Polaroid Android: Bowled Over
I discovered Tibetan bowls through an article by Ethan Lazzerini on crystal cleansing in which he argues in favour of sound cleansing rather than the conventional methods with water, salt or sun/moonlight that not only can be damageable to some crystals, but may also turn out to be polluted sources whereas singing bowls produce pure vibrations.
Although originating from Tibet, these carved-out metallic bowls are made in Nepal and India too. They are so ancient that their origin remains uncertain. Some suggest they were just everyday items whilst others claim they were used by Himalayan shamans of the pre-Buddhist era. However, since ancient times they have been used in ceremonial and secular music and also by Buddhists to mark the beginning and end of prayers. Introduced in the West in the mid-1960's, they are mostly used for meditation, sound therapy, chakra balancing, and cleansing.
Traditionally, singing bowls are handmade and hammered from alloy plates with a high brass (or bronze) ratio, ideally using five or seven different metals, each associated with one of the seven chakras or seven heavenly bodies of the solar system:
- lead: root chakra - Saturn - do/C
- tin: sacral chakra - Jupiter - ré/D
- iron: solar chakra - Mars - mi/E
- copper: heart chakra - Venus - fa/F
- mercury: throat chakra - Mercury - sol/G
- silver: third-eye chakra - Moon- la/A
- gold: crown chakra - Sun - si/B
While handcrafted production of singing bowls is still available in Nepal, the modern ones found in China or India are shaped by machine-lathing and given their increasing popularity, you should be wary of cheap “fake” bowls containing too much iron or tin which can't “sing” and will produce a dull metallic sound — like you're hitting a saucepan — that will quickly stop or won't rise in vibration.
Singing bowls are usually sold with a cushion to enhance the sound and a wooden stick (or a mallet) — that may be covered with leather or rubber — which is used to gently slowly rub the outside of the bowl or strike it like a gong. The larger the diameter, the deeper and low-pitched it will sound. But as with any musical instrument, many other factors come into play regarding the quality of the note produced such as the different metal ratio of the alloy used, the striking (or rubbing) stick as well as the skill of the user which, like many things, comes from practice.
Below is the “song” I managed to produce with my 3.7 inch singing bowl handcrafted in Nepal with an alloy of seven metals and a peach wooden stick (you can clearly hear some rubbing noises due to my lack of experience and the wear of the stick which I"ve slightly damaged in my early attempts to make it sing while forcefully striking instead of rubbing):
The vibrations produced by Tibetan bowls while “singing” create a wonderful sensation of well-being, the sound waves passing through our body and vibrating the water molecules it is primarily made of. Some recommend “warming them up” before playing to allow them to unleash all their energy. You may define singing bowls in terms of Yin and Yang: the lower their pitch, the more related to the Yin energy of the lower body and material planes; conversely, the higher the pitch, the more related to the Yang energy of the upper body and etheric planes.
Sound will be the medicine of the future.
~ Edgar Cayce
Metaphysically, singing bowls transmute negative or unbalanced energy and raise the vibration of everything within their scope of action, passing through atoms and walls.
So please, feel free to shake the walls (and your neighbours) for the highest good of all!
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Tags: sound, music, health, eyael
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