Silviamar: The sound and tibetan bowls    
 The sound and tibetan bowls10 comments
picture 17 Aug 2005 @ 07:58, by Silvia M.S

Tibetan bowls are very useful in meditation, chakra balancing, clearing negative energy and also for healing. As some Tibetan masters have said, these bowls of Tibet emit the "Sound of the Void", the sound of the universe manifesting.

I'm a newbie in this matter, and here in NCN there are people with much more knowledge abou it than me, some even have a great collection of tibetan bowls. My purpose with this little article is to introduce this wonderful "tools" to those who have never heard about them before.

The original tibetan bowls are said to be made in the Himalayas from a fusion of different metals: gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin, antimony (the seven planetary metals) plus sometimes nickel, zinc and even a meteorite piece. The manner in which the metals are combined is not known, as they were handmade following a formula known only by the old masters. They have a base sound tone along with different harmonics, and they can be played in two different ways: we can rub the outside rim in a circular motion with a wooden stick, making the sound and vibration to raise slowly; or we can tap them getting a strong sound quickly.

The sound from the bowls guides the brain to an alpha wave frequency that induces a deep meditative and peaceful state, as well as clarity of mind. Besides, when played close or directly on the body the sound vibrations are transmitted into our blood and organs, so they can be used for healing. Why? Well, any object living or non-living has a unique energetic vibrational field, and when two objects vibrate in harmony they vibrational fields strengthen each other. A body in a healthy state is like an orchestra, where each cell and each organ creates a resonance in harmony with the whole being. But when one or more body components vibrate out of tune then the natural flow of energy is replaced by an inadequate vibration, leading to a disease. So in order to bring a healthy state back, it's necesary to restore the natural fundamental frequency, and this can be done through the vibration and sound of the tibetan bowls. They resonate with every cell in the body to release any blockage and restore the lost balance. And not only their sound is great, but also the silence that you experiment after the sound has diluted in the air and become a part of you.

I saw the first one during my Tai Chi retreat in the mountains and felt a strong connection with it. Since then I became pretty fascinated by them, so I decided to look for one and experiment with it. Curiously, some weeks later somebody suggested me to attended a concert by a norwegian woman who does sound therapy with bowls and gongs, so I did it and also went to an amazing private sound session with her. My Tai Chi teacher assured me that she sells genuine tibetan bowls, so decided to buy one from her. After trying some I got the one that I felt a better connection with. So here I am with a tibetan bowl in my life. It's an original one, hand-hammered, looks pretty old as you can see in the picture and has a beautiful base tone A (La) and at least two harmonics. When I play it, a strong vibration comes trough my hand to my body, and the sound penetrates very deeply inside me, it's difficult to describe the sensations I feel while playing it!. It's wonderful for meditation.

Even if you're not interested in having one of these tibetan bowls, you should try to attend to a concert if you have the opportunity. A fantastic experience that will enrich you.

Versión en español aquí.

[< Back] [Silviamar]



17 Aug 2005 @ 13:06 by jstarrs : Intriguing...
..I'd heard of tibetan bowls before but never encountered them, despite being interested in Tibetan buddhism for over 25 years.
I do know that the instruments used in rituels, the thigh bone trumpets & long deep bass trumpets, bells and damarus, all contribute to vibrating on deep levels but bowls are not used in these rituals.
Where do they come from?
I definately have to ask my friend Tenzin about this mystery!
The photograph is lovely - warm colors, calm, like a still life dutch painting from the 16th century.
Great! Ask your friend about them and then please tell me what you find out. I'm very interested in them.  

17 Aug 2005 @ 14:17 by jeffreyiam : i too use Tibetan bowls
from my understanding the different metals when played work with the minerals of the body to create movement. Emotions when stuck in the physical create blockages within our system. This could be tight muscles of stomach pains. The vibration of the bowls and minerals can assist you in shifting those holdings. This is only accomplished when you are willing to gain understanding of what is being held and ready to let go. I have done group mediations with the bowls and those present would experience incredible inward journeys some of which became life changing.
Very interesting comment, Jeffrey. I still remember my "travel" during the bowls&gongs concert of that Norwegian woman. By the way, have you played them with some amount of water inside? I haven't still tried with mine, it's said that some work with water and others don't.

17 Aug 2005 @ 16:52 by jazzolog : Teak Is The Wood For Rubbing
I got turned onto them by an online friend in Texas who had no connection with Buddhism at all. She knew they were from Tibet though and absolutely insisted I get one. OK, so I was shopping in Toronto shortly thereafter and went into one of the mysterious, magical shops that sometimes disappear as soon as you leave. There was a very beautiful and weird guy in there who had several, and I selected the one whose tone was most rich when he produced it. It cost rather a bundle, but I felt a connection. He asserted the striker (or rubbing vibrator) is very important and the one I got is teak. I recommend it.

It took rather a lot of balanced practice before I started getting the tones I want. At first I placed the bowl on oak, but eventually came to realize I could set it in the palm of my hand and the sound would sing anyway. If you get one going in a crowd, it's amazing how everyone stops and the tone dominates the scene. Powerful stuff.
Teak, good to know it!. Actually, I don't know which wood is mine.
In my case, the base tone came the first time I played it, just after the first loop. But the harmonics only came after some days of practice. I always play it on my hand, directly on my fingers (though it's pretty heavy!), trying to touch it as less as possible.

