What are Tibetan Singing Bowls?
Tibetan Singing Bowls are instruments of sound healing and are used in meditation to reach deep relaxation. As a result of the natural processes that run our physical, mental, and emotional bodies we can fall out of tune, just like instruments. Stress and negativity create blockages of healthy energy that can manifest itself first as low energy disturbances in the spiritual/emotional body then eventually illnesses in the physical body. Learning how to play a these singing bowls can help restore your body and mind to a harmonious state of being. Though we know them as Tibetan singing bowl, they are native to Nepal and India, specifically the Himalayas. These hand-hammered metal bowls are strategically tuned to healing frequencies and have been used throughout Asia in rituals and in meditation to prompt the flow of energy and heal on a cellular level. Oral history tells us that they were brought to Tibet from India alongside the practice of Buddhism roughly around the year 800 AD. It wasn’t until 1959 when the Dalai Lama led a mass exodus of Tibetan monks from Tibet that these bowls were shared with the western world.
How Tibetan Singing Bowls Work
Sound healing is an ancient form of meditation that taps into various musical practices to generate healing vibrations. Similar to other types of meditation, sound healing benefits the body and mind by reducing stress, improving concentration, stimulating life force flow in the body, heightening intuition and perception, limited emotional negativity, and enhancing creativity. All sounds are vibrations. Quantum physics tells us that everything in this universe has a vibrational frequency, even if it can’t be heard these vibrations are all around us. When sound is used in combination with intention, the most important aspect of healing, we can direct it to raise a body’s vibration. Different frequencies and musical notes, correlate with a specific chakra system, though this differs depending on whether you use the Vedic system or Tibetan system. Tune into yourself and feel which chakra responds. You may find that a singing bowl tuned into one chakra might resonate with another chakra. Singing bowls can be multiphonic, meaning they produce more than one note. You can identify the singing bowl by the most predominant note. Note G, Note A, Note D, Note E are the most widely used singing bowl for practitioners.
Professional healers might have a variety of Tibetan singing bowls, but you may want to begin your collection with one singing bowl which is better suited for personal healing. When choosing a singing bowl, look for one that best suits the specific kind of healing you want to do. For example, if your focus is on the heart chakra, find one that resonates at that frequency. Play with different bowls until one feels right. Do not make your choice based on looks. If the singing bowl resonates with you it should make you feel soothed and relaxed. Larger scale singing bowls have stronger, deeper vibrations that sound at lower octaves. Smaller singing bowls have higher pitched, more intense vibrations.
How To Play Tibetan Singing Bowls
You can play a Tibetan singing bowl by rubbing or striking it with a mallet. Striking produces a clearer tone while rubbing gives a stronger vibration. Mallets are what we call the wooden stick used to play the singing bowls. They can be plain wood or leather covered. Wood is recommended for beginners because it is easier to create sound and gives off a slightly higher pitch. Leather will give you a softer sound that requires more pressure to play. There are countless techniques for different types of healing but the basics are quite simple: Sit in a relaxed position with your back straight and try to clear your mind. Your eyes should be relaxed and slightly closed. Place the bowl in your non-dominant hand and the mallet in your dominant hand. Make sure to keep the hand holding the bowl flat, if your fingers curl up the side it will interfere with the sound. Take a deep breath as you begin to play. Holding it at chest level, strike the bowl with a fluid upward motion to start. Focus on what you want to heal, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. The longer you wait between bowl strikes, the more grounding it is. Move the mallet slowly along the outside rim of your bowl in a clockwise direction. Limit movement to the elbow and shoulder rather than the wrist. Keep the mallet in contact with the bowl while applying constant pressure at a steady pace. This is a delicate balance that may take a bit of practicing before you fully control the sound. If no sound is produced you may not be applying enough pressure. If your bowl creates a rattling sound you are most likely playing too fast. Just as in any meditation practice, concentrate on your specific intentions for the session and connect with your emotions. It’s up to you whether you want to repeat a healing mantra, envision a white light surrounding your auric field, or simply focus on your breathing. Maintain a peaceful state of mind until you decide the session is over. When you decide to end your session, stop playing and allow the sound to slowly dissipate until it ceases.
Care Instructions For Your Tibetan Singing Bowl
To clean your Tibetan singing bowl use half a lemon and warm water. Do not use brass polish. Never serve food or drink out of a singing bowl. Singing bowls are sacred tools that require care and respect. When transporting, make sure it is well wrapped to prevent any damage. A crack in the bowl may ruin it and become silent, something as small as a hairline fracture can even cause a rattling sound when played. If the bowl is damaged, do not use it for healing or meditation. It will not create the same healing effect. It is said that one should play their Tibetan singing bowl every day in order to honor their relationship with it. This is also useful in creating a daily routine that allows you to center yourself and reap the many benefits of daily meditation. If you’re new to sound healing remember to relax and be patient, it may be something that takes practice. Enjoy the experience of meditation rather than focusing on an end goal. As long as you come out of your session feeling a bit more calm and at peace you’re doing it right.
Love and Light, East Meets West