Learn how to use a Tibetan Singing Bowl to Meditate and Relax —
Singing bowls have incredible healing effects and are widely recommended by health practitioners. If you are looking to enhance your mood, and need a relaxing sound to enhance meditations, and overall well-being, you might be interested in a Tibetan Singing Bowl. The “singing” sound is remarkable, a powerful, long-lasting harmonic hum that can be both invigorating and calming at the same time.
When used in sound healing, singing bowls are sometimes referred to as healing bowls or chakra bowls. In sound healing, the bowls are played around, and sometimes placed on the body of the receiver of the treatment.
Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, and personal well-being. Singing bowls were historically made throughout Asia, especially Nepal, China and Japan. Tibetan singing bowls are not Buddhist in origin, but more likely date back to the pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bon culture. They are closely related to decorative bells made along the Silk Road from the Near East to Western Asia. Today they are made in Nepal, India, Japan, China and Korea.
“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” — Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine, the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York.
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Dr. Gaynor mentions in an article in Shamans Drum magazine that the reason sound (and chanting) are still used in shamanistic cultures is that the sound induces trance states of consciousness conducive to healing.
Like a bell, the tone is produced by striking the side of the bowl with a wooden mallet. By running the mallet around the bowl – only with slight pressure – a pure tone will eventually rise. When this happens, the bowl is said to sing – hence its name. When you rub the edge of a Tibetan singing bowl, one can make the implements vibrate at a certain frequency, which is responsible for emitting this characteristic sound.
When you play a singing bowl, the vibrations cause the right and left sides of your brain to synchronize and emit alpha and theta brain waves in synchronicity with the vibrations emanating from your singing bowl. Theta brainwaves are essential to healing the body and mind and create an experience commonly known as “being in the zone.”
Steps to Make Your Tibetan Bowl Sing —
- Hold the singing bowl on the palm of the left hand. For smaller bowls, seven inches and under, hold on your fingertips.
- Grasp the mallet about mid-length, with all the fingertips pointing downwards and touching the wood. Palm downward.
- Gently tap the mallet against the side of the bowl to “warm-up” the bell.
- With an even pressure, rub the mallet clockwise around the outside edge of the rim of the bowl. Use a full arm movement, just like stirring a big kettle of soup, and keep the mallet straight up and down! Again, it’s not a wrist movement, but a full-arm movement.
- When you apply pressure, the friction of the mallet against the outer rim produces vibrations which result in sound.
Also published on Medium.