Tibetan Singing Bowls


Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, medicine bowls, Tibetan bowls or suzu gongs in Japan) are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, standing bells sit with the bottom surface resting. The sides and rim of singing bowls vibrate to produce sound. Singing bowls were traditionally used throughout Asia and the tradition of making sound with bronze bowls could go back 3,000 years to the bronze age.

Today they are employed worldwide both within and without spiritual traditions, for meditation, music, relaxation, personal well-being and religious practice. Singing bowls are used in health care by oncologists, psychotherapists, massage therapists, recovery, stress and meditation specialists. They are popular in classrooms to help facilitate group activities and focus students' attention.

Singing bowls were historically made throughout Asia. Today they are made in Nepal, India, Japan, China and Korea. The best known types are from the Himalayan region and are sometimes referred to as Himalayan singing bowls.




Origins, History, Usage Then and Now

In Buddhist practice, singing bowls are used as a signal to begin and end meditation. Some practitioners, for example, Chinese Buddhists use the singing bowl to accompany the wooden fish during chanting, striking it when a particular phrase in a sutra, mantra or hymn is sung. In Japan and Vietnam, singing bowls are similarly used during chanting and may also mark the passage of time or signal a change in activity. In Japan, singing bowls may be used in traditional funeral rites and ancestor worship.

It is likely they were used in rituals, having a specific function like other instruments (such as the ghanta, tingsha, and shang). The oral and written traditions from the Himalayan region are vast and largely unknown in the west. To date, no specific texts have been found discussing the use of singing bowls in depth. Paintings and statues dating from several centuries ago depict singing bowls in detail. Singing bowls from at least the 10th-12th century are found in private collections. The tradition may date significantly earlier since bronze has been used to construct musical instruments for thousands of years. Bronze bells from Asia have been discovered as early as the 8th-10th century BC.

Singing bowls are played by the friction of rubbing a wooden, plastic, or leather wrapped mallet around the rim of the bowl to produce overtones and a continuous 'singing' sound. High quality singing bowls produce a complex chord of harmonic overtones. Singing bowls may also be played by striking with a soft mallet to produce a warm bell tone.

Singing bowls are unique because they are multi-phonic instruments, producing multiple harmonic overtones at the same time. The overtones are a result of using an alloy consisting of multiple metals, each producing its own overtone. New bowls can also produce multiple harmonic overtones if they are high quality bronze, but many are made from a simpler alloy and produce only a principal tone and one harmonic overtone.

Hand made singing bowls are being produced in the centuries old tradition. The metal and construction technique is exactly the same as the antiques, only the workmanship is not as good. Also the tone improves as they age, so new bowls never sound as warm and mellow as a real antique.

Both antique and new bowls are widely used as an aid to meditation and as a tool for trance induction. They are also used in yoga, music therapy, sound healing, religious services, performance and for personal enjoyment.

Antique singing bowls produce multi-phonic and poly-harmonic overtones creating an effect that is unique to the instrument. The subtle yet complex multiple harmonic frequencies are a special quality of the high quality bronze alloy. The art of making singing bowls in the traditional way is often called a lost art, but traditional craftsmen do still make singing bowls in the traditional manner. These bowls are highly prized and collected worldwide, due to their fine craftsmanship and remarkable sound. They may display abstract decorations like lines, rings and circles engraved into the surface. Decoration may appear outside the rim, inside the bottom, around the top of the rim and sometimes on the outside bottom.

Singing bowls are manufactured today. New bowls may be plain or decorated. They sometimes feature religious iconography and spiritual motifs and symbols, such as the Tibetan mantra Om mani padme hum, images of Buddhas, and Ashtamangala. New singing bowls are exported from Nepal and India. The best hand made examples are made in Nepal. High quality new singing bowls are made in Japan and Korea but are not generally exported.




Healing, Energy Work, and and Meditation

Tibetan singing bowls have been used traditionally for spiritual and healing purposes since ancient times. These bowls are in use now for stress-relief, meditation, yoga, and other applications. The secret of the bowls is the way they sound and the vibrations they emit.



Vibrations -- Everything vibrates at a specific frequency in different levels of consciousness in reality, including the human body and its energy systems - Chakras and Auras. Tibetan singing bowls, produce pure vibrations, capable of correcting these imbalances in our Subtle Bodies and gently correct blockages and imbalances. This is why it is particularly effective to place singing bowls directly on the body so that the vibrations are in an optimal position to affect any internal imbalances.


Sound -- Aside from the vibrational qualities of singing bowls, they also heal in a simpler way. As humans, we are exposed to many unnatural and discordant sounds - the rush of traffic, television chatter and other electronic noise pollution, and countless more random and unpleasant sounds of modern-day living. Tibetan singing bowls produce sounds that are calming and pleasing to the brain. The bowls produce tones that are pure and naturally harmonious and resonant with each other. The effect of listening to this type of music calms the mind, much like listening to nature sounds would. A calm mind naturally produces a healthier body, making it less susceptible to illness and disease.


In the News ...


  Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets   BBC - July 1, 2011
Ceremonial Tibetan "singing bowls" are beginning to give up their secrets. The water-filled bowls, when rubbed with a leather-wrapped mallet, exhibit a lively dance of water droplets as they emit a haunting sound. Now slow-motion video has unveiled just what occurs in the bowls; droplets can actually bounce on the water's surface. A report in the journal Nonlinearity mathematically analyses the effect and could shed light on other fluid processes, such as fuel injection. At the heart of the phenomenon are what are known as Faraday waves, which arise when a fluid such as water vibrates, constrained by a closed boundary such as the edge of a singing bowl. As the frequency of the rubbing reaches that at which the bowl naturally vibrates, the bowl's edge begins rhythmically to change shape, from one slightly oval shape into another. The energy of this shape-shifting partly transfers to the water, in which a range of interesting patterns can arise as the intensity of the rubbing increases.




Chakras, Singing Bowls, and Healing


CHAKRA
COLOR
NUMBER
NOTE
FOCUS
Root Red 1st C Survival
Sacral Orange 2nd D Emotions
Solar plexus Yellow 3rd E Energy
Heart Green 4th F Love
Throat Blue 5th G Communication
Brow (Third eye) Indigo 6th A Intuition
Crown Violet 7th B Understanding

The pure tone of crystal bowls produces a vibrational sound field which resonates the light body chakra and corresponding physical area. A series of pure crystal tone therapy facilitates the rebalancing of each receiver back into an elevated level of etheric radiance.

Clear quartz contains the full spectrum of light that is related to the seven energy centers (chakras) and thus heals the listener by bringing pure light through sound as specific color back into the human aura. The effect is multiplied as the crystal bowls are played.

Crystal acts as an oscillator, magnifying, and transmitting pure tone. This is why pure silicon crystal is used in all of our most advanced telecommunication systems.

Like a powerful radio transmitter, the crystal bowls transmit energy into the atmosphere, filling a person's aura with vibrational radiance which translates into the seven main colors of the rainbow.

Through the pure crystal tones as the sound effects brain wave activity one can travel into an altered state of consciousness .

As different parts of the brain are affected, it is probable that they release different hormones and neuro-chemicals which can suppress pain, strengthen willpower in one's creative talents and overcome addictions.

This was found that among the wave patterns of different singing bowls there is a measurable wave pattern which is equivalent to the alpha waves produced by the brain.

Quartz crystal music holds the vibration of white light which ultimately refracts into the rainbow and acts directly on our chakra's when played. It has the power to bring about a positive shift in our consciousness and as our awareness expands, we crow close to our original selves and start to reflect the highest radiance in our physical form.

Crystal is able to maintain the balance of electromagnetic energies between the north and south poles. It is extremely accurate and consequently the foundation of timekeeping systems in all our contemporary watches is quartz crystal. The same electromagnetic field exists within all life forms.

Clear quartz integrates the balance our own electromagnetic energies.




Crystal singing bowls iare made from silica sand which is pure quartz in nature. The sand is dropped into a centrifugal force spinning mold, and at the proper instant, in the center of that mold, there is an electric arc torch that is ignited to several thousand degrees centigrade. It integrates the individual particles of sand into an amorphous unified whole, which goes from being crystalline in nature to being amorphous - or glass - in nature.

Some bowls are clear. Some are frosted. Bowls can be created that will play to a certain frequency. Clear bowls are lighter, more expensive and play best when held in the hand. Crystal bowl music can be programmed. Quartz crystal as a holographic light template is able to hold, transmit, and receive thought forms and is fundamental to the memory "mother boards" of all computers.

Crystal singing bowls range in diameter from 5 1/2 inches - 24 inches. Prices can vary from $150 and up. I DO NOT sell crystal bowls.

Crystal bowls are accompanied by a wooden stick that is covered at the end with suede. The stick is moved around the crystal bowl in a circular fashion to produce different tones. The suede ends touches the bowl. It takes practice to learn how to hold the stick and move it to get the correct resonance.

Crystal bowls usually rest on a rubber "O Ring" base. As you move the stick around the perimeter of the bowl it creates a harmonic tone that becomes stronger as you go around each time. The bowl quickly appears to be singing. A particular size of bowl may be available in more than one note or tone. This varies with weight, wall height, and wall thickness.

Crystal bowls are used for healing and energy work.

Here I am at a class using the bowls and chanting.




Cultural Uses

Many cultures recognize the importance of music and sound as a healing power.

In the ancient civilizations of India, the Orient, Africa, Europe and among the Aboriginals and Native Americans, the practice of using sound to heal and achieve balance from within has existed for thousands of years.

The Tibetans still use bells, chimes, bowls, and chanting as the foundation of their spiritual practice.

In Bali, Indonesia, the echoing gamelang, gong, and drum are used in ceremonies to uplift and send messages.

The Australian Aboriginals and Native American shamanists use vocal toning and repetitive sound vibration with instruments created from nature in sacred ceremony to adjust any imbalance of the spirit, emotions or physical being.

The Priests of ancient Egypt knew how to use vowel sounds to resonate their energy centers or chakras. There is a direct link between different parts of the body and specific sounds. Such a technique appears extremely old, yet healing through sound goes back even further-at least as far back as Atlantis where the power of sound was combined with the power of crystal.




Prophecies

At the present time the Hopi Prophecy speaks of the "Coming of the Rainbow People", through the Keepers of the Crystal Bowls. This ancient wisdom has emerged to heal and raise the consciousness of the universe through pure crystal tone.

Edgar Cayce predicted pure tones would be used for healing before the end of the 20th century.

Nostradamus foretold the healing of disease through pure tone. He sometimes used a Singing Bowl filled with water to scry for information upon which he based his predictions.





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