I have a love affair with Tibetan singing bowls. I play them daily as part of my personal yoga and meditation practice and also use them in the classes I teach. They are mesmerizing and undeniably relaxing.
In his book How to Heal with Singing Bowls, author Suren Shrestha explains that quantum physics has proven that everything has vibration, whether it’s a table, a chair, a person, a planet, or a cosmos. And wherever there is a sound, there is a vibration. When we use sound coupled with intention, which is the most important aspect of healing, we can direct sound vibration to raise the body’s vibrational frequency.
According to Tibetan oral tradition, the existence of singing bowls dates back to the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni (560 – 480 B.C.). The tradition was brought from India to Tibet, along with the teachings of the Buddha, by the great tantric master Padmasambhava in the 8th century A.D. (Bodhisattva.com)
Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, sound therapy and personal well-being. They are played by striking the rim of the bowl with a padded mallet, or by the friction of rubbing a wood or leather wrapped mallet around the rim of the bowl which emphasize the harmonic overtones and a produces a continuous ‘singing’ sound. Different bowls correspond to different chakras and produce different notes on the musical scale.
Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York explains the use of sound for healing like this:
“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”
If you attend one of my yoga or meditation classes, you will likely hear me play at least one, possibly two or more singing bowls. It’s my favorite way to begin and end practice. Soothed muscles and a soothed soul – what could be better than that?