Singing bowls have been around for thousands of years. They play an important role in meditation as well as sound healing – the practice of using the energy of sound waves to correct imbalances within the chakras and promote self-healing. The soulful tones are believed to affect beta brain waves, which aid in focus and memory, and theta waves, which promote self-healing, intuitive action, and creativity. Theta waves are active in the brains of high-performing athletes and successful artists when they’re in ‘the zone’ or ‘the flow,’ a mental state characterized by a deep connection to the subconscious, enhanced intuition, and the effortless channeling of your divine mind into your physical actions and activities.
Not surprisingly, sound healing has been around for nearly twenty two thousand years! The earliest examples were found in the records of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia.Despite its popularity and practice in the Orient and Australia, sound healing is just catching on in the West. The late Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, an oncologist who strived to incorporate Western and Eastern healing practices to help his patients, was a proponent of sound healing. He believed the energy produced by Tibetan sound bowls could ease the side effects and pain of cancer patients undergoing treatment as well as help them strengthen the connections between their minds, bodies, and spirits with the intent of reinforcing their bodies’ natural healing abilities.
How to Use A Singing Bowl!
On a hard surface. If you plan to use the singing bowl on a table, floor, or similar surface, you’ll want to place it on a smooth, flat coaster appropriate for its size. Its mat should be similar to a rug: sturdy but not plush. The goal is to provide the bowl support as it vibrates without dampening the sound or interfering with its energy. Nothing should touch the sides, and the mat shouldn’t extend far beyond the bowl’s flat base.
In your hand. Many people choose to hold their bowls during meditation, sound healing sessions or when conducting sound healing on others. The base of your bowl should fit in the palm of your hand. If you have to grip it to hold it steady, you’ll dampen the sound and interfere with its energy. Keep its base flat against your palm. You don’t need a mat when holding it. Sound healers will often place a bowl in their hand and move it around the body to help bring the chakras into harmony.
On the body. Sound healers sometimes place the bowl directly on the body of a client, on top of a thin mat, usually at chakra points. This is a great way to focus the bowl’s energy to address a specific area of concern. Since Tibetan singing bowls are solid metal, it should be small enough not to cause discomfort for the client. This method is particularly effective when working with correcting imbalances in the solar plexus and heart chakras. It’s not advisable for the crown, third eye, or throat chakra, unless you’re experienced in sound healing, because the vibrations can cause discomfort in these areas.
Supporting your bowl. Since bowls come in all sizes, it can be tricky to find the right size mat. There are a few easy and inexpensive ways to create a comfortable resting place for your bowl. They include: cutting up old rugs to match the size of your bowl, buying fabric coasters for smaller bowls, or simply creating your own mat out of cardboard or wood and a few thin layers of fabric. Whichever method you choose, ensure no seams, fasteners, or other obstructions rest against the bowl’s base, and nothing touches the sides. Also, it’s best to use natural materials such as cotton, wool, or linen when possible.
Striking the bowl, circling the rim – or both? There are two schools of thought on how best to bring out a bowl’s sound. Many people will strike the outside of the bowl’s rim gently first and then begin circling the outer or inner rim to perpetuate the sound. Others prefer to circle the rim exclusively without striking. For newer practitioners of sound meditation or healing, you may want to try the strike-circle method, until you get a feel for how it should sound and how to use the mallet. You can also experiment with the sounds by circling the inner rim one iteration and the outer rim the next. When you’re comfortable with your sound bowl, you can choose which method produces the desired tones.
Sound bath. Experienced sound healers likely have dozens, if not a hundred or more, singing bowls in all sizes. Sound baths – where you lie down among a dozen or more vibrating bowls of various sizes – are becoming more popular and are a great way to experience deep meditative states and/or sound healing from head to toe.
How to hold the mallet. You should hold the mallet, or striker, as you would a pen. The tip of the mallet should direct your energy into the center of the bowl, so you’ll want to angle your movement with this in mind.
Does size matter? Not with singing bowls! The only real consideration is how the bowl makes you feel. Many people collect singing bowls in several different sizes and choose to meditate or work with the one that fits their mood or their sound healing and meditation goals.
When to Use A Singing Bowl!
For deeper meditation. Because of its purported effects on your brain waves, singing bowls can enhance both the depth and quality of your meditative state. The soothing tones will help you relax faster, connect you directly with your subconscious, and align your chakras energetically at the same time.
Help artists channel new ideas. Being in the flow state – or the zone – is crucial for artists in search of new ideas. What better place to find inspiration than your own brilliant subconscious? Singing bowls are believed to bridge your conscious and subconscious mind, opening a doorway for fresh, new ideas to flow into your thoughts.
Pre-event preparation. Athletes in particular discuss putting themselves into the zone prior to an event. The goal is to remove all thoughts, blocks, and emotions that interfere with their ability to perform optimally. It’s not just athletes who can benefit from singing bowls but anyone struggling with performance anxiety before any kind of event. Singing bowls are believed to affect theta waves, which calm the mind and expand its boundaries so you can channel intuitive action.
Return chakras and organs to energetic balance. Many sound healers believe certain notes interact with particular chakras. By returning chakras to balance, they believe the body’s organs will, over time, become healthy and disease free. Bowls should be placed near their respective chakras for maximum effect. The notes associated with each chakra:
- Crown: B
- Third Eye: A
- Throat: G
- Heart: F
- Solar Plexus: E
- Sacral: D
- Root: C
Manifest faster. Being in the flow means there’s little-to-no resistance in your thoughts when it comes to manifesting your intentions. Meditating with singing bowls is one way to open your mind, expand your receptivity, and access the power of your subconscious to aid you in manifesting.
Enhance self-healing. Theta waves are also known to encourage your body to self-heal. You can meditate with your sound bowl, if you’re feeling unwell. The tones will help bring your mind, body, and soul into energetic alignment. This is one area where you might want to consider consulting with an experienced sound healer to learn the best way to use sound energy to address any pain or ill health you may be experiencing. They can advise you about notes, bowl placement around your body, or perform a sound bath on you.