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Tibetan Singing Bowls Article

According to Tibetan oral tradition, existence of singing bowls dates back to the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni (560 – 480 B.C.). The tradition came from India to Tibet, along with the teachings of the Buddha, by the great tantric master Padmasambhava in the 8th century A.D.

Singing bowls produce sounds, which invoke a deep state of relaxation which naturally assists one in entering into meditation, the goal being enlightenment. They are a quintessential aid to meditation, and are found on private Buddhist altars, and in temples, monasteries and meditation halls throughout the world.

A metallurgical analysis, done by the British Museum in London, reveals that the instruments are made of a 12-metal alloy consisting of silver, nickel, copper, zinc, antimony, tin, lead, cobalt, bismuth, arsenic, cadmium and iron. Now a lost art, it seems that this quality of bowl cannot be reproduced today.

In addition to their traditional usage for meditation, Tibetan 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 bells produce have a direct effect upon their chakras.

Playing the bowls usually causes an immediate centring effect. The tones set up a “frequency following response” that creates 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.

Previously used in Tibet for meditation and ceremonial purposes, Tibetan Singing Bowls are struck with a padded mallet or rubbed around the rim with a playing mallet to produce a fascinating blend of harmonic resonance’s and rich overtones.

Tibetan singing bowls or Himalayan “singing bowls” are dynamically resonant producing soothing overtones…called singing bowls because when rubbed in a circular movement along the outside lip with a striker, a clear and beautiful sound is released. The sound is definitely soothing. The sound frequency is definitely richer when the cushion is used with the bowls

Imagine using the singing bowl to free up the tensions of stressed children or for us busy adults. Each bowl is cast from a secret formula of metal alloys, and then hammered into shape. Exact dimensions and shape vary somewhat from bowl to bowl.

Playing Instructions and Tips:-

  • Technique 1.
      • Hold the singing bowl on the palm of one hand. For smaller bowls, seven inches and under, hold on your fingertips.
      • Grasp the rubbing stick about mid-length, with all the fingertips pointing downwards and touching the wood. Palm down.
      • Gently tap the rubbing stick against the side of the bowl to “warm-up” the bell.
      • Now gently tap the bowl once in a clock-wise direction from the further point from you. Then at the right side once, again at the closest point to you, then finally at the most left point of the bowl. You will make four taps.
    • Technique 2.
      • Following on from the first three points above…
      • Now, with an even pressure, rub the rubbing stick clockwise around the outside edge of the rim of the bowl. Use a full arm movement, just like stirring a big kettle of soup, and keep the mallet straight up and down! Again, it’s not a wrist movement, but a full-arm movement.
      • Remember to apply pressure– the mallet friction against the
        outer rim produces vibrations which result in sound.

Experiment with your speed. Usually people go too fast! Let the sound build up slowly as the singing bowl picks up the vibration.

Breaking in Your Rubbing Stick

The rubbing stick that comes with your Tibetan singing bowl is handmade of Himalayan hardwood. When you play the bowl, using the stick-around-the-rim technique, the friction of the stick produces vibrations which result in the sound. In the beginning the stick is relatively smooth, but as you continue to use it, it will develop “micro-grooves”, shallow grooves which help to grab more of the playing edge of the bowl. Allow about five minutes for initial break-in of a new rubbing stick. As you use it more the micro-grooves become impressed in your rubbing stick and you will get better sound and easier playing from your bowl.

The Wah-Wah

Most all Tibetan singing bowls have natural wah-wahs which you can amplify and bend by using the wah-wah technique.

  • Get the bowl singing by using the mallet-around-the-rim technique described above. Pull the mallet away from the bowl and let the bowl continue to sing.
  • While still holding the bowl in your hand, raise the bowl up to your mouth so that the outside rim is just above the opening of your mouth and about an inch away.
  • Open and close your mouth while thinking of the sound wah-wah. You are not actually making any sound with your mouth, but simply changing the shape of the oral cavity so as to allow the sound of the singing bowl to bounce around inside of your mouth and then be reflected back. By changing the size of the oral cavity you are modulating the sound!

Experiment with the relative position of your mouth to the outside bowl rim. Also, if you turn the bowl, while experimenting with the wah-wah effect, you will find “hot spots” where the bowl is naturally louder.

Water Bowl Sounds

A special sound effect can be produced by adding a small amount of water to the bottom of the singing bowl. The sounds produced using this technique sound like dolphins singing!

  • The amount of water to use varies with the individual bowl. Start by pouring about 3/4″ of water into the bowl. Be careful NOT to get the outside rim of the bowl wet.
  • Now, play the bowl using the stick-around- the-rim technique. Bring up the sound by using a steady even pressure. Pull the rubbing stick away from the bowl rim and let the bowl continue to sing.
  • Still holding the bowl in your hand, tilt the bowl so that the water inside gently laps up toward the inside rim. Continue to gently swirl and tilt the bowl and the water.

