).


Yet the Native American Flute is found only in North America....

      I find it interesting that while most cultures created flutes of some kind, the Native American style flute is unique to the Native Americans of North America. Regional differences developed in the basic design of the Native American flute, but none of these flutes have been found in other cultures across the world. Obviously, this is the cause of their distinctive and hauntingly beautiful sound.


Should everyone play a Native American style flute?

      How's that for a loaded question! (Giant Grin)

      Now that I have fallen in love with their creative, calming spirit, I naturally feel everyone should play a Native American style flute — bear in mind, however, I may be biased. They are easy to play, have a truly wonderful sound, and are unlike anything else you will hear or play.

      Even better, you usually feel better for having played one — what's not to like?!


My Breath Of Life Flutes logo is a stylized Hebrew letter Aleph set inside an Ankh cross....

    The Breath of Creation. The Breath of Life. This is a lovely concept to my mind and its poetic imagery appeals to my spirit. Many cultures embrace the idea of the Creator breathing His-Her-Their very life force into us. I personally believe this to be the case, and I believe we retain a spark of the Divine within us. So the act of breath as creation seems very natural to me. We can go without eating for a couple weeks. Without drinking for a few days. But without air to breathe? Only a matter of minutes! This is one reason Breath is often seen as our closest physical link with the Divine. Breath is Life.

    I find playing the the Native American style flute to be an expression of these ideas. The act of playing the flute connects us with the Divine Breath of Creation and the very Breath of Life we draw to sustain our life. The Creator breathes life into us as we breathe life into the music that flows from our hearts, through our flutes, to stir the heart of another. This is one way we seek to emulate our Creator-Source, and honor the gift of life by giving our own creation, born from Breath. To me this is beautiful and compelling. My hope is others find the symbolic meanings contained in these archetypes equally moving and that you too will think of the Wonder of Life as you play your Native American style flute.

        Aleph       Aleph Lungs       Aleph Lungs       Breath Of Life Flutes Logo

    All Hebrew letters convey multiple levels of meaning. The first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Aleph. It is also the number one. It symbolizes the three primary Divine influences, as well as the Divine Breath of the Creator from which we derive our very life force. This letter symbolizes the very essence of life, and finds expression in every breath we draw.

    The longer "swoop" (an extended "yod") of Aleph shows the Divine Creative Impulse reaching down from the Creator/Source into our world. The yods on either side of this longer yod hold various meanings, depending upon the context in which the letter is used. In this case we may see it was symbolizing our lungs and our breath, as well as The Word, through which all creation was spoken/breathed into existence.


    When we view all three yods together, they may symbolize the three primary Divine influences of the Trinity (Tri-Unity/Three-In-One):
                  Father, Son, Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit
                  Father, Son, Divine Mother
                  God, Goddess, Child/Creation
                  Kether, Chokmah, Binah
                  Brahma, Vishnu, Siva
                  Horus, Isis, Osiris.
As we can see, representing the Divine as the Holy Three-In-One is an idea shared by many religious traditions. In fact, the concept of three being the very essence of creation is common to many cultures and spiritual observances. This is easy to understand: Father and Mother beget Child. Seen in this way, the number three is quite naturally the number of creation.


  Ankh       Ankh British Museum      

These ankh images are of well known museum pieces


    Blank and White Ankh The Ankh is always associated with various meanings of Life, including our greater spiritual Self and Eternal Life. While most commonly associated with ancient Egypt, it is thought to pre-date this period. Variations of it have been seen across many cultures. I knew this was the symbol I was seeking when reading an account of an ancient Egyptian ritual in which the Ankh was brought up to a person's lips — in this context its meaning is "Breath Of Life" — which for obvious reasons makes it an inspiring symbol for my flute creations.

    My intention is the blending of these ancient meanings. The Ankh of Life embracing the stylized Aleph, symbolizing the Breath of our Creator, living through us in each breath we take, which we use in our own act of creation when playing the flute. The spark of creation has its genesis through us as our magical act of creating music, stirring those hearing it to the depths of their being. On so many levels — The Breath of Life.



I personally find playing the Native American style flute is both creative and healing...

      The Creative nature of the Native American style flute is self-evident to anyone who plays one. Most people need little to no "training" and are quickly exploring their personal flute Journey. These flutes are in some ways simple, and in other ways subtle. They are easy to learn to play, and yet continually offer more to discover. Their range of expression is as deep as our own emotion.

      There is something about the sound of these instruments that seems to reach to our deepest core, and we feel a connection to something vital within. To my way of thinking, this is in part due to an awakening of our Creative Nature. This begins to build a bridge between our physical world and the spiritual, Divine realm, from which all true Creativity flows. This is a very natural process to which we are all heirs. We need only find a means of quieting our minds and experiencing this connection. Playing the Native American style flute is one way to discover this connection.

      The Healing nature of the Native American style flute is also easy to feel. Yet it is difficult to prove.

      (And perhaps even illegal to claim! So where does this leave us?)

