For several centuries ago, in the mystical lands of Tibet, lamas and monks made very particular bowls or bowls since they could produce harmonic sounds that promote relaxing effects and induce a deep serenity in people who delighted in listening to their harmony. The use of Tibetan bowls spread rapidly, establishing itself in the Buddhist community and has transcended to this day, expanding its use to various applications such as alternative medicine and healing therapies.
What are Tibetan bowls?
Singing bowls, also called Tibetan bowls or singing bowls, are bowl-shaped instruments that, when struck or rubbed on their edges with drumsticks or mallets, generate sounds similar to bells. The sound produced by these Tibetan instruments induces a deep state of relaxation, creates an atmosphere of calm and peace and naturally encourages meditation. This is a practice whose ultimate goal is to walk the path to enlightenment. Because of their effectiveness in achieving meditative states, Tibetan bowls are commonly found in public and private Buddhist temples, monasteries, meditation halls, and altars throughout the world.
Story Tibetan bowls
According to the Tibetan tradition, the existence of bowls dates back to the time of the historical Buddha (560 – 480 BC). The habit of benefiting from the magnificent results that the so-called Tibetan music was brought from ancient India to Tibet, where singing bowls were coupled with Buddhist teachings and practices.
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Manufacturing of Tibetan bowls
The manufacture of these Tibetan instruments is an artisanal, arduous and complex process that only specialized hands can carry out. There is a legend in which it is affirmed that the first bowl was made with the metal extracted from a meteorite fall in the Himalayas, to which exceptional virtues were attributed. The alloy used to make the bowls is made up of seven sacred metals, corresponding to seven celestial bodies:
- Gold – The Sun
- Silver – The Moon
- Iron – Mars
- Mercury – Mercury
- Tin – Jupiter
- Lead – Saturn
- Copper – Venus
Use of Tibetan bowls
At first, the bowls were used by pregnant women, as it was said that eating them provided a diet rich in minerals. However, the sound produced by the bowls has a traditional use aimed at promoting meditation. These Tibetan instruments are used to achieve deep relaxation, reduce stress, balance the chakras, practice holistic healing, and impart Reiki. Many people find that the rich blend of harmonic sounds produced by Tibetan bowls has a positive, helpful and direct effect on their being.
The sounds generated by these traditional Tibetan instruments cause an immediate centering result. The tones produced by the bowls promote mental balance and create a synchronization of the cerebral hemispheres. Meditating listening to the Tibetan music produced by the bowls, tunes the being with the cosmos internally and externally.
Drumsticks and Mallets
Tibetan bowls have a huge range of sounds available, especially good quality antiques. Those who master the proper techniques to play these instruments can extract wonderful sounds using different sticks and mallets. These implements make it possible to highlight the sound peculiarities of the bowl. Even isolate sounds or reach very high notes hidden in the low tones.
The drumsticks and mallets used to produce the Tibetan music extracted from the stories are of great importance since the sounds that will be obtained depend on them. Different characteristics determine the specific characteristics of drumsticks: length, diameter, coverage, etc. Without a doubt, the wooden drumsticks are the most traditional. They are usually made from the wood of a hard pulp tree native to Tibet. In addition, we have felt or leather-covered drumsticks and tempered cotton-covered drumsticks, known as mallets.
How to use the Tibetan bowls?
Like other musical instruments, some techniques must be practiced to get the most out of the Tibetan bowl. First of all, it should be noted that there are two basic ways to get sound out of bowls:
The touch: Consists of giving a sharp blow to the upper edge of the bowl; if a wooden drumstick is used, the resulting sound will sound somewhat tinny. Striking it with a drumstick covered in leather or felt will make the sound softer; if you play with a cotton stick, you get the most harmonic sounds.
The turn: Consists of rubbing the edges of the bowl with the drumstick; this turn should be clockwise. As with playing, the loudness obtained depends on the stick used. It should be noted that the pressed cotton drumstick is not used to make the turn, only the wooden drumsticks and those covered with leather and felt. To get the sounds out of the bowl by making the turn, it is important to know and control the speed with which it occurs since too much or too little speed adversely alters the sound emanating from the Tibetan bowl. A suitable speed produces a clean and homogeneous sound.
Whenever the Tibetan bowl is used, the following should be kept in mind:
Support the bowl in the palm of the left hand. There should be nothing obstructing its walls, as that is where the sounds are produced.
Hold the drumstick or mallet for the middle of its length with the tips of the fingers pointing downwards.
The touch should be a light blow.
When turning, maintain even pressure.
Initially, mistakes are likely to be made. As simple as it may seem, obtaining the harmonic sounds produced by these Tibetan instruments requires practice. However, anyone can develop the ability to extract the most harmonious and subtle sounds, which are ideal for creating that calm and serene environment that encourages deep meditation.
Studies carried out jointly by acoustics, a branch of physics that studies sound, and by cymatics, a section in charge of studying the behavior of vibratory phenomena, show without a doubt that any sound close to the human organism will cause a physical change in him and his electromagnetic fields. This effect is probably not permanent, but it is something that really needs to be considered and taken into account. It should not be forgotten that we are constantly vibrating; Each molecule, cell, tissue, organ, gland, bone, and fluid in the body has its rate and degree of vibration. Current science shows that sound affects the body, something that simply supports what has been recognized for centuries. The use of Tibetan bowls and the effects they produce on the listener.