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Meditation Bowls

When music is played during the mediation, it cane be a great way to focus your energy and direct your session. The question then becomes finding the right sound to direct your reflections. One way to direct your practice is to take advantage of meditation bowls, an ancient focal point of Eastern meditations.

Music for meditation should be simple and soothing, and at the same time non-intrusive. Some classic sounds that aid with meditation involve the humming of bee, rumbling thunder or crashing waves. What these noises have in common is that they inhabit a space where you are aware of them, yet they are not distracting. Meditation bowls, also known as Tibetan singing bowls or Himalayan bowls, inhabit the same space.

The meditation bowl is also known as a standing bell. Rather than hanging suspended, meditation bowls sit with the bottom surface resting. When the bowl is struck with a wooden mallet or clapper, the sides and surface of vibrate in a soothing, rolling frequency.

In Buddhist practice, meditation bowls are used to support prayers and meditations. The bowl is struck in time to hymns and prayers, providing an accent to the recitation of the sutras. The actual origin and use of the meditation bowl is shrouded in mystery. They have been found in both monasteries and private homes, and tend not to come in a specific size of configuration. 

What is known is that that these meditation bowls can resonate with certain altered brain states. In these states, the brain can use the singing of the meditation bowl to push itself away from the body, creating a very deep trance state suitable for an experience of deliberation.

Antique meditation bowls tend to be made of bronze, including silver, gold, zinc, and nickel and are typically very simply designed. Modern meditation bowls tend to be more complexly decorated and are made from industrial quality metal. Modern meditation bowls tend not to provide the complex tones of the antique bowls, lacking the warmer undertones and instead chiming like a bell.

Meditation bowls are amazing aids to meditation, bringing though and consideration into sharper focus. The warm tones bring a clarity that resonates through your whole body.

There are several ways to meditation bowls. One way is to keep the bowl in the palm of your hand while running the mallet along the rim in a circular fashion. The gentle shushing sound travels through your body, giving you a purely physical sensation to your contemplation.

Another way to use the bowl is to tap the meditation bowl with the striker and let the bowl chime. The antique meditation bowls are excellent for this practice as the hand-hammered metal produces different tones in many different harmonics.

Meditation bowls can help your ruminations and travels through your life journey, leading you with a singing resonance that elevates you and grounds you at the same time.

By Katie Walsh

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