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TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS

Strike or rub one of these bowls and you will hear a most unusual sound: a sound made up of many richly resonant humming vibrations that most people find quite spellbinding. The bowls are traditionally forged from an alloy of up to seven metals - gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead have been used, each metal being thought to represent a different body in the solar system. Every bowl is hand crafted and the exact combination of metals used for each will vary as will its shape and size. This results in each bowl having its own distinct character and sound.

It is unclear when bowls first began to be produced for these tonal qualities, but it is known that the technology required to produce other musical implements such as bells and gongs was well-developed in Asia before 50OBC. And it is quite possible that I singing bowls' might have played a role in shamanic ritual f rom a time well bef ore the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet. Interestingly, however, these bowls are not used for their tonal qualities in Tibetan Buddhist rituals although they are often struck to signal the end of meditation sessions.

Today, outside Tibetan Buddhism, these wonderful objects are being employed as musical instruments, as aids to relaxation and meditation, and simply as beautiful and fascinating items to have in the home. But it is in the area of healing that many people believe the 'singing bowl' to have a special role. In this respect, it is thought that the extraordinary vibrational qualities of the bowl are able to restore harmony in our bodies. The idea that sound can be effective in therapy is widely acknowledged as is the notion that sound can directly affect our minds and feelings.

Whatever it is that draws you to a Tibetan singing bowl, you will undoubtedly find it an item of great fascination and one that you will enjoy and cherish.