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Planetary Singing Bowls   PDF  Print  E-mail 

Planetary Healing by ExistenceSolar system themeNeptune themeJupiter themeMercury theme

The origin of singing bowls
Historians believe that the tradition of using singing bowls to produce sound was brought from India to Tibet and the Himalayas, along with the teachings of the Buddha, by the great tantric master Padmasambhava in the 8th century AD.

Although not a lot of written history exists about their origin, mixed metal bowls have undoubtedly been produced in Tibet and Nepal for centuries. They have been used as begging bowls, chalices, for offerings, as ritual tools and grain bowls. Food is said to stay fresh and last longer if kept in metal bowls.

However, there is little historical evidence that they were initially used in traditional Tibetan religious practices, as bells, horns and other musical instruments are known to have been.

Traditionally singing bowls were said to be made of seven sacred metals corresponding to the seven sacred planets: gold (Sun), silver (Moon), mercury (Mercury), copper (Venus), tin (Jupiter), lead (Saturn), and iron (Mars).

Analysis of old bowls reveals though that they were made from a twelve metal alloy consisting of silver, nickel, copper, zinc, antimony, tin, lead, cobalt, bismuth, arsenic, cadmium, and iron.

Legend goes that some of the ancient bowls even included meteorite found on the Himalayan mountaintops, 'metal from the heavens'.

Antique singing bowls are very unique due to their fine craftsmanship and remarkable sound of warm, poly-harmonic overtones. The art of making singing bowls in the traditional manner is considered a lost art and the quality of sound of the ancient bowls cannot be reproduced today.

Craftsmen in India and Nepal are working to revive the ancient techniques. Today most singing bowls are made of three up to twelve metals and there are two different methods used for their manufacture.
Traditionally singing bowls are hammered out of a flat sheet of metal, using a form in the shape of a bowl. The edges are then folded over and smoothed. Hammered bowls are easily recognisable from the hammer marks on the outside.

More recently many bowls are made by pouring molten metal into a cast of two pieces, the bowl and the neck, which are then welded together and polished. This method produces a more ‘enclosed’ shape in order to improve the sound quality and duration of note.
Combinations of both methods also exist.

These days you find a huge variety of singing bowls on the market: Tibetan, Himalayan or Japanese singing bowls, rare ancient bowls, planet bowls, bowls for reflexology, Chinese temple bells, bowls with engravings, crystal bowls etc. On this CD you hear the sound of Tibetan planet singing bowls, chosen for their frequency corresponding to certain planetary vibrations.

The useage of singing bowls
Sound and Vibration was widely studied as a science in Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and other early civilizations. Throughout Asia specific practices, rituals, and ceremonies have been recorded, involving vibration and sound for Bön- and meditation practice, shamanic healing and mind-expansion.
In the Buddhist doctrine for example, there are nine methods in order to reach enlightenment. The seventh way is sound.
Chinese Buddhists use the singing bowl by striking it when a particular phrase in a sutra or hymn is sung. In Japaese and Vietnamese Zen monasteries, singing bowls may also mark the passage of time, or signal a change in activity. In Tibet they are said to have been used for meditation or even as magical tools for transformation of self and of matter.

Today singing bowls are used worldwide in many different ways. In Assam, people eat their dal out of them, in Orissa they serve as wedding gifts, in Nepal they are used for a certain kind of sound therapy with harmonic and anharmonic frequencies.
In meditation, the singing bowl sound can act as a reminder to stay focussed and in fact, it probably helps practitioners to stay awake and not drift off to sleep during longer sessions.

Singing bowls are played by striking with a soft mallet to produce a warm bell tone. They may also be played by the friction of rubbing a wooden, plastic, or leather wrapped mallet around the rim of the bowl to produce overtones and a continuous 'singing' sound.
They create vibrations and tones that synchronize left and right side of the brain, which has an instantly balancing and healing effect.
Singing bowls are widely used for deep relaxation, yoga, music therapy, sound healing, massage, religious practice and many other techniques.




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