Recently, I invested in a beautiful Tibetan singing bowl. It was expensive and is heavy, crafted of seven different metals and prayed over by Tibetan monks (supposedly). My plan was to use it to meditate and to sooth my children. In reality, we played it for a few minutes when I first brought it home, annoyed my husband, scared the dog and then the bowl went back into it's special carrier and has been mostly sitting there ever since.
The other day, I got the bowl out and put it on our coffee table. It's a beautiful bowl and when I do play it, by moving a felt covered stick around its outside rim, it resonates deeply in my core. I can feel its vibrations through the soles of my feet. Sometimes, if I lie on my back, I can play the bowl on my stomach and the waves of its tone move through my body. I have put the bowl on my head and bonged it with a soft mallet. One of our cats comes closer and seems to be soothed by the bowl's sound. He purrs and rubs against it.
I don't know a lot about Tibetan Singing Bowls, but I'm lucky to have a friend who is a sound healer and who enlightened me a little bit. In the practice of sound healing each bowl is a different note and each note corresponds to a chakra, or energy channel, in our body.
The C note bowl corresponds to the root chakra and supports grounding and foundation.
The D note bowl is connected to the sacral chakra, which is linked to our connection with others.
The E note bowl links to the solar plexus chakra, which gives us the ability to be confident and in control. F is the Heart chakra, where we hold our love. G is the throat chakra, where we hold our ability to communicate. A--the note of my bowl--is the Third Eye Chakra which allows us to see the big picture. I need to play my bowl a lot more, in case it enlightens me on that subject! And B corresponds with the crown chakra, which allows us to be fully spiritually connected.
If you play the bowl clockwise, energy emanates out into the area or body part it is placed on. If you play the bowl counter-clockwise, the energy goes into the bowl, where you can watch water vibrate and feel the pulse of the vibrations by sticking your finger into the water. In my Special Yoga training, I watched children and young people with profound autism and other disabilities moved from an agitated state to a calm and grounded state through a combination of breathing and the sound and vibrations of the singing bowl. The bowl, in the right circumstances, can be a powerful tool in helping people self-heal and self-regulate.
I'll be learning more about using my singing bowl as part of yoga therapy for people with disabilities in May and also look forward soon to experiencing yoga enhanced by gong baths and sound healing. Until then, I'll play my bowl and listen for what it might tell me.