"Primordial Consciousness sings the Secondary Echo;
from this the Symphony of Manifestation arise."
Celestial Harmonics have been known to Mystics for thousands of
years. They speak of everything seen and unseen as having their origin
in a kind of Primordial note, or Voice. Today scientists have recorded
some of these sounds and are seeking the "background" noise
of the Universe's origin.
Understanding that everything is music in various forms has led
healers to incorporate this knowledge into their practice. Since illness
is considered a discord within the individual's overall Symphony, one
can affect the patient's harmonics when certain notes are played, thus
bringing about healing and balance.
One very powerful tool is the Singing Bowl. Shrouded in mystery,
it has long been thought its origins lay with the Bon Religion in Tibet,
although these practitioners of Harmonics never outwardly acknowledged
their existence. Another theory suggests these bowls were produced by
travelling metal smiths for Buddhist priests who may have used them
in ceremonial offerings. Since offerings had to be perfect, the quality
and craftsmanship of these bowls represented the highest skills of metallurgy
then known. Yet, like the Bon, when asked if they were ever used in
ceremony as "Singing Bowls," the priests reply "never."
Generally, singing bowls were not known to the West until the
1960s when travelers to India, Tibet and Nepal returned with reports
of hearing wonderful melodies produced by striking or rubbing the sides
of bowls. They were first encountered in Nepalese shops, and when asked
what they were, the reply was "Tibetan Singing Bowls." However,
when pressed to elaborate where they came from, shopkeepers were mute.
Thus the myth and mystery surrounding them began. It is believed even
today these bowls were brought by refugees fleeing Tibet when the Chinese
invaded in the 1950s, although this claim has never been substantiated.
There is no documentation from Tibet explaining anything about singing
bowls, either their use or how they are made. Many scholars feel the
bowls were actually made in Nepal and traded throughout India and Tibet
by travelling merchants.
How Singing Bowls Are Made
What gives singing bowls their wonderful mystique is their clear,
harmonious tones, which places the listener into a meditative state.
Unlike other metal instruments, singing bowls can produce up to 4 tones
and vibrate a third and fifth of an octave apart. Research has shown
this stimulates the brain to produce Alpha waves.
Yet, this in no accident. Those who constructed these bowls fully
understood the deeper secrets of metallurgy: each metal has its unique
tone and when combined with others, create harmonics: either harmonious
or chaotic. Two distinct melodies are produced either by striking or
rubbing the bowl's rim. This is accomplished because of two factors
inherent to the bowls themselves: the thickness of the rim in relation
to the bottom and the varying quantity of the metals used in their construction.
Seven metals were chosen to represent known planets at the time.
They are: gold (Sun), silver (Moon), mercury (Mercury), copper (Venus),
iron (Mars), tin (Jupiter) and lead (Saturn). Proportions were modified
to produce the unique song of each bowl. Although the technique of their
manufacture is unclear, researchers speculate these metals were combined,
heated then poured onto flat rocks and pounded into their familiar shape.
Some were coated with a black finish; others had more of a silver hue
or gold color. Many bowls had the owner's name, prayers or designs etched
along the outside rim. A few contained stars, circles or rings on the
inside of the bowls themselves. It took great skill and knowledge to
not only shape the bowl without cracking the metal, but getting the
right thickness to sing within the correct octave. Singing bowls haven't
been produced this way in nearly fifty years. Thus the skills necessary
to manufacture them is lost. Today they are machine turned, and because
their metallic composition isn't the same, they lack the wondrous harmonics
of their ancestors.
Singing Bowls and Chakra Fields
Because of the their unique qualities, singing
bowls can be applied to energetic healing. I have utilized these in
my practice for several years and am constantly amazed by their profound
Using singing bowls to affect Chakras as specified
by Teja Energetics requires 9 elements found within the bowl's manufacture.
These 9 elements blend to create the harmonic vibration within each
Primary Chakra field (see March/April's issue for more details on Chakras).
Besides the metals listed above, two elements are added: Stars and Earth.
From the Stars comes the Earth and from the Earth the metals are found.