I once brought it to my lab, showed it to my boss and he wasn't able to make any sound after rubbing it for 10 minutes, I still remeber his astonished face when he saw me playing it as soon as I rubbed it for a moment hahaha. He couldn't find a scientific explanation about it. Good lesson for the day ;-)
I love playing it at night, when everything is in silence. Then I go to bed and still feel the sound vibrating inside myself.

Richard, have you tried using water inside the bowl?  

18 Aug 2005 @ 06:23 by skookum : I need to get a CD
of this music. It sounds wonderful!
Marissa, sure that you will love it!  

22 Aug 2005 @ 00:38 by hgoodgame : I have a Tibetan singing bowl -
as well as a couple of crystal singing bowls. The crystal ones are tuned to different keys and work well with water inside. After awhile the water absolutely sparkles with tiny bubbles from the sound of the bowl. It's energized then and can be used for drinking. For making them sing, a friend of mine invented a simple tool. It's a chopstick with one of those small high bouncing balls at the end. When you rub the outside of the bowl with the little ball, it really sings! It (the chopstick ball) works very well on the Tibetan 7 metal bowls too.
Thanks for the interesting article, Sylvia, glad you had a chance to play with the bowls!
We can all found an orchestra!! :-)
I've heard about those crystal bowls, but never seen one in person. People say that they have a very strong sound. Thanks for sharing the idea of the chopstick ball!, will try it when I start adding water to my bowl.  

23 Aug 2005 @ 13:39 by swan : I have one too,
and want to get a crystal singing bowl. The one I really want is called Egyptian Blue and it is cobalt/indigo blue.
I want a crystal one too, their sound seems very powerful. I've googled about the 'egyptian blue bowl', wow!! And good color for our inner nature, my friend! ;-)  

24 Aug 2005 @ 22:39 by hgoodgame : Wow, a cobalt bowl would be awesome!
Yes, the crystals bowls make a very intense sound but you don't have to rub them that hard. I have a small 6 inch clear and a large 14 inch cloudy crystal bowl. I forget what tone they make now but when they get going, it can really un-nerve you! The whole house vibrates. You have to drill a hole in the rubber ball about halfway (to the middle of the ball), large enough barely to push the chopstick in, and use a little super glue to make it stick. A wooden chopstick seems to work fine. It's much easier getting the bowls to sing with this little device. We used the large bowl to generate 'charged' water, it sparkles and fizzes while the bowl sings. ;) Also, based on how much water you add, it changes the tone of the bowl.
'Charged water', it sounds so good! I've been thinking that maybe a crystal bowl won't be adequate for me because I have an extremely sensitive ear, strong sounds really annoy me (as well as when people shout). Anyway, I have to try water in my bowl this week.
As you can see in the pic, the wand that came with my bowl has a half part covered by a sort of rubber adhesive, and when I use it the base sound comes very easily, almost during the first loop. But I like the idea of the chopstick and the rubber ball, will try it! :-) I've been also suggested to cover the wooden part of the wand with packaging tape.  

26 Oct 2005 @ 05:56 by kay : I have experienced the crystal ones.
A group of Tibetan Monks came to the states several years ago. The bowls they had were crystal and were of different sizes and tones. As they played the bowls they also sang or toned. These monks did what is called over-toning. This is several sounds from their mouths at the same time. It was an awesome experience. I was able to leave my body and go into a state of total peace.

I attended a bowls & gongs concert by the lady who sold me mine, she sang mantras at the same time than played the bowls, the experience was wonderful! She's coming to my city this Friday to give another concert and I'm going to attend with some friends.  

13 Dec 2005 @ 19:29 by timothy schimick @ : vibration
i have had a few bowls for some time now but still cannot always get the wood to circle the bowl without "vibrating" off the bowl and dulling the sound. are there any temperature or other elements that might factor into this? any other tips? thanks.

Hello Timothy! I think that maybe you can try to vary the pressure of the wood while you're playing the bowl, and also you can try to move it slower. Do you stop when you get that vibration? Maybe you should keep playing it until the bowl balances itself. I've noticed this strong vibration sometimes, especially when I play the bowl above certain chakras, like for example the heart one. But after some minutes the vibration diminishes. You can buy also another kind of wood, or also add rubber around and try to play it in this way.
If you like, you can get the email of the lady who sold me the bowl, she has a website, it's only in Spanish but you'll see easily her email address at the end of the main page. She has a lot of experience and probably she speaks English, so maybe she could give you also some tips!: {link:|Link}  

11 Jun 2010 @ 02:26 by singing bowls @ : Tibetan singing bowls
Thanks for your post. Singing bowls in Norway! Interesting. Also, do you have any more information about the use of meteorite in the Tibetan singing bowls???  

Your Name:
Your URL: (or email)
For verification, please type the word you see on the left:

Other entries in
22 Oct 2006 @ 09:54: How to improve your motivation for life?
24 Jun 2006 @ 17:40: The magic night: Noche de San Juan
25 May 2006 @ 10:14: Squidoo lenses

[< Back] [Silviamar] [PermaLink]?  [TrackBack]?