I was very fortunate to be gifted with a Tibetan Singing Bowl a few years ago, though I never fully appreciated it or its uses until some time later. I never played it properly, and to be honest, I didn’t really know how or even what to do with it. I must admit to having a little fear of it too. I felt a little silly trying to get it to make the wonderful sound I had heard from other people and their bowls; and I also felt a little self conscious doing it too. Having teenagers in the house can seriously interfere with your spiritual pursuits!
The journey I’ve had with my bowl has been a rich and varied one. I have gone from complete novice to what I consider to be a capable player. It’s been very much a two-way street though, apart from learning to play my bowl and understanding its pitch and nuances; it has helped on my own spiritual journey, and it’s some of these that I’d like to talk about in this post: meditation and cleansing, or as some might say, asperging.
Beginning with asperging, or cleansing, I would like to just outline the basic concepts; and over time, what I have found works for me when I cleanse a house. To asperge simply means to cleanse with water. Born as a Catholic ritual before mass, its purpose is to purify the congregation. In these modern, perhaps ‘New Age’ times, the ritual has been adapted for the more practical settings of our own homes, or any space for that matter. Along with smudge sticks and incense, asperging is a great way to help with cleansing the negative energies that have accumulated in a house; and once completed can allow the house to ‘breathe’ again, refreshed.
My bowl came into its own though when I began meditating, and it’s where my relationship with my bowl began. I would light some nice incense and begin breathing in its aromas and take just a few moments to settle myself before playing my bowl. I was hopeless at first, I would be running my mallet too fast around the outside of the bowl and it would vibrate and ‘chatter’; but I allowed myself to go with the flow and let the meditation last for as long as it was natural to at that time.
I’m not sure at what point I began to improve, but slowly I did and I found myself humming to the sound too – now I was singing with my bowl, it was quite a moment! I have tried to say mantras*, but to be honest, I get lost in the meditation and find myself unaware or unable to complete it. This is ok though, as something else happened during my experiences: soaring.
This simply begins with playing my bowl and then visualising myself, or rather my spirit, rising skyward. I usually hum while doing this as I find the vibration helps. While I can’t tell you when I get lost in that moment, I know I have only when I return to myself and regain awareness of my being. The effects of this kind of meditation last throughout the day; I’m more centered, calmer and seemingly better equipped to just go about my day.
I find this particularly helpful when I prepare for a house cleansing, or asperging. Centering yourself in this situation helps you to focus and attune to the natural energies of the house or space you will be cleansing. Raising your vibration this way also fine tunes your clairvoyance and psychic frequencies so that spirit communication is clearer. It’s important to point out that this process with your bowl is an inner one; this is about you connecting to source, to spirit, to the energies around you and is in no way suggesting that a singing bowl is a means of spirit communication like a Ouija board or seance.
There’s something truly wonderful about the sound that you create from playing your singing bowl, and as I have said earlier, it took a while to get the hang of it, but I’m awfully glad I persisted. A bond now exists and whenever I reach for my bowl, we’re like two old friends picking up a conversation that has been lasting forever.
This excellent video from Shakti at Bodhisattva Trading Company clearly shows how to play your bowl properly and would have been a terrific help to me had I watched it when I was first learning. Enjoy.
*Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra often used with meditation using a singing bowl.
Do you use a singing bowl? What are your experiences with it? Do you have any tips or other ways to use yours? We’d love to hear from you!