      At the very least, playing and listening to the Native American style flute promotes a sense of peacefulness and tranquility which many find restorative, myself included. This is very similar to the reasons meditation has been found to promote health and wellness. It is not that the flute causes healing — after all, it is only a flute — but rather it is our state of mind that is changing. And our minds are powerful. Our thoughts influence our body....

      Does stress kill? Many studies seem to indicate our levels of stress is an important health criteria. How likely is it that relaxation provides some health benefit?

      What of the Placebo Effect? This effect is well known. Our perception of reality is so powerful as to have repeated, measurable effects upon drug studies. Is it logical to assume our thoughts may be directed to create positive effects for our benefit?

      Does music calm the savage beast? Might this be true? Perhaps not in the same way as Orpheus charming the course of rivers. But is there a seed of truth in this ancient myth? I think, yes, there is! Consider the following:

  • http://www.throughadogsear.com/research.htm
    "Solo instruments, slower tempos, and less complex arrangements had a greater calming effect than faster selections with more complex harmonic and orchestral content."
  • http://www.healingmusic.org/Library/Newsroom/DoesMusicSootheTheSavageBeast.asp
    "Music therapy has been shown to be valuable in pain reduction, coping with stress, easing depression, aiding memory loss and stimulating the immune system, according to the American Music Therapy Association. It is used in conjunction with conventional medicine, functioning largely as a psychological aid."
  • http://www.musictherapy.org/
    "A range of positive benefits have been associated with music over the years, including:
    • promote wellness
    • manage stress
    • alleviate pain
    • express feelings
    • enhance memory
    • improve communication
    • promote physical rehabilitation"

      There is as thread tying these together. That much seems pretty clear to me. I know the answer I hold in my heart, and I leave it to you to make up your own mind. What is your answer these questions?


How deep runs the rabbit hole?!

            "Curiousier and Curiousier." — Alice

      There are other considerations some wish to bring to the table when selecting their Native American style flute. Among these are:

  • Tuning to the 432-Hertz "Healing Frequency"
  • Keying each flute to activate a specific energy chakra
  • Incorporating specific healing crystals and/or symbols

      It is not my place to lead you to or from such considerations. But I must say the above considerations make perfect sense to me. And I am open to discussing other topics which you feel may allow your flute to resonate with you most effectively. My desire is to help you find your flute, weaving together the energy and elements of the creative process, making your flute uniquely suited to you.

      If you are new to the Native American style flute, you may very well be on the precipice of a life changing event. Bringing the Native American style flute into your life may change it for the better, and will most certainly offer you years of peaceful companionship. Some of you already know this to be true, and I consider it a privilege to help you find your next flute-friend.

      Choose your flute with deliberation. Please, don't buy a cheap assembly-line flute, especially if this is your first flute — please don't end your Journey before it even begins! A hand-made flute, crafted with love is affordable. Most of my flutes only cost a couple hundred dollars. Some a little more; some a little less. But that is not much for a finely crafted musical instrument, not to mention a musical instrument which has been known to change people's lives for the better!

      And you don't have to buy a flute from me. But, please, take your time and find your flute. Find a flute made with love. Both you and your flute will be better for it!


We are music!

      "We create ourselves out of silence or out of noise, and we choose our supreme rhythms by which we move with different shades of emotion and thought. Hence, we are music."
      — J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett, "The Cherokee Full Circle"

      "At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time. We know that every particle in the physical universe takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. Before we make music, music makes us." (emphasis added-EW)
      — Joachim-Ernst Berendt, "The World is Sound"

      "At the root of all power and motion, there is music and rhythm, the play of patterned frequencies against the matrix of time, Before we make music, music makes us." (emphasis added-EW)
      — George Leonard

      "Do you know that our soul is composed of harmony?"
      — Leonardo daVinci

      "Healing relies on an openness to the whole; a willingness to relinquish whatever frustrates or delays -- mistaken ideas, negative feelings, poor diet, inadvisable lifestyle -- and to accept a wider spectrum of responses with new ideas, experience, and priorities. Healing is communication; and music, in its universal nature, is total communication. In the deepest mysteries of music are the inspirations, the pathways, and the healing which lead to one-ness and unity."
      — Olivea Dewhurst-Maddock, "Sound Therapy"

      "You can look at disease as a form of disharmony. And there's no organ system in the body that's not affected by sound and music and vibration."
      — Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., "Sounds of Healing"

      "Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul."
      — Plato

      "Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence."
      — Robert Fripp, (Co-Creator, King Crimson)

      "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein (attributed)
      "Flute practice: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." — Jim (last name unknown)



laughing Erik

Copyright © 2010-2011 Erik Weaver

Please contact me if you have any questions about flutes, learning to play,
or if you wish to have a flute hand-crafted for yourself or a loved one.

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Please note, while I admire much of the Native American culture, I am not a Native American Indian.
So far as I know, my bloodlines are 100% European, including Welsh, English, Scottish, Irish, Holland, and German... along with a number of unknowns, I'm sure. One may properly refer to me as an European-American Mutt ;^) Although, in truth, I consider myself an American, not an European-American. My mother's bloodlines here in North America pre-date the American Revolution and my great-great-grandfather on my father's side was a circuit preacher in Kansas around 1900.