The village keeps on surprising. One of our newest residents has introduced me to a whole new world of the sound bath. The flyer came through the mailbox. I saw the pictures of Tibetan bowls and stumbled through the text. I caught enough to know that it was on Friday at 6 pm and that I should bring a blanket to lie on and wear comfortable clothes. No entry fee. There’d be a donation box at the door.
Off I toddle.
M radiates happiness and calm. Her smile is a welcoming one, from the heart. She sits on a small stool surrounded by brassy metal bowls of varying sizes.
A row of candles waits to be lit.
M speaks to me slowly in Hungarian, knowing I need some time to process what’s being said. That said, there’s not much by way of instruction.
Take off your shoes.
Keep your hands and arms beside you so that nothing is blocked.
I duly do as I am told. I close my eyes and soon I’m away.
Tibetan singing bowls are old. Very old. Thousands of years old. Visitors to the Himalayas back in the day discovered the wonderful meditative properties of the bowls and they eventually made their way to Europe.
I had my first bowl experience (crystal not metal) at The Birth of Color, a frequency opera that premiered in Budapest in 2016. Sometime later, I chatted with Lucio Ivaldi about his use of crystal bowls in the opera and shared how they’d drawn me in. Their sound is otherworldly.
It’s all about the vibrations. Something about the bowls and the gong harmonizes and relaxes both sides of the brain.
In sound therapy, the bowls are placed on the body to stimulate stress relief and eliminate toxins. But what was going on in the village hall wasn’t therapy, it was a bath.
Tibetan bowls are forged with alloys that usually contain from five to seven precious metals, which are connected to the planets of our galaxy: lead (Saturn), tin (Jupiter), iron (Mars), copper (Venus), mercury (Mercury), silver (the Moon) and gold (the Sun). The size of the bowl and the ratio between the metals affect the tone, vibration and quality of sound produced by the bowl.
I quickly understood why it’s called a sound bath. I was enveloped in lingering vibrations. I could feel the tension easing from my body and for the first time in a long time, my mind went blank. No thoughts intruded. No cares. No worries. Nothing.
The bowls are used in therapy to do all sorts of good things:
Tibetan singing bowls are used for deep relaxation and muscle regeneration, to relieve pain in the joints, muscles and shoulders, to ease pain related to sciatica, the digestive system, headaches and migraine or spine injuries, to improve circulation, release tensions or blockages, to open the energy flow, eliminate the toxins from the body.
The sound with its vibrations can ease mental or emotional pain (low self-esteem, worries, fear, anger, anxiety, depression, insomnia). Tibetan singing bowls and their unique tones are used to stabilise blood pressure, to ease asthma related issues, to renew the functioning of the adrenal gland, to open and stabilise the meridians and to improve the synaptic responses in our brain. They also help children with hyperactive disorders and they stimulate the immune system.
About an hour later, I eased back into reality feeling all the better for having escaped for a while.
My walk home had a bounce to it that had been missing on the way down. I felt freer. Lighter. Happier. And grateful.
Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll tell you when the next one is.