What can you do with just one bowl? Quite a lot, it seems. Sometimes a perceived limit is just a structure to create onto. That is what I am discovering as I get to know my bowl and allow it to guide me. One bowl plays one tone, in this case G+40. It is slightly higher in pitch than a G on a piano, which is usually 392 hertz. This bowl technically sounds at the frequency of 432 hertz.
I have been taught 2 different ways to play the bowl: tapping with the wand or sliding the wand along the top rim. In either case, the sound that you hear is very clear and there are many harmonic overtones that can be heard as well as the main tone.
The bowl can be tapped once and then listened to until there is complete silence (and beyond into the silence). The same goes for sounding along the rim and them stopping the wand and just listening to the sound. It carries on for a long time and when you watch and listen and feel the effect in your body, you begin to notice a calming effect and also a feeling of becoming more awake and present.
In this way, you could use it to begin a meditation. Tap or sound the rim, then let it go and sit quietly. You can sound it gently at the end of your meditation to bring you back fully.
Another way to use the bowl is to hum with the sound. You can play the bowl and match the sound with your voice. After awhile, you can play with different pitches, noticing how they sound and feel in relation to the bowl. The humming gives you a stronger feel of the vibratory effects of sound and you may be able to feel where the body is receiving the sound.
Similar to the humming practices, you can tone vowel sounds while playing and listening to the bowl. Sometimes I notice my tones becoming fuller and clearer after a few minutes of toning with the bowl. You can match the pitch and then explore above or below that pitch and see how different levels create different vibrations and feelings in your body and energy field.
You might be thinking, as I often did, that this doesn’t seem like much. Hum or tone with a bowl. But each time you play with the sounds and explore with your voice, something different emerges. Play without judging the results and you can participate more fully and free yourself to discover even more ways to create, listen, feel and heal.
I always feel more alive, more clear inside, expanded and refreshed when I take time to play my one bowl. Sometimes I place it on my belly, and with the intention of healing unbalance in my digestive system and relieving any pain or discomfort, I play, listen, hum and tone. Every time I do this, I am amazed at how much better I feel, and how quickly this can happen with the bowl.
So, this is just a “drop in the bucket” of possibilities with just one bowl. The time, attention, intention and love you bring to yourself and to the bowl contribute to the effectiveness of each session. I hope you are inspired to experiment and I invite you to share your experiences with sound for healing.