What is Meditation Bowl
When i heard the Meditation Bowl sound the first time I was truly fascinated with the harmonious sound and vibrations it created. The first impression was magnificent.
In this guide, I focus on a Meditation item that is helping us during meditation especially in the beginning. As we know when we are meditating ourselves sometimes we need help like the Meditation bowl.
Many people have known the Singing Bowl or Tibetan Singing bowl. But it’s not actually a singing bowl actually. A meditation bowl is a type of bell that vibrates and produces a rich, deep tone when played it helps to get in meditation.
Buddhist monks have long used Meditation bowl in meditation practice. In addition, some wellness practitioners like music therapists, massage therapists, and yoga therapists use Meditation bowls during treatments.
‘Meditation bowls profoundly affect and harmonize body and soul.’
Meditation bowl sounds and vibrations are supposed to help you relax.Playing with a meditation bowl promotes a deep sound massage of every cell and organs and resulting in a remarkable feeling of wellbeing. Some people say Meditation bowl can also help to lessen pain, improve sleep, reduce anger, improve blood pressure, reduce depression and promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety.
‘Meditation and Sound Therapy associate with each other and in general is an ancient practice.’
Tibetan religious and spiritual philosophies entered the Western culture as a result of the invasion of Tibet by China in 1950 and the ensuing move by the spiritual leader of Tibet, The Dalai Lama, who exiled the Tibetan government to Nepal.
Then Chinese started to annihilate the majority of the religious communities and sanctuaries like monasteries and temples. Many monks had to leave the country, living outside their country and this created pressure to sell their belongings. In this way, Meditation bowls became slowly known to the public.
‘Tibetan lamas used the bowls secretly and for themselves alone’
Some people believe that in this circumstance many antique Tibetan singing (Meditation) bowls entered the market and spread internationally over time. Unfortunately, in the chaos of the invasion most esoteric knowledge about the bowls got lost and the mysterious history of the Tibetan meditation bowl continued.
The origin of the Meditation Bowl is just as mysterious as its potential healing power. Historians and researchers are divided in when and where to place the source of the bowls. Some argue that the metal bell is its direct predecessor. If that holds true, then there is evidence indicating that originally hand-hammered bronze metal bells have been used way back in the Chinese Shang Dynasty somewhere between 16th – 11th Century BCE.
In regard to Tibetan tradition, the singing bowl dates back in time to the historical figure Guatama Buddha in 560 – 480 BCE. In that era, the bowls were used for rituals as well as for daily food consumption.
‘There is a common association between meditation bowls and Buddhism but actually came from shamans before Buddhism even as present in Tibet.’
Traditionally meditation bowls are made of seven metals corresponding to the seven visible planets.These days meditation bowls are made in Northern India and Nepal most of them three or five metals, a few of them have been made with all seven metals. Two bowls can not be the same because they are each hand made.
What is Meditation Bowl Made Of ?
The seven metals and their planetary associations are,
- Gold (Sun)
- Silver (Moon)
- Copper (Venus)
- Iron (Mars)
- Tin (Jupiter)
- Mercury/Quicksilver (Mercury)
- Lead (Saturn)
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation Bowl
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Lower anger and blood pressure
- Improve circulation and increases blood flow
- Deep relaxation
- Chakra balancing
- Increase mental and emotional clarity
- Promote stillness, happiness and well being. Stimulate the immune system.
- Aid the immune system and fibromyalgia and psoriasis in individuals that meditate.
How To Use Meditation Bowl
There are two essential ways to play the Meditation bowl. One is to strike it while it rests on an even surface or in one’s palm. The other one is to rub the outer rim with a mallet stricker or wand. The technique requires more skill as one has to find the right frequency to perpetuate the vibration of the bowl.
The mallet strikers used for singing bowls are coated with different materials: leather, felt, rubber or just the bare wood. Each material has produced a slightly different sound and suits itself better for either striking or rubbing.
The most obvious effect of meditation bowls is the deep relaxation they can produce. Some people are going into a state of deep relaxation in only five or ten minutes. Choosing the right size of bowl is very important for the best result of healing any part of Chakra.
Choose a bowl or bowls based upon what feels soothing to you and resonates with you. Remember that your intention is an integral part of this modality.The intention, thought, and belief are most important.
‘You are capable of healing yourself’
Open your intuition as to where you should place the bowl. If you are working with just one bowl, you can use it on your shoulders, legs and feet. If you’re using two, you can place one each on any pair of these areas: the heart, solar plexus, thigh, knee or calf.
You can enhance the technique by filling the bowl less than one-quarter full with warm water before placing it on an area, which will cause the healing vibrations to penetrate more deeply into the body.
Another way for the best result is to lie down in a comfortable position if desired, a pillow and/or blanket for sound meditation and place the bowl on your chest. Depending on the shape of your body you might want to raise up your head a little, otherwise the bowl might slide towards your face.
