Lifestyle

All About Tibetan Singing Bowls

I lay in a trance with my eyes closed, ears listening, and body sensing the vibrations. I was in the middle of a meditative singing bowl class. Every vibration pierced me; some swept by while others overwhelmed. The sheer amount of sounds relaxed as well as stimulated me.

A singing bowl is a bowl in which is played like a musical instrument. When the player strikes the bowl with a striking stick, the bowl will sound a pitch. That pitch can be lengthened by rubbing the rim of the bowl in a circular, clockwise motion. The concept is very similar to rubbing the rim of a wine glass to produce a sound. Depending on the size, depth, and material of the bowl as well as the type of striking stick, location, and force of the strike, the tone and intensity of a pitch can be manipulated.

Singing bowls, as well as gongs, produce vibrations believed to restore balance to our body. Think of the body and spirit separated into seven energy points which are associated with certain areas of the body. These energy vortexes are called chakras. Aligning the chakras refers to restoring balance and peace. Singing bowls have been used for holistic healing, stress relief, relaxation, Reiki therapy, and simply as a musical instrument.  During a singing bowl session, placing a crystal associated with a certain chakra on that chakra’s area of the body is meant to enhance body and mind rejuvenation.  Some even believe if the bowl was created while the maker chanted a mantra (word/sound aid in meditation) the mantra would be released if played, very similar to the concept of a prayer wheel.

Although generally referred to as Tibetan singing bowls, singing bowls can be found throughout the Himalayans and in various countries such as China, Thailand and Japan. Most traditionally, the bowls are made from one of these seven metals: lead, tin, iron, copper, silver, gold, and mercury. Singing bowls can also be made from crystal quartz. The origin of the singing bowl dates back centuries. Some speculate the origin may be associated with the Bon Po religion, a popular religion in the Himalayas before Buddhism become widely practiced.

Disregard the singing bowl as a relation to just one religion. Singing bowl meditations and therapies can be for everyone whether it’s the deep Buddhist or the stressed out CEO. Although recorded videos do not truly portray the vibration effect of the singing bowl versus a face to face experience, watch this video to experience the sounds and the playing form of Tibetan singing bowls.

 

Sources:
http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/things/singing_bowl.htm
http://www.soundnature-canterbury.com/interesting-facts-about-singing-bowls-and-sound-massage/
http://www.yowangdu.com/tibetan-buddhism/meditation/tibetan-singing-bowls-an-introduction.html

Photo Source: www.thesmith.org.uk

 

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