Happy Halloween my friends! I hope you are having an easy Monday, and if you have trick-or-treaters, I hope there's some sweet treats for you!
I'm taking a new approach to my blog, for many reasons. I really had to dig deep and find what I'm passionate about- enough to actually blog about it. So in the coming weeks you'll find more cultural diversity through my blog, as I explore the places of origin of some of my favorite things! We'll journey deep into the roots of chakras, Reiki, Feng Shui, Acupuncture, sound healing, aromatherapy and more! I hope you enjoy!
Today, I want to take a deep look into the history behind Tibetan Singing bowls. These are beautiful instruments that I'm so drawn to, so I decided to do a little research. Through my research in various articles and numerous Tibetan Monk interviews I was surprised at some of the information, but other information seemed like I'd known it for years!
While singing bowls are distinctly Himalayan, they are a remnant of a very ancient craft that did not originate in the Himalayas. In fact, the technology was a late arrival to the region – a technology which has been lost everywhere else in the world. Bowls from ancient Persia and Khurasan made with the same technology date back 5,000 years!
While they are found in Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam, singing bowls were likely first invented in Nepal. Bronze has been made in Nepal for at least 700 years, perhaps as long as 1,200 years. The oldest known singing bowl from the Himalayas is about 600 years old. These early singing bowls are direct descendants of bronze bowls from ancient Persia dating as old as the 9th century.
Another migration route is from Southeast Asia, around modern day Thailand and Cambodia. Southeast Asian bronze making developed parallel to the Near East. Southeast Asian bronze bells and drums have been discovered dating back up to 4,000 years. These instruments too are said to bring healing, cleansing properties. Ancient bronze bowls are also found in the region. They are not singing bowls but their manufacturing methods were adopted by singing bowl makers by the 17th century.
According to some Tibetan sources, singing bowls are said to be made of an alloy consisting of (depending upon who one is talking to) five, seven, or nine different metals. Legends have it that one of these metals is meteorite iron. It has been hypothesized that this use of meteorite iron may be one of the reasons why Tibetan bells have such amazing sounds. As the meteorites found in Tibet have traveled through a thinner layer of oxygen there would have been less burn-up of the meteorite iron, hence the meteorites found there may have a quality different than any others found in the world.
In Tibet, there are 4 major Monk Monastreys. Drepung Losel Ling is the most well known there and fortunately, I have been able to watch them live, on two separate occasions while they chant and meditate. It's pretty powerful! These monks are well known for their usage of the singing bowls for meditation and healing.
Surprisingly, today many of the Nepalese don't know that the bowls even sing. They are often seen using the bowls for eating and offering goods.
There is even a Tibetan custom of offering water placed in seven bowls on the alter each morning. This is done both in monasteries and in homes, as each household has it's own alter. Although it is conceivable that small singing bowls could be used for water offerings, the traditional shape of water offering bowls is much different than that of any singing bowl.
In more current times, we are seeing the use of singing bowls and sound healing services popping up everywhere throughout the US.
There are many different types of bowls, made with different metal mixtures. The size and shape of the bowls will determine what note the bowl plays. Some bowls play the "F" note, while others play "A" tones. Each tone correlates with the chakras and provides different levels of vibrational frequencies that bring healing.
Additionally, the bowl sings in correlation with the players vibration. The Drepung Monks have said that if the bowl does not sing well for it's player, it is because that person has negative karma. And on the other hand, if the bowl sings beautifully it is because the player has pure clean karma. I have personally witnessed this a few times. I've seen people try everything they can to get the bowl to sing, but if your vibration is low, you'll have a hard time getting the bowl to sing.
So, next time you see one or are near one, I encourage you to pick it up and play! You never know what it'll teach you about yourself!
-- Love & Peace Spirit- Translator Kim Babcock firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.kimbabcock.net/