Tibetan Singing Bowls
The origins of the Tibetan Singing Bowls is shrouded in mystery but seem likely to date back to PreBuddhist Tibetan Bon culture, over 600 BCE, with stories going back to 3500 BCE. We didn't start to see them appearing in the west until the 1950's after the Chinese invasion of Tibet and the exile of the Dalai Lama. Now quite widespread most of the bowls we see today are from Tibet, Nepal, India, Korea, Japan and China.
The bowls are traditionally made from 7 metals,- gold, silver, lead, mercury, copper, tin and iron - related to the 7 planets of the Solar System and what else resonates to the 7? Our chakras, the colours of rainbow and so on.... Which metals were used was dependent on the area and what was available. Sometimes even meteorite was used and seen as a gift from the heavens and reserved for the most sacred of instruments. Nowadays most are a bronze alloy containing copper and tin. Or a brass alloy containing mostly copper and zinc. The bronze alloy makes a deeper resonating sound and the brass alloy is sharper and bright. You can now also buy Indian singing bowls made from aluminium and they have a great resonant tone and are lighter to carry!
Once again we see the symbology of the beater representing the masculine and the bowl representing the feminine. The sound when struck represents the harmony and balance that can be found when these two energies meet. You can play the bowl by tapping or striking the bowl on the outside or rimming it, which is running the beater around the outside of the bowl with firm and steady pressure.
The healing power of the Tibetan Singing Bowls is varied - they have been used for centuries for religious ceremonies, spiritual awakenings, healings, and meditation. They can be played for yourself or others and also played on the body. I'd love to share more about the healing power of Tibetan Singing Bowls and will be offering more information at an upcoming Sound Healing Workshop.