Take the striker in your hand and strike the bowl. It will take a little practice to strike the bowl at the right angle. You will notice that, because the bowl is so close to your ears now, that you can hear more of the lower sounds. Most important is that you can feel the physical vibration of the bowl going into your chest then from there spread to other parts of the body. Some people can even feel the vibrations go through their legs. The chest is an air chamber, acts as a resonator, and the sound waves traveling through the body are massaged to all the cells and organs, plus the sounds picked up by the ears make the brain waves go into a related state.
Listen to the sound waves and their patterns, the lower and higher frequency sounds and let yourself ride on an ocean sound. It will make you relaxed that after a while you may forget to strike the bowl again. Of course you can put the bowl on your belly, or even on your legs if you want. Again, depending on how you are built you can lie face down and put the bowl on your upper back. It’s not as easy, but it can be so good for tension there.
How To Choose Meditation Bowl
If you are a beginner and eager to learn sound bathing with meditation bowl also trying to understand how does meditation bowl works then i suggest you to go with smaller size of meditation bowl. Smaller size of meditation bowls are approximately between 3.5 inch and 6 inch.
There are many different kind of meditation bowls. Some researchers say up to 100 different meditation bowls identified. But today dealers narrow their range number to basic meditation bowls. Some dealers are offering set of meditation bowl included carrying bag and mallet with striker.
A few things affect bowl prices. Material, Age, Diameter, Shape and Design. New age of meditation bowls make from crystal rather then metal bowls, but still authentic meditation bowls are on the market and keeping popularity.
Apart from When we are choosing our meditation bowl we need to compare these things.
Obviously size is affecting the sound. We can produce over five octaves with different size of meditation bowl. High to low frekans and tone, also resonance too.
Each Meditation bowl have own authentic name. Some of them are ;
Type of Meditation Bowls
What Type of Meditation Bowl
Straight away we are asking this question ‘What type of meditation bowl’ or ‘ What are the different type of meditation bowl’. As we know each type of meditation bowl has own unique name.
Jambati bowls are the heaviest and largest of the meditation bowl family. Their appearance is also notable due to their appealing hammer marks. Jambati bowl have flat bottom, curved walls and top circular rim faced inward. Jambati meditation bowls have classical etching lines on the outside rim and circular markings at the inside-bottom. The tone of Jambati meditation bowl not too hot or not too cold just perfect t to bring the listener to the safe zone. An excellent instrument to use for personal and group meditations, self, and private healing work. This bowl is recommended to be used in healing sessions with male clients since it could be somewhat overwhelming and "darkish" for women. Also could be a little too heavy for massaging, but some clients enjoy the weight on their chest. Jambati meditation bowls generally play 2nd or 3rd octave but their range is of four different octaves.
Mani means "jewel" in Tibetan. Also sometimes as known Mudra. Mani meditation bowls mostly prefered for beginners. These bowls are short and stout also top circular rim faced inward like Jambati bowls. Middle of the bowl is wider then top and bottom. Mani bowl tone is considerably higher than other bowls. These bowls play 5th and 6th octave. Mani meditation bowls generally dated around 1900’s These bowls were mostly given a wedding gift back in the time.
Thado means ‘straight’. Thadobati meditation bowl shape is quite straight, vertical walls and flat bottom. It’s very easy to identify also common bowl from meditation bowl family. This Plain and straight wall make rims are plain and undecorated and respond well when played with a mallet. Thadobati meditation bowl exceptionally sustained and balanced feminen sound. These bowls have big range of octave, It can go up to 4th octave. Mallet response and frequency make this bowl unique. Also, these bowls are suitable for practitioners of all levels. Ideal instrument for any kind of practice specially beginner players who wants to practice more sound with a meditation bowl.
Lingam, or Lingham meditation bowls, are the rarest bowls. These bowls mostly shallow like Manipuri meditation bowls and they have a protrusion in the center. The nipple in the center of the bowl is a symbol of Shiva. Their shape gives a unique sound due to this unique structure and it’s quite difficult to play. Lingam meditation bowls have become a real treasure these days, it’s very hard find or mostly you can see fake ones.
Remuna meditation bowls are similar to Thadobati in the shape, straight inward-sloping thin walls. These Remuna meditation bowls have appealing decorative artwork and are easy to play. These responsive bowls have third octave pitch but rim is fifth octave pitch. Remuda meditation bowl and Thadobati meditation bowl have similar soundscape they combine together well.
Naga meditation bowls are also known Naga pedestal bowls. Naga meditation bowls have a rounded bottom and permanently attached base. Naga meditation bowls are responsive, but their sound can sometimes be distorted by the pedestal base. It makes to play difficult. Soundscope is third octave to sixth octave. Antique Naga bowls are generally found in great condition, causing believe they must have served a ceremonial or sacred purpose because their decoration is minimalistic.