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How To Connect With Your Tibetan Singing Bowl

tibetan singing bowls Mar 15, 2022
Sound Healing Practitioner holding a Tibetan singing bowl

Tibetan singing bowls vibrate and produce a rich, deep tone when played. Also known as singing or Himalayan bowls, they’re widely used to promote relaxation and offer powerful healing properties.

In this article, we discuss with our sound healing teacher, Simone Meschnig, how we can achieve a deeper connection with our Tibetan singing bowl and the best mallets to use when playing. 

Why Should You Work With A Tibetan Singing Bowl?

Tibetan singing bowls have been used since ancient times to: 

  • relieve stress , worry, and anxiety
  • promote relaxation 
  • improve sleep 
  • release old and unhealthy patterns and tensions
  • increase the speed of recovery from injuries
  • support the reforming of new healthy patterns of harmony, balance and well-being
  • … and much more

The vibrations produced by Tibetan singing bowls can positively affect our mind and body as their sounds have a powerful impact on our brain waves, which leads to a sense of deep relaxation. 

The benefits of listening to singing bowls are tightly related to the ancient practice of sound healing therapy, often used by indigenous cultures worldwide. Back then, sound healing involved creating pulsing sounds, clapping, drumming, and singing for ceremonial, spiritual, and health purposes. These practices continue to this day and form the basis of integral sound healing.  

Due to rapid advancements in technology, ancient science, medicine, and many other fields, we now have access to a rich system of knowledge and support that can teach us how to use Tibetan singing bowls to improve our life, and positively affect the world around us. 

How To Connect With Your Tibetan Singing Bowl 

So you’ve purchased your Tibetan singing bowl, and now you might be wondering what the first thing you should do is. 

1. Cleanse your Tibetan Singing Bowl 

The first step after purchasing your singing bowl is to cleanse it of any potential stagnant energy. You can do so by smudging it with a white sage stick, palo santo, or another sound healing instrument - or you can simply use intention and visualisation. 

2. Find a quiet space 

Once you have cleansed your bowl, find a relaxed space where you will not be disturbed or distracted. This may be somewhere in your home or out in nature - whatever works for you. 

Find a comfortable position and hold your Tibetan singing bowl in your hands whilst breathing gently. Focus on your breathing and engage all your senses whilst doing so. Pay attention to any smells around you, the temperature in the room/space, and the bowl's weight, temperature and energy in your hands. 

Try not to engage your thoughts and just observe them, knowing that all you have to do is breathe and feel the energy of your Tibetan bowl. Simone recommends a consistent practice when you begin connecting with your bowl, including coming back to the same space, as your surroundings will play a big part in your connection process. 

The best place to start would be a dedicated corner/area in a quiet room in your house, where you can even create a small healing altar next to which you can sit down. This will help facilitate a feeling and energy of calm, emphasising that this time is dedicated to you and your bowl. 

3. Gently tap your bowl & listen

With a mallet, gently tap the rim of the Tibetan singing bowl and listen carefully to the sounds the bowl produces. Know that each bowl is unique and has its own signature, so pay attention to the sounds it creates, and how long its sustain is. 

Did you know that different mallets create varying sounds? This may seem obvious, but you can create many beautiful tones with one bowl! Below, Simone talks about the most popular mallets you can use with your bowl. 

Suede Mallets

Suede mallets often come as standard with your bowl, and they are usually made of wood and will be covered in suede material at one end. The mallet is either tapped on the bowl's outer wall or rubbed around the outside edge of the bowl to make the bowl sing. We love this type of mallet, as the suede brings out the bowl’s deepest tones!

Wool Mallets 

Wool mallets look similar to suede mallets, but they produce different sounds and they bring out the full range of the frequencies of the bowl. However, if you choose a fluffy padded wool, you won’t be able to sing a bowl with it, and you will only be able to strike/tap the bowl to create a sound.

Gong Mallets

Gong mallets can also be used to create interesting sounds and they can often isolate the singing bowl’s fundamental or deepest tone. There are several factors of a mallet that impact the timbre (sound quality) & response of the gong. The main factors are:

  • the size of the mallet head
  • the hardness/softness of the mallet head
  • the shape of the head
  • the weight of the head & handle

As a rule of thumb: the harder & smaller the gong mallet head, the brighter the timbre; while the softer & larger the head, the warmer the timbre. Some of the most popular gongs are Paiste mallets which are designed for Paiste gongs, Sabian, Cannon and Friction mallets. 

Other Mallets

Small mallets with a felt head and hard rubber mallets can produce higher sharper tones. Also, mallets covered in cloth will produce a different sound and can be more personalised.

Interestingly, our teacher Simone uses various materials to create softer tones by covering driftwood in felt and other materials! You can watch our YouTube video below to hear Simone talking about the different mallets she uses when playing with her bowls.

4. Try different techniques

You can make your Tibetan singing bowl sing in many ways. You can gently use your fingers to tap it, use different mallets or gently tap or play around the rim. You can also increase or decrease the rhythm (slower and gentler taps to create a sense of relaxation and faster taps to release tension and unwanted energy). 

These are the moments when you can ask yourself, “what does the bowl have to say to me?”. Observe the feelings, thoughts or sensations that arise in your mind or body while creating these beautiful sounds. You could even grab a journal and write down anything you think might be worth remembering after your practice. 

5. Use mantras & chanting

You can  incorporate healing mantras or positive affirmations whilst playing your Tibetan singing bowls, such as “Om” or “Om Mani Padme Hum”. The mind naturally tends to drift, and mantras can offer a focal point for them to become still. 

For example, lets talk about the  “Om” mantra. When chanted, the Om mantra creates beautiful vibrations within the mind and body and an energetic vibratory framework that can instil a natural sense of calmness and positivity into our being. And speaking of Mantras! In case you missed them, we have 2 amazing articles you can read on What Are The Benefits Of Mantra Meditation and Using Our Voice For Healing With Gregorian Chanting

6. Trust

No matter your level of knowledge or skills in playing sound healing instruments, you should always trust yourself, knowing that what you’re doing is exactly what is meant to happen at the right place and time. 

Learn More About Tibetan Singing Bowls

Getting to know your Tibetan singing bowl is a wonderful journey that we recommend you embark upon on to experience the healing and transformative effects that sound can have on our mind, body, and soul. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube video below to hear Simone talking about connecting with your Tibetan singing bowl in more detail!

And to conclude, don’t forget to take care of your bowl after you use it to do sound healing on yourself or others. Some of the best care techniques you can do are:

  • physical cleaning with warm water and lemon juice 
  • energetic clearing with crystals, incense or herbs

If you want to buy a Tibetan singing bowl or a Tibetan singing bowl set, head over to our Sound Therapy Shop and start browsing! Also, at The Sound Healing Academy, we offer Tibetan Singing Bowls Courses where you can learn how to work effectively with a wide variety of Tibetan bowls to help yourself and others bring more well-being, health, and vitality into their life! 

We also have many other courses available for beginners through to advanced practitioners, either Online or In-person Training Courses, where you can learn how to work with the resonant vibrations of healing sounds and explore a wide variety of sound healing instruments. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us, and don’t forget to keep an eye on our social media channels to deepen your journey with healing sounds along us, our wonderful teachers, practitioners, students and community of sound healing lovers!

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