Sharon and I have presented at workshops, trade shows, and private events across North America, and without question, the thing we get asked most often, is “how do I play a Tibetan Bowl? How do I choose a Tibetan bowl for me?”
And for good reason. Tibetan bowls have an amazing sound – one that fills your entire being when you play.
They are major stress busters – it’s really hard to hold on to stress, to hold on to worry, and to hold on to the challenges of the day, when you’re holding and playing a Tibetan bowl.
As the sound travels through your body, it creates a movement that can loosen up emotional blocks allowing them to leave, loosen up tight muscles, dislodge the constant chatter or even quiet it down and so much more.
Now I have my own thoughts on how to choose a bowl, and I’m going to share these with you. Keep in mind, this is how I choose a bowl. But the way I’m going to recommend to you is for a very good reason. The last thing you want to do is to buy a bowl that doesn’t get played. One that just sits on a shelf. These tips will help make sure that doesn’t happen.
Don’t make these common mistakes!
First and foremost, is to not look at the price. I know it’s tempting, but don’t give in. Choosing a bowl based on price is one way to guarantee that you’ll choose the wrong bowl.
Don’t check what frequency the bowl plays at. The frequency isn’t that important. Jonathan Goldman has a formula. Frequency plus Intention = Healing. And he is the first to say that intention is 80% of the formula. Allow your intention to carry the sound of the bowl to where ever it needs to go.
Most important is to play the bowl. If you don’t know how to play a bowl, there is a great video on YouTube (ok, it’s my video so I may be a little biased), that shows how to play a bowl. You can watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKtnE6aXPHI.
Play a lot of bowls. Most shops only have a few bowls to choose from. And the chances of finding your perfect bowl among only a few is unlikely. Too many people will simply choose a bowl for themselves from those few, rather than exploring what else is available elsewhere.
All bowls are not created equal
There are several types of Tibetan bowls. There are the old “master” bowls that were made by the monks – often generations ago. These are the most expensive bowls, but to me, they have the best sound, the deepest vibrations, and the best energy. They are made of the 7 traditional metals, and are hand-made, and tuned to the specific frequency of its creator.
Many of the bowls on the market today are factory made. They are made in a mould, and then machined on a lathe to give them their final shape. These bowls don’t carry the same energy as the master bowls, but many like their sound. Most are made of brass or bronze, and are the least expensive bowls.
The third type of bowl is hand made using modern tools. The best of these is made of the 7 traditional metals, and they can have a beautiful sound, but they don’t carry the energy of the old master bowls.
Play. Play. Play
When you are playing the bowl, pay attention to how you feel while you are playing it. The right bowl will just feel right. It’ll be like “ahhhhh, that’s my bowl”. And if you don’t feel that, if the bowl doesn’t tell you that you have to take it home, then it’s not your bowl. And if it isn’t, then don’t buy it – it’ll just sit on a shelf.
Now that you’ve found the bowl that’s right for you, and then check the price. One of 3 things is going to happen. It’s in your price range – great! You’ve just found your bowl. If it’s out of your price range, then set it back, and play other bowls. Perhaps there is another that is in your price range that’s right for you. And third, it’s more than you wanted to spend, but it has to come home with you. That’s when you have a talk with the shop owner to see if something can be worked out.
Once you have found your bowl, play it often. Bowls love to be played, and the more you play them, the richer the sound becomes.
I have another great video on YouTube (in my opinion) to learn more about choosing the perfect bowl for you. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJwGIdindcI
To learn more about the bowls, join us for the Sound Wellness Foundation on Saturday June 18. We’ll be spending the day learning about how sound can support you, your health and well-being. And there will be lots of time to play with different sound tools like the bowls, and the tuning forks. You can learn more or register by clicking below.