Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meditation, Relaxation, and Healing: Part 1 - Using Tibetan Singing Bowls

As this series goes on I will be adding the tools I make out of metal and clay to create calming meditative sounds.  I have always been fascinated by drums, rattles, chimes, and bells.  Many of the things I make and use today came from an experience about 20 years ago at a peace conference created to assist school age children in conflict resolution.  I absorbed many of these ideas and filed them away in my mind, body, and spirit . . .  and there they stayed  until the day I needed them or was ready to put them into use.  Sometimes it took years to rediscover these concepts and ideas.

I'll continue my journey with bowls, I did not make these bowls, I have done some minor repairs on them, they are - Tibetan singing bowls - A singing bowl is a standing bell with the bottom resting on the palm of your hand for small bowls or on a cushion or rug for larger bowls.

I was teaching a toddler class and looking for interesting things to add to my classroom.  I found a small child sized singing bowl and ordered it.  At that point in time I had no clue why it was so familiar. 

I remember unpacking it at a time when there was no one in my classroom.  I took out the mallet and began to run it around the rim.  The sound began so quietly that I could feel the vibration in the palm of my hand before I could hear it.  The sound became audible, and for me, it was the sound of singing angels.  Immediately I smiled, feeling a sense of peace and calm.

I had trouble making it sing.  I would hit some spots and it would chitter and chatter making some awful sounds.  I used it a little bit, couldn’t make that sound happen again, and sadly put it away for several years . . .  until I needed its comfort and bought it from my school.  I had no clue that my feet would now travel down a completely different path.  It was at this time, as I played it, that I remembered that years ago before the start of the first morning workshop at the peace conference they announced a moment of silent meditation.  We put our coffee cups down,  the mumbling grew silent as a man stood up in the crowd . . . he had a singing bowl in his hand tapped it slowly three times and then made it sing.

Years have passed.  I now have a variety of Tibetan singing bowls . . . some new, some old.  I am including a short video of my teacher, Mark Handler, as we are interviewed during a bowl session. 

May all find their own path to peace, calm and compassion.