In keeping with the Teja model, Stars affect the
upper energy field and represent Fire. From Fire the elements are melted
and forged. Earth affects the lower Field and represents Water. Water
cools and hardens the metals. The Central Energy Field is the combined
effort of Stars and Earth; herein lies the 7 metals contained in the
bowl. Because of this, Singing Bowls produce harmonious blends of frequencies
within their octaves to have profound effects on our 9 body Chakras.
The size, shape and metallic composition of Singing
Bowls determine which of the 3 Primary Chakra fields are affected. Though
bowls appear very similar in shape, even near identical bowls will affect
different Chakras within the same field. These subtle variations allow
the practitioner to target specific Chakras rather than treating just
the Primary Field. Bowls with low harmonics influence the lower Chakras,
while those of higher frequency work on the upper Chakras. Below is
a list of bowl size and the Chakras they affect. These are rough estimations.
When shopping for bowls it is best to let one's intuition be their guide,
since each bowl's frequency interacts differently between practitioners.
|| A/Ag# 9th
Selecting Singing Bowls
Small to medium bowls are easy to find. The larger ones
are scarcer since fewer were manufactured. Some bowls can be found with
a black finish; this was applied by the metalsmith. The black finish
is important because it gives the bowl its tone. If polished off, it
can ruin or adversely affect the sound quality.
It is easy to recognize hand made from machine-turned bowls although
a few enterprising smiths are making bowls on machines then pounding
forge marks into them to make them appear more traditional. Hand-forged
bowls will look crude, their rims vary in height and may not be perfectly
round. A few bowls will actually show areas where the metals aren't
blended well. Some bowls are very heavy, while others are much lighter;
this again is due to the proportions of metals in their construction.
It is these variations that give bowls their individual characteristics.
Since each bowl is unique, it is important to feel if its harmonics
are compatible with the practitioner. Some bowls may repel, others invite.
This is due to their interaction with the listener's energy field. It
doesn't mean these bowls are inferior, only that their harmonics don't
To test a bowl, hold it in the palm of your hand and strike it
with the palm of your other hand. You will feel the bowl vibrate then
produce a low tone. Listen to the quality of the sound: round, sharp,
smooth, etc. Where does it affect the body? What is the mood or emotion
it evokes? Are you repelled or drawn into the sound? Next take a playing
stick and gently tap the rim. This produces the higher tones. Again
listen to the sound's effect. Allow the tones to fade away; this is
a clue as to the bowl's resonance and quality. Once you're satisfied,
press the stick against the outside rim and gently circle it around.
You'll feel the bowl vibrate then gradually it will sing. When the melody
is at its peak, stop playing and allow it to fade. You should be able
to hear at least 2 octaves when it is played. This last test is the
most critical in determining the bowl's energetic effect, since it combines
all its qualities.
Application of Singing Bowls
Since Singing Bowls generate vibrational harmonics closely aligned
to the Chakras and 6 Etheric bodies, they are powerful healing tools.
Many patients today suffer from a variety of spiritual disharmonies
ranging from depression to severe insomnia and eating disorders. Generally
this is the result of not being "connected" in their lower
Chakras. The physical demands imposed are so great many people subconsciously
"live in their heads" to numb the stress. Over a period of
time this results in disharmony between Primary Chakra fields.
Singing bowls can polarize these fields and bring about balance. By
"grounding" the patient, it gives them the insight, confidence
and strength to deal with everyday challenges. This focus allows them
to take charge of their lives and not feel victimized by a cold, impersonal
society. Their health improves and with it many of the modern illnesses.
Dresden Moss, M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac. operates a private practice in
Portland. He is trained in both Eastern and Western medicine and
has been in the medical field 20 years. He is a visionary artist,
writer and musician. He specializes in Energetic Healing and began
developing the Teja Energetic system while a student at the Oregon
College of Oriental Medicine. His spiritual path is that of Tara:
Goddess of Compassion, and he became a Green Tara Initiate in 1997.
For more information about Teja Energetics write: Dresden Moss,
L.Ac., 11701 NE 95th St., Suite C, Vancouver, WA 98682. (360) 883-6292,
VM (360) 418-3929.