July 29, 2010 on 11:00 am
From the desk of The Spiritual Explorer
Tibetan Singing Bowl
Dear Spiritual Explorer: When I went shopping I came across Tibetan Singing Bowls. Can you speak on the quality of their sound and how that sound affects meditation? Ron G. St. Paul, Mn
Dear Ron: You only have to hear the sounds emanating from the Tibetan Singing Bowls to understand how sound affects meditation. Both the Tibetan Singing Bowls and Tingsha Cymbals have the quality of resounding in your ears long after they have been struck. In fact, I have heard of singing bowls lasting for many long seconds. A great experience is to hear singing bowl masters playing many of these bowls, the resonant harmony of several of them being struck at the same.
These singing bowls create a profound effect and you are brought into a deep meditative space. You asked what effect it has on meditation, and the answer beautifully said is that one follows the singing bowls into the silence.
Tibetan singing bowls are of course from Tibet where their sounds have longed sounded within the myriad of extraordinary temples that stood before the Chinese invasions. They are traditionally made from a combination of seven different metals. The 7 Metal Meditation Bowl Set in Ma’s India is one that has been made with these standards and rests upon a brocaded cushion that comes with a sturdy wooden meditation stick that can play the bowl like a gong or used to run along the outside the rim of the bowl.
Speaking of rims around the bowl, there are yang bowls and yin bowls, the difference being the thickness of the rim around the bow. The yang bowl had a fatter lip and the yin has a thinner lip. Some people use crystal bowls as well as metal made, and some of them are as old as 800 years. .
7 Metals Tibetan Singing Bowl
Sometimes when we start out on the spiritual path we are amazed by some of the feelings and sensations evoked by new sensorial experiences attached to our meditative reveries. I remember when I first heard a singing bowl and was astonished to feel it resounding deeply and profoundly within my body long after it had been struck. It was as if I were a hollow reed and there was nothing in my body but the cascading sound.
I have also seen persons doing what they call sound therapy with the bowls. They take the specific bowl and place it over a chakra and ring it. It is believed by these therapists that the bowls clear the negative energy from the individual chakra. As your body comes into alignment with the sound, it is at once cleansed and relaxed. It could also be said humorously that your body is receiving a “tune-up.” This particular healer told me that he rings the bowl and waits for the energy to change within the chakra. Once he feels this, he moves to the next and on and on.
I once witnessed one of these singing bowl masters put some water into the bowl and as the ringing proceeded, the water began to churn and vibrate. He then told us that similar to the water within the bowl, our bodies being composed of two-thirds water would likewise move and vibrate within. These are interesting concepts.
Of course, there is chanting, other spiritual singing and music which have the quality of changing your energy and bringing you into a meditative state. It is a fascinating study, this study of music and sound, and there will certainly be more to be said in my coming articles.
Thanks for writing, Ron. Sincerely, Spiritual Explorer
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