Experiment with the amount of water used. Usually the best effect is produced with a minimum amount of water. Keep a towel handy for when spills may happen. This can be especially interesting if you add some fragrant flowers such as Gardenia, or frangipani to the water and allow the fragrance to “float” through the air. Remember not to keep the water in the bowls whilst not attending to it as it can become corrosive to the bowl.

However and above all, enjoy, respect and play your singing bowl with the love that you have from The Universe and it will reward you richly.

To View and download this article click this link.

To buy a Tibetan Singing Bowl

Bright Blessings

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Saturday 5th January

Deck Chosen: Osho Zen
Card Chosen: 5 – The Outsider – Rainbows: The Physical

Traditional Meaning: The small child in this card is standing on one side of a gate looking through it. He is so small, and so convinced that he cannot get through, he cannot see that the chain holding the gate is not locked; all he has to do is open it.
If you are feeling like an outsider – it is not bad, yet good. It is the transitory period. Now you have to be alert not to fill yourself with pain and misery. Be strong and stand on your feet. The only way to be connected with existence is to go inwards, because there at the centre you are still connected.

Intuitive Meaning: As we stand on one side of the gate to the world – whether it be on the inside, or the outside, we still are looking toward something that seems beyond our reach. We perceive the obstacles that are not necessarily there, even though they may appear that way. So we stay, instead of taking the opportunity to simply open the unlocked gate, enter into the unknown and explore further. Today is the time to open that gate, and walk through. Be happy and feel the freedom of exploring another side to your world that you perceived to be blocked from you.

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Thursday 3rd January

Cards Chosen: Osho Zen

Card: The Master

His Disciples gather around him to soak up his presence and to be inspired..
His Disciples gather around him to soak up his presence and to be inspired..

Official Meaning: The Master in Zen is not a master of others, yet a master of himself. His every gesture and his every word reflect his enlightened state. He has no private goals, no desire that anything should be other than the way it is. His disciples gather around him, not to follow him, rather to soak up his presence and be inspired by his example. In his eyes, they find their own truth reflected, and in his silence, they fall more easily into the silence of their own beings.
The Master welcomes his disciples, not because he wants to lead them, but because he has so much to share. Together they create an energy field that supports each unique individual in finding his or her own light.
Beyond Mind, there is an awareness that is intrinsic, that is not given to you by the outside, and is not an idea – and there is no experiment up to now that has found any center in the brain which corresponds awareness. The whole work of meditation is to make you aware of all that is “mind” and dis-identify yourself from it. That very separation is the greatest revolution that can happen to man.

Intuitive Meaning: The Master is full of wisdom, truth, and true meaning – or knowledge. He is the very epitome of the ancient, tranquility that does not need to impress, yet inspires the consciousness to profound understanding of The Universe and all that there is. He is simply here – in the NOW that is. He is all knowing, all seeing, and all hearing. It is the little nuances that happen in life which are nurtured and grown within him, to inspire to others their aspirations of life. I am The Master.

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Spiritual Treatments

We love to be pampered, to feel relaxed, and taken care of. Who doesn’t?

Here, at Spiritual Beauty it is considered a necessity. One of those acts which is deserved of tender loving care, commonly known as tlc. So when you come to see us, we sit you down in a nice comfortable chair, put your feet up, so that you can lay back and relax.

We discuss what it is that you are looking for – what kind of treatment would you prefer for the day. Then, we slip on some gentle meditation background music and allow you to relax even more.

Perhaps you would like a healing Reiki treatment for something specific. Or an all over Reiki treatment for the loving joy of feeling the energy come from without to within.

Why not come and relax to a soothing hand and foot ex-foliation scrub and balm. Allow your senses to unwind, with gentle massage, luxuriating in a peaceful atmosphere.

It is all up to you – to stay as you are, or to come for a pick me up. Sorry, these pampering treatments cannot be given over the phone, or internet. However we do offer distant healing as well.

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Meditation – The Art of a Quiet Mind

wax art 8

Meditation is not difficult. It is not hard work. You do not need to sit cross legged on the floor, or under the full moon and chant anything.

Meditation is about quieting your mind, relaxing it and learning to bring a smile to your face. Taking you from a negative place where you may be right now – to a happier place that brings peace and tranquillity to your mind, body and soul.

That being said, here is an example of a very simple meditation that you may feel beneficial.

We can teach you different methods of meditation that will help you to find that happy and peaceful tranquillity that you need to quiet your mind. It is very easy and once you have mastered these techniques, you will be able to work on your own at a moment’s notice anywhere, any time.

Our meditation workshops are over 5 weeks and are one session each week. At the end of the five week workshop you will be given a manual as a record of your five weeks, and personal quartz crystal for you to keep. The full cost of this workshop is $200.00 and may be paid in weekly instalments  This course is available as a face to face workshop, group workshop or on Skype. Please contact us to book your Meditation Workshop today.