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Ed and I have been showing people how to play Tibetan singing bowls for many years. When we shared our video, “3 things you need to know to play a Tibetan Singing bowl” on You Tube, several people commented with a question about playing the bowl Clockwise or Counterclockwise.

Playing clockwise, or counterclockwiseThis blog is our answer. For our video on YouTube about Clockwise or Counterclockwise, please click here:

In a traditional Buddhist practice, a clockwise movement is for the benefit of all beings. This is very much in keeping with Buddhist philosophy, and so if you want to adhere to a strict Buddhist practice, then play your bowl only in a clockwise direction.

In traditional Buddhist practice, counterclockwise movement is for one’s own benefit, which is more contrary to Buddhist philosophy. If you travel to Nepal, and are walking in a counterclockwise direction, there will be a polite insistence that you change your walking to a clockwise path.

In some shamanic traditions, playing or moving clockwise, is for supporting moving with the natural flow of life. This movement, with intention, can bring more positive energy into the self.

Similarly, playing or moving counterclockwise, means to be moving against the natural flow of life. This movement, with intention, can assist energy that is no longer supportive to unwind or clear.

Have you ever felt like things just weren’t flowing easily in your life? It feels like you are paddling a canoe against the current of a river. This can sometimes be the feeling of moving in a counterclockwise direction. In the same way, going with the flow, can be the feeling of moving in the clockwise direction.

Explore how you respond to the directions. Try this:

If you have a Tibetan bowl you can explore playing it clockwise and notice how you feel. Write down what you notice in your journal.

Then play the bowl in a counterclockwise direction and notice how you feel. Write this down in your journal. You can do this for several days and notice if your feelings are consistent from day to day.

Here are some suggestions of what to notice:

  • Is the bowl harder to play in one direction than the other?
  • Is there any resistance in one direction over the other?
  • Notice how your body feels as you play.
  • Is the sound of the bowl louder in one direction than the other?

You may think of other questions to add to this list as you play your bowl in either direction.

Check out Ed’s video for more of his thoughts about playing clockwise or counterclockwise:

We do know that a Tibetan singing bowl, especially an old, handmade bowl, can powerfully support your journey as you evolve and grow. Always be mindful when you play a Tibetan bowl. And create a clear intention for each time you play your bowl.