Singing bowls are a type of idiophone, which is a musical instrument that when struck, shaken or scraped, produces sound through vibration. Singing bowls are similar to bells in that the smaller ones produce more delicate sounds, while the larger bowls produce deeper, more full-bodied sounds. Singing bowls are often used as tools for meditation and are thought to offer powerful healing properties.
Although the exact origins are unknown the first singing bowls were said to be made in Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago, but “modern” singing bowls have been made in connection to the practice of Buddhism in India, Tibet and Nepal for the last 2,400 years. As such, singing bowls are believed to be one of the most ancient artisan crafts in human history. Historically, singing bowls made in the succeeding centuries were believed to have been crafted by combining several types of metals, anywhere between five to nine, and sometimes even twelve types of metals. The most common composition was of seven metals. These metals were consecrated with each metal believed to represent a heavenly body or a planet: Gold (Sun), Silver (Moon), Mercury (Mercury), Copper (Venus), Iron (Mars), Tin (Jupiter) and Lead (Saturn). These metals were smelted and purified prior to being cast, reheated and hammered into form. Old singing bowls were believed to have been imbued with wishes, usually through singing chants or mantras.
Buddhist monks have long used singing bowls in their meditation practice. In addition, some wellness practitioners (including Reiki Practitioners, Vibrational Sound Therapists, Music Therapists, Massage Therapists, and Yoga Instructors) use singing bowls during treatment sessions. Lay people use singing bowls for many purposes, including stress reduction and pain relief. Some people use the bowls in combination with other healing practices, such as meditations and deep breathing. Many proponents claim that the vibrations of a singing bowl can produce beneficial changes in the body by reducing stress, “harmonizing” the cells, and “balancing” the body’s energy system and “aligning” the chakras. Some also claim that singing bowls can stimulate the immune system and produce beneficial changes in brain waves.
To create sound with a singing bowl, firmly press the accompanying mallet in a circular motion against the bowl’s outside edge or rim. When you hear a bright, clear tone, you can slow down the motion. Use your full arm to make the motion, rather than just rotating your wrist. You can also make the same circular motion against the outside belly of the bowl. Additionally, you can gently strike the bowl before beginning the circular motion.
Although there is little scientific support for the healing effects of Tibetan singing bowls their continued use through the ages attests to their efficacy. Many studies do show that lessening your stress may help boost your overall well-being and integrating the use of singing bowls can help enhance the relaxing effects of many stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and guided imagery. So please stop by The Secret Door to connect with one of our array of singing bowls in person or head over to www.thesecretdoormh.com to order one of our specially curated bowls