Science has shown that, at the atomic level, everything is in vibration and motion. Every molecule in your body vibrates at specific frequencies. The frequencies of your heart are different from the frequencies of your brain, liver, stomach, and arm.
Sound is defined as vibrational energy. It is a physical energy that travels THROUGH you. And as it travels through you, each sound wave pushes against your atoms and molecules sending them into a state of vibration.
Your body is designed to perform perfectly in harmony. When something goes out of tune – like a disease in the body, then singing bowls work like the reset button on your computer.
Sometimes, when things just aren’t working on the computer, a restart is all it takes to get it humming along properly.
Your body and energetic field do the same thing with the right bowl. As the sound travels through your body, it creates a movement that can loosen up emotional blocks allowing them to leave, loosen up tight muscles, dislodge the constant chatter or even quiet it down, help to manage pain and so much more.
When the sound stops, the body and field reset to their original healthy and harmonious state. This stimulates the natural, healing response of the body.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a ‘one time fix.’ We live in a complex world with many influences that pull us out of harmony. Having a singing bowl or a recording of bowls that you love, allows you to push the restart button when you need it.
When you stimulate the natural healing response of your body you will notice some changes. Your muscles relax. Your shoulders will drop or muscle aches and pains will diminish. Your breathing will slow down. The chatter in the mind will calm down, allowing your mind to clear and improve focus.
Your emotional state will move into a calmer state. As you reduce stress hormones in the body, your immune system kicks in. Singing bowls are amazing stress-busters!
As you continue to calm body, emotions and mind, you may notice a deeper spiritual connection or knowingness.
You gain access to deeper parts of your being – the subconscious or unconscious mind. Here, you have access to control over pain, body systems and stimulating a deeper healing response in your body.
Some singing bowls will harmonize with you and some won’t. Maybe many of them will or maybe none of them will. When working with a bowl it is essential to be aware of the effect of its sound on you. How does it feel?
Meditating with Singing Bowls
Do you find it difficult to meditate? Meditation is often defined as quieting or calming the mind. There are many, many ways to do this. And that is good news.
An effective way of calming the mind is to create a very strong focus on one thing. Singing bowls are a successful tool for creating this focus. Their sound has such a powerful presence that it is difficult not to focus the mind, especially when you are playing one.
It is a wonderful way to create a meditative state with minimum effort. And that is even better news.
Sound moves through your body faster than it moves through the air. The sound of the singing bowls affects you physically in three main ways.
The first is the effect of the sound on your brain waves. It stimulates more brain waves in the alpha frequency range (around 8 to 13 Hertz), calming the mind.
The second is the effect of the physical motion of playing the bowl. This simple and repetitive motion commands your attention as does the sound created by the bowl. This in turn creates the third effect.
Your breathing and heartbeat slow down, putting you into a relaxed state.
I have assisted many people in learning how to play the Tibetan and crystal singing bowls and have found a few simple things to make your first experience playing the bowls successful.
A singing bowl is played either by striking the outside of the bowl or by rubbing the stick or mallet around the outside rim. Some people find that there is a subtle difference in the feeling and effect created within them by choosing either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction for the rubbing movement. If you have a singing bowl, I invite you to play with this.
Below are a few helpful hints.
Tibetan (or metal) singing bowl:
If the bowl is small enough to fit in your hand to play, make sure you hold the bowl in a way that does as little as possible to muffle the sound. Wrapping your fingers around the bowl will muffle its sound more.
Two ways that work well are demonstrated in the pictures below.
I have found that the sound appears more easily if you hold the stick straight up and down. You can vary the pressure of the stick against the bowl to vary the volume of the sound. You can also give the bowl a gentle tap to get the sound started. Please click on the link below to view the picture.
As the bowl begins to sound and vibrate more, you may notice the stick rattles against the edge of the bowl. The rattle can be minimized by slowing down the movement of the stick around the bowl and by adding more pressure on the stick against the bowl.
Crystal singing bowl:
Crystal bowls are more fragile that Tibetan bowls. They are played usually with a rubber mallet covered with suede. Please see the picture below. You can use the mallet to chime (i.e. gently strike the side) of the bowl or to rub it around the outside rim as for the Tibetan bowl.
Please be aware that crystal singing bowls can get very loud – loud enough to cause discomfort or damage to your hearing. You can control the volume of your bowl by varying the speed of moving the mallet around the bowl and by varying the pressure of the mallet against the outside of the bowl.
As you are playing your bowl, turn your awareness to the effect of the sound on your body, emotions and mental state.
As I watch a person play a bowl for several minutes, the physical change in their body is quite dramatic. Their shoulders relax and their breathing slows down. The whole body becomes more relaxed as the mind becomes more focused. Often, the person becomes so engrossed in the sound that they become oblivious to their surroundings.
Some of my workshops and presentations end with a crystal singing bowl sound bath during which bowls are placed around the outside of a group and volunteers are asked to play them.
Consistently, many of the players become so engrossed in the experience that a gentle touch on the shoulder is needed to let them know it is time to stop the sound. That is powerful focus.
If you do not have a singing bowl and would like to experience their sounds, I have attached a link to two sound files below. The link below will take you to the files on my website. Each one lasts for about 5 minutes.
The first track is the Tibetan singing bowl. This bowl is around 300 years old and vibrates many frequencies simultaneously.
The second track is a singing crystal bowl pitched at F#. To me, the pitch F# is associated with the thymus gland and the heart’s intimate connection to spiritual essence or God. This bowl is also an alchemical bowl. There is platinum bonded to the outside of the bowl and gold bonded to the inside of the bowl.
The sound of this bowl to me, and the combination of the platinum (which resonates a feminine energy) and the gold (which resonates a masculine energy) creates a balance of feminine and masculine in the heart.
Sound tools like singing bowls are amazing tools to remind the body that it was designed to perform in perfect harmony and that it is programmed for health and wellbeing. We live lives that often get overwhelming. It’s good to know that only a few minutes of playing one of these amazing tools can create a shift towards healing and health.
There are many articles about singing bowls and other sound tools – and sound clips – in the membership area at www.soundwellness.com. Membership is FREE! If you are interested in having your own singing Tibetan bowl or crystal bowl, check out the store area on the website. There are sound clips of every bowl (and sound tool) in the store.
Sharon Carne, BMus, M.F.A. is an author, speaker, musician, recording artist, sound healer, Reiki master and consultant. Sharon is the founder of Sound Wellness, whose programs are at the forefront of education in how sound and music can be easily applied to your everyday life – to reduce stress, help you concentrate, energize you, inspire you, support your health and so much more.