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May 12, 2018 3 min read
According to tradition, the existence of Tibetan 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.
When struck, Tibetan Singing Bowls produce sounds which invoke a deep state of relaxation which naturally assists one in entering into meditation, which is the pathway to enlightenment. These bowls are believed to vibrate at what is recognized as the frequency of perfection, otherwise known as the Sanskrit mantra “OM". Singing bowls They are a quintessential aid to meditation, and can be found on private Buddhist altars, and in temples, monasteries and meditation halls throughout the world.
In addition to their traditional use for meditation, singing bowls are used for deep relaxation, stress reduction, holistic healing, Reiki, chakra balancing, and world music. Many people find that the rich blend of harmonic overtones which the bowls produce have a direct affect upon their chakras and wellness.
Playing the bowls usually causes an immediate centering effect. The tones set up a "frequency following response" that creates a balancing left/right brain synchronization. Meditating on the subtle sounds of the Tibetan singing bowl tunes one in to the universal sound within and without.
Brief Note on Sound Healing:
While the phrase “Tibetan singing bowl” might be a modern construction the blending of sound and practice in Tibet goes back further even than the introduction of Buddhism 1300 years ago. What is the basis of this practice with sound? Humans’ first experience is vibration, which is a window into the potency of sound healing using Tibetan singing bowls.
The healing process works by training the brain waves so as to synchronize with the sounds of the bowl. These unique tones emitted will prepare you for deep meditation, intuitive messages, as well as creative thinking. For those who have tried this technique before, you know the sonic waves emitted by these bowls awaken our ability to hear much more than what we would normally. As we listen to these sounds, we tend to feel them just as much as we hear them.
Why does this matter?
In the east, health is looked at much differently than in the west; illness is thought of as a manifestation of disharmony within the body, such as an imbalance in the cells or a given organ. Having said that, since matter is energy that vibrates at different rates, the structure of matter can be changed when you alter the rate of vibration. The body is said to be healthy only when each cell and organ resonates in harmony with the entire body.
What these bowls do is cause the brain to switch to Theta brain wave frequencies that heighten one’s intuition, clarity of mind, as well as deep meditative and peaceful states. This positively affects our nervous system and engages our relaxation reflex while also inhibiting the pain or stress response.
When this alignment occurs, health and healing all come into balance, creating deep harmony within and without. This can easily lead to spontaneous healing. As the great Tibetan master, Bodhisattva Gwalwa Karmapa puts it so finely, these Singing Bowls emit the “sound of the void” which is really the sound of universe.
Given that the science behind this method is slowly being uncovered, modern medicine is just starting to measure as well as validate its ability to heal our body, mind, and soul.
Tibet's history with the singing bowl includes Bon tradition as well as all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism where bells, horns and gongs are used in ceremony. One early visitor to Tibet reported witnessing a ceremony in which a thousand monks each made a sound with their own bowl.
“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.”
- Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine, the